Week Ending February 23
Here are this week's items:
- Council Advance 2 - We are on track, once it is scheduled, to bring back SMART goals for the areas you identified at your first advance. Please respond to Karen as soon as you are able so we can get something scheduled.
- Arts Commission Advance – The Arts Commission had a spirited Advance this week. There are a lot of ideas floating about, including a renewed version of the Art House/Art Makerspace (fused with an innovation lab dedicated to city projects) and potentially dedicated staff to support arts initiatives. We’ll be working with the Arts Commission to package all of this into a multi-year plan that we will be bringing to you. Please withhold your judgement until you hear the whole plan. I was in attendance and my sense is that there is a lot of merit to what is being proposed, particularly as it fits with Sequim’s interests as a community.
- Leadership ICMA Team - Our team evaluating code enforcement will be in Sequim next Wednesday and Thursday to interview people involved with our code enforcement system. I'll be setting up a lot of meetings over the next few days to make sure that we make the most of their time here. We have a tentative plan for their visit. If any of you want to meet with them, please let me know and I’ll get you scheduled.
- Tagging Wall - We've had a lot of community interest in purchasing the artwork on the wall. As a result, we'll be preserving it, talking with the artist, and considering ways we can "surplus" the work. We'll also need to look at our policies in the future.
- Updated Org. Chart – We updated our organization chart (PDF), with pictures, recently for the Leadership ICMA Team. I’m providing an attached copy to you as well.
- For the Love Of Cities Stenciling Project - We are working with the team involved in stenciling Rainworks sunshine on our sidewalks to make sure their project is done before Peter Kageyama returns to Sequim in early June. The project was the winner during his original visit here in 2016.
- Hackathon - This event was a success, with 5 coders, 6 if you include our volunteer David Xu. Special thanks to David for doing a great job in working with those of us who are staff novices on this topic! As soon as I get a few spare minutes to work with David, we'll get our skills, related to tourism, fully published. We'll be presenting on this project at the Transforming Local Government Conference in early April.
- Interns - We've had a high school volunteer on the 2nd floor much of this year. We are now starting work with Peninsula College to host for-credit interns. We'll have one during spring quarter in the City Manager's Office. We also are starting to evaluate summer interns. We met with a local resident this week attending Tulane. He'll be a senior in 2018-2019. We are working out the details of a paid full time summer internship with him and his projects would include helping us update our development impact fees. Local interns further our workforce development objectives while also helping us get key tasks completed. We'll continue to evaluate how we can better use them.
- Meeting with Vanir Construction - We hosted a meeting with the firm that is assisting the School District with facility projects yesterday. They have an interest in engaging with the local community to utilize interns, assist with workforce development, to volunteer themselves (potentially with ServiceFest), and to partner with local firms on construction projects. Bob Schroeter, Gary Neal, and Councilor Bob Lake were also in attendance.
- ICMA Coaching Webinar - Late last week, I received an email from the lead staff person for the International City/County Management Association's (ICMA) Coaching Program. They conduct webinars periodically on coaching topics and I'll be featured in a webinar for May with three two other presenters and a moderator. This will be the biggest audience reached by a Sequim presentation to date. Our webinars through the Government Performance Consortium and MRSC reached 300-700 attendees. ICMA typically has 1,000-3,000 attendees. The topic of the webinar is a focus on practical steps to retool your organizational culture and to design your organization for results.
- Drucker Institute - I spent last Thursday and Friday at the Drucker Institute, in Claremont, CA, with three other Alliance for Innovation Board members, a couple of staff members from the Alliance, and staff from the Drucker Institute. The Drucker Institute is a corporate partner of the Alliance for Innovation. They were fantastic hosts and we used the time, 8 hours spread over two 4 hour sessions, to do follow-up work from the 2017 BIG Ideas Conference on the preemption of local governments by state and federal government. We also redesigned the BIG Ideas Conference format. In the process, we learned a lot about Peter Drucker's work, the Drucker Institute, and the Institute’s methods. We even had dinner at Peter Drucker's house. We'll be working with the Drucker Institute starting in April on our departmental missions, visions, and core values. We'll be working with them further in the fall to establish our performance management system. I learned that the City of South Bend, which also works with the Drucker Institute, now has a GREASE Team. Drucker Institute staff shared how our team works and South Bend implemented our concept. It is a good reminder of how we not only impact our community, but we can have impacts that reach a lot farther. With that in mind, I'll leave you with one of Peter Drucker's famous coaching questions, "How do you want to be remembered?" I placed this question on our back bulletin board on the 2nd floor. Please feel free to add your thoughts.
