Week Ending May 26
Here are this week’s items:
- Homeward Bound (formerly Olympic Housing Trust in my updates) – My name will appear on the ballot as a potential Board Member for Homeward Bound at their planned meeting in late June. I would be one of two public officials serving as board members for this two-county (Jefferson and Clallam) affordable housing land trust. Per my contract, I will need to ask you if you are OK with my serving on this local board. I believe that the success of this effort, given the various partners involved, will be important for us as we get into any implementation related to our City Council affordable housing priority. As a result, I’m recommending that I continue involvement. Most, if not all, of the development activity initially will be in Port Townsend. Homeward Bound is an organization that has been around a while but is one that had lost momentum. With the seven people potentially joining the board, coming from a broad spectrum of organizations involved in affordable housing regionally, and with direct support from the City of Port Townsend, Homeward Bound has a great chance to gain momentum again. If you feel strongly either way on this topic, it would be helpful to know prior to my bringing it up on the 12th.
- Safe Harbor Tour of the Administration Building – Representatives from our local youth homeless drop in center expressed an interest in seeing our vacant Administration Building so Joe and I gave them a tour this week. Representatives from the Sequim School District and Serenity House were there as well. We talked about a broader concept of a youth center, with one possible service area being job readiness for teens. We’ll keep you posted as discussions continue.
- Eco Devo – We are running slightly behind on implementation of our Business Retention Expansion Program. We’ll still implement it in June, just not likely in week 1. When we set the original schedule, we didn’t anticipate some staffing changes occurring the way that they occurred. That took a bit of the wind out of our sails as both Joe and I got stretched thin this spring. Joe’s done an amazing job keeping Community Development items going and I’ve been trying to move a lot of the Eco Devo items. Our volunteers have been doing a great job and we are almost to our launch point.
- 2nd Floor Space Moves – We are reorganizing the second floor of the Civic Center over the next few weeks to better serve customers. The primary change that you’ll notice is that we are moving Community Development to the front, given their high volume of customer activity. Doing so also allows us to cluster other employees closer together that work together frequently, so there is a double benefit to these moves. Expect familiar faces in new places.
- Community Development Manager – We’ve made a verbal offer to a new person in this role, which will replace Chris Hugo, and they’ve verbally accepted. We are just checking references. Hopefully Joe will have more news to announce next week.
- US National Women’s Rugby Team – They left us with some very nice mementoes from training at Carrie Blake Park this week and let us know that they plan to come back next year. A photo is attached (PDF). I share these more formally at the 6/12 meeting.
- Integrated Leadership – Last weekend’s training went great at Guy Cole. The facility was magnificent! The organizers of the training are already making plans to return to Sequim for 2018.
- No Video Update This Week – Between my time off and Barb’s, I won’t be releasing a video version of this update, partly because it wouldn’t be posted for quite a while.
- On Vacation Next Week – Joe is our Acting Manager through Wednesday, followed by Sue Hagener the rest of the week. There won’t be an update next week.
Week Ending May 19
Here are this week’s items:
- Olympic Housing Trust/Homeward Bound – I’ve attended two meetings in the past week of the group looking to organize the Olympic Housing Trust. It would be a two county (Jefferson and Clallam) land trust that would provide long-term land leases to support affordable housing. The Trust, which may continue under the name of Homeward Bound, would be one of the potential partners in developing additional affordable housing units in the region. I am meeting some great contacts for any future efforts we may make on this topic. I recommend that I continue my involvement with this group. Please let me know if you have any concerns.
- Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) Update – We traveled to Olympia to present to the CERB Board yesterday regarding funding for an economic analysis and conceptual/subarea/infrastructure plan for our eastern Economic Opportunity Area (EOA). The presentation went great and we received a $50,00 grant, the full amount of our request! Mr. Holt, the new property owner of the site is involved and is a financial participant in the match for the grant, participated in the presentation. We’ll be getting the final granting documents squared away over the next couple of weeks and will then be on our way getting to work on planning for our eastern EOA. This will help us accelerate implementation of the vision of our comprehensive plan. The expected outcome for our EOAs is wealth-generating family wage jobs, which will help to diversify our economy and to provide everyone in our community with an opportunity to reach their potential.
- Clint Rushton Announces Retirement – Clint Rushton announced late last week that he’ll be retiring from the City on November 22nd, after 33 years of service. Congratulations to Clint on a great career in Public Works, most recently as a sewer expert serving with our Public Works field team!
- Alliance for Innovation Corporate Partner Summit – I represented the Alliance for Innovation Board of Directors at an annual summit with the Alliance’s Corporate Partners late last week in Vancouver, BC. It was a good opportunity to learn about some services available from those partners, in addition to continuing to get to know the Alliance staff better.
- Integrated Leadership – We are hosting our first training with the statewide Government Performance Consortium this weekend. We are bringing together 24 people from across the country, but primarily the Northwest and Washington, for some training at Guy Cole related to the mind/body connection to leadership. Peter Kageyama last year helped to plant a seed with me about Sequim being a perfect retreat location. I then had the opportunity to work with other partners to bring this training to life and to bring it here. My self-funded trip to Wisconsin last May was key to getting this off the ground. We are aiming to host more government trainings here in the future. There are various benefits, besides the obvious hotel stays and meals, including branding our organization with other government employees. This can help us in many ways. For example, we will have some key executives involved with state grant funding agencies here this weekend.
- High School Options Program Appearance – I’ll be speaking to students in the high school options program next Tuesday morning.
