October 2020

Week ending October 30

Council,

Here are this week’s items:

-    Possible Future COVID-19 Response/Recovery Investments – The Sequim Health and Housing Collaborative (SHHC) met this week to discuss anticipated COVID-19-driven 2021 human services needs for Sequim.  I expect some cost estimates from them over the next few weeks that I will combine with a childcare estimate for east Clallam County and some possible additional small business assistance grant funding through the Sequim Chamber.  I am working on two scenarios, one the includes additional federal funding and another that does not.  I plan to bring this item to you on December 14th for discussion, and possible action.

-    Joint Letter to the Editor with the City Managers of Port Angeles and Port Townsend, and the Clallam County Administrator – The letter that I shared with you (attached) earlier this week will run in the PDN on November 4th and likely in the Gazette on the same day.  Thanks to Barbara Hanna for working with our local media to get this letter published.

-    Sequim Youth Services Task Force – The Youth Services Task Force met last Friday afternoon.  Items discussed included changes in the Governor’s COVID-19 orders that impact the North Olympic Library System (NOLS) - allowing more indoor service, the Boys & Girls Club launching a new program on equity and inclusion, and some potential activities to foster kindness in Sequim during 2021.

-    Peninsula Regional Transportation Planning Organization (PRTPO) Meeting with Representative Chapman – I attended the PRTPO meeting last evening to watch a discussion