- Planning Calendar - Was attached
- Snow Removal - Please thank our Public Works employees if you see them in your travels about the community for their work on the streets the past few weeks. They continue to refine their formula for winter storm street treatments and to remind us of the tremendous value that our City staff add to the community. In my opinion, they've done a fantastic job! Crews worked all of last weekend and all night on Wednesday to provide the rest of the community safe roads, despite our recent storms. The Police Department reported no weather related accidents from Wednesday to Thursday.
- Staff Attending LEAD - We have three staff members attending the LEAD Program at the University of Virginia all of next week. Kristina Nelson-Gross, Barry Berezowsky, and Ty Brown join the other staff we've sent over the past two years through this training. Virginia is where I first received exposure to the High Performance Organization model that we are implementing here in Sequim. It helps to bring out the best in our employees, resulting in the best potential outcomes for our community. We budget for several staff members to attend the program each year. Thank you for continuing to support these investments in our employees. They are helping attending staff become more effective leaders and helping the overall implementation of the model here, which impacts the entire organization's performance for our community.
- Empathic Design Thinking - Our team in the Alliance for Innovation's Innovation Academy, another budgeted item, is learning Empathic Design Thinking. Design thinking is a concept invented by Dave Kelley, a founder of the Bay Area design firm IDEO. In my role on the Alliance Board and in my own professional growth, I'm striving to learn more about this topic and recently completed reading a book by IDEO's current CEO). We've been studying their approach for a while through the programs at the University of Virginia but have taken it to another level with the Innovation Academy (ex. our goats project). Joe also took a graduate school course on this topic. We aim to do a lot more with it in the coming years. Design thinking is an emerging, and potentially transformative, approach for governments.
- Warming Center Volunteering - With the spirit of design thinking in mind, I recently signed up for some volunteer slots at the warming center in town. I am hoping to get to know our homeless population and their needs better, in addition to the needs of the warming center, through this service. As we build partnerships to better serve the homeless, this perspective will help to inform the design of our system. I may shift my hours around next week, if I'm able to free up sections of my calendar, to offset some early mornings.
Week Ending February 9
Here are this week’s items:
- Emergency Management Exercise – We activated the Emergency Operations Center for a half day on Wednesday to conduct an exercise testing our response to a winter storm scenario. Our team came away with a list of things to improve but overall performed well.
- ServiceFest Advance – We had an advance of our ServiceFest team yesterday to further sort and organize projects, project planning, and event management. We’ll have a briefing for Council in the next couple of months as we build up to June’s event. As we look to collaborate with property owners who could use some help, we will be sending out a salvo of letters to properties with significant code violations offering them the option to be assisted by ServiceFest before we begin more intensive enforcement actions this fall.
- Update on Reclaimed Water Bill – The Senate version of the bill (6390) died by not making it out of committee. The House version (HB 2743) passed out of committee, is currently in rules, and is awaiting a vote on the floor. It will die on Valentine’s Day if it doesn’t get out of the House of origin. Here is a link to this session’s cutoff calendar for bills. We continue to communicate with our legislators about 2743. This bill could have a significant detrimental impact on our ability to use reclaimed water on anything, including at Carrie Blake Park. Here is a link to the bill information for HB 2743.
- Commercial Land Use in the Western EOA – We have been hearing from some property owners in the Western Economic Opportunity Area (EOA) designated in our comprehensive plan that they are ready to sell/develop their land. They are asking what they can do with it and the answer right now is only residential development. The issue with the EOA designation in the Comprehensive Plan is that it requires a subarea plan to be completed before we can consider a business/commercial use, even though our intent in the plan is a business/commercial use. We had to put in place residential zoning for both EOAs after the Comp. Plan passed because we cannot hold land. What type of commercial remains unknown because it is not specified in the Comp. Plan and we, nor the property owners, have completed a subarea plan. The western EOA has over 20 property owners where the eastern EOA has one. That is why we started on an eastern EOA subarea plan first.