Kudo of the Week
- Department of Community Development (DCD) – The Department of Community Development had an awesome week! They distributed 2,700 brochures on propane safety to Sequim residents, received a kudo from a property owner regarding their customer service with a zoning interpretation, initiated over the counter permits in several permit categories, and reported permit volumes for April that are up significantly over last year. DCD issued building permits valued at $1.3M in April 2016. In April 2017, that number rose to $3.4M. In addition, residential building permits climbed from 5 new and 6 remodels last April to 12 new and 4 remodels. Commercial projects increased from 6 to 8. Planning activity also remains strong. While I know that some people in our community are concerned about growth, the City has taken steps to manage growth effectively through fees, plans, and policies. We are required to accommodate growth by state law and doing so responsibly is our obligation to the community. Please join me in thanking the DCD team of Ann, Jessie, Charisse, and Joe, plus Kathie Ann for her support to the department.
Week Ending May 12
Here are this week’s items:
- Olympic Housing Trust – We finally nailed down a meeting tonight at 7 PM. I should have more on this next week. Generally speaking, I recommend that we consider involvement with this organization as a first step in addressing our near term City Council Affordable Housing Priority. We operate in a region and the housing market does not end at the City limits. Affordable units built in Port Townsend and Port Angeles have a benefit to our community, as would units built in Sequim for neighboring areas. For this reason, and given that we all have very limited resources and expertise, a regional approach has an opportunity to be more effective than going it alone. We have a plan to do more work next year, including considering some additional policy options that the City could implement to further encourage all forms of affordable housing (workforce, transitional, sheltering, etc.). I meant to ask you during Monday’s review of our Council Priorities Work Plan whether you want to move up our work in this area. I know that at least one Councilor and some community members would like us to take that step. However, it would be helpful for the Council to weigh in if you want it to happen. If that is the case, please let me know soon or bring it up at a future Council meeting. Staff would then recommend delaying something we are doing currently as we are actually running beyond our capacity that we can sustain for more than a few months at a time, at the moment. Taking on more would be detrimental to what we are currently accomplishing. Getting back to full staffing after our current wave of retirements will help. We should be there in 2-3 months.
- Pickleball Courts – We’ve become aware that the Sequim Picklers have not retained an engineering firm yet for the pickleball court project. This is a critical path step necessary to have documents ready to bid the project and will take some time for completion. While we are now being asked by the Picklers, we do not have capacity internally, given all the other projects that we are in the process of carrying out this year, to engineer the courts. We could do it internally next winter, and we’ve offered that option. The quickest way to get it done would for the Picklers to contract with an engineering firm, as they’ve done with an architect so far on the project. We have a need to bid the project now to build the Southern Road and water line going into Carrie Blake Park, timed with our other paving projects so that we do not miss the paving season. The alternative option would be to wait an entire year. As a result, we are planning to split the pickleball courts from the road and water line capital work.
- Youth Services Task Force – We had a meeting last Friday with a productive exchange of ideas around results from the Youth Summit. Our next steps are to reconvene our task force with the youth summit participants and to solicit additional input from youth in the community. We anticipate transitioning into some specific projects by mid-summer.
- Monthly Meeting with Mark Ozias – Mayor Smith and I met with County Commissioner Mark Ozias for breakfast yesterday. Items covered included homelessness, human services, and economic development.
- Sequim ServiceFest Date Revisions – We’ve settled on Saturday, September 9, from 4-6 PM at Guy Cole for our meeting to 1) name neighborhoods and 2) generate projects for the 2018 Sequim ServiceFest. I’m sending you a calendar placeholder.
- Habitat Houses In Sequim – We had a request at the meeting on Monday night regarding Habitat for Humanity builds in Sequim. Habitat’s records indicates that there are a total of 11 Habitat Homes in Sequim. Construction began on the first Sequim Home in 1998. The last home was completed in March of 2012, on Mazie Ct. To build future homes, Habitat needs to raise money and would be looking to partner with the city or private entities on things like land donation and fee waivers. The latter two are policy considerations we plan to discuss with you in 2018. The process starts with a land donation. Here is the breakdown of the current Habitat House locations:
o 1 – W Prairie St
o 3 – Pine St
o 7 – Maizie Ct
- Out Tomorrow and Friday – This is just a reminder that I’m out the next two days. Joe Irvin is Acting City Manager.
Week Ending May 5
Here are this week’s items:
- Olympic Housing Trust – A meeting is being scheduled for next Tuesday evening. I plan to attend and should have more information to share next week.
Council Follow Through
- Next Generation Sector Partnership Meeting – I am attending an Olympic Workforce Development Council meeting at Fort Worden tomorrow morning through mid-afternoon as a part of our Eco Devo efforts.
- Web Streaming Council Meetings – We had a Council request for the number of people listening live recently. We had 4 people listening to each of the last two Council meetings and 17 people listening to the recent Planning Commission meeting. We have an update coming soon regarding the Council’s request to begin web streaming meetings later this year.
- Emergency Management – We had another monthly meeting this week and continue to make progress.
- Peninsula Behavioral Health Site Tour – Peninsula Behavioral Health is interested in having us tour their facilities. We are inviting both our Senior Management Team as well as all of you. This is optional. Mayor Smith and I recently toured the Sequim Free Clinic and this will be a similar type of experience. You’ll be hearing from the Clerk’s Office with more details.
Kudos of the Week
- Lisa Hopper – Kudos to Lisa Hopper this week on getting a nice card from some of our residents for her work in their neighborhood. Lisa’s job in Code Enforcement often can be thankless but we really appreciate what she does for the community, and clearly so do some of her customers. Way to go Lisa!
- Kathie Ann Sukert – Kathie Ann determined a way to be able to issue demolition permits over the counter this week. It will require Council approval but this is exactly the type of engagement and critical thinking we appreciate from our employees. Great job Kathie Ann!
- Out Next Thursday and Friday – I will be out at the end of next week. Joe Irvin will be Acting City Manager in my absence.