We are currently studying the eastern EOA (Holt property) through the CERB grant that we received. We’ll have that study, which will serve as a subarea plan for that eastern area, complete during the 2nd quarter. It will come to Council.
We will be recommending this year that we amend the Comprehensive Plan to eliminate the subarea plan requirement so that we can move directly to zoning. We are also going to recommend that we study the HTLI zone, which has been mentioned by the public, as a part of this year’s amendments.
We are looking at having the Council approve zoning for both EOAs (western and eastern) by the end of 2018. This will allow property owners to move forward more efficiently with commercial development, as directed by the Comprehensive Plan.
We’ve talked about the situation with the EOAs before in Council meetings but have not talked in detail about bringing them online for development as envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan.
- District Court Location – We periodically host traffic court at the Transit Center here in Sequim. We have made arrangements with the County to move traffic court to our Council Chambers. This will allow us to put those operations in a location that more easily accommodates them, alleviate some of the pressure for various uses at the Transit Center, reduce costs by eliminating a software license we maintain at the Transit Center, and allow us to start testing/using the Chambers as a courtroom.
- Hackathon – Today is our Hackathon at Clallam Coworking from 10-3. We will be developing skills in Amazon Alexa for tourists to access as they consider visiting Sequim. A hackathon is an event where programmers volunteer their time for a cause. We expect at least three programmers today and there already is interest in doing more of this type of collaboration within the local information technology community. Our cost for putting together the hackathon will be providing lunch for the volunteers who attend.
- Goat Gusto – We received some coverage from KONP this week regarding our pilot project to study the use of goats for City operations. The project is our capstone project for the Alliance for Innovation’s Innovation Academy. Our team in the Academy, the GREASE Team, graduates in early April at the Transforming Local Government Conference(TLG) in Tacoma. Here is a link to the story. Both Sue and Ty did a fabulous job with their interviews!
- TLG Presentations – We will be doing three presentations at TLG. One will be on the mentioned Innovation Academy Goat Pilot Project, the second will be on our Amazon Alexa Skills Development Pilot Project (above hackathon) with 8 other cities and counties, and the third will be on creating and sustaining an innovative organization culture. I’ll be doing the latter with another manager to be determined.
- Award Submittals – We are working on award submittals for submission to the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and to ICMA. This year we are focused in on sharing the results of our partnership to bring the YMCA to Sequim, which reopened a vacant mothballed community center formerly known as SARC. I have a bunch of data from Len Borchers and will begin drafting in a couple of weeks.
Week Ending February 2
Thank you for providing us great direction and a full day of your time in our annual Council Advance on Monday! Here are this week’s items:
- Pickleball Plaque – The attached documents represent a plaque we approved this week that will installed in the new courts. It is financed by the Sequim Picklers. Plaque Concept (PDF). Plaque Placement (PDF).
- Reclaimed Water Legislative Bills – We continue to closely track our bills of concern that we shared with you earlier this week. The cutoff to get bills out of the committee of origin is tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted.
- Monthly Meeting with Commissioner Ozias – Mayor Smith and I had our monthly meeting with Commissioner Ozias today. Topics discussed included the Simdars interchange, health and human services policies, Sequim’s growth, strategic planning, and emergency medical services.
- Workforce of the Future Workshop – I attended an Alliance for Innovation event on Tuesday at Kitsap County. The key presenter was Patrick Ibarra. Patrick had a lot of great tips regarding succession planning, recruitment, onboarding, personnel policies, etc. from his own experiences. He also covered the Alliance for Innovation’s research on the Workplace of Tomorrow (PDF). As the Alliance’s “host” for the event, I got in for free, a $99 value. I’ll be downloading in detail with HR next week.
- Council Planning Calendar and Draft 2/12 Agenda - Was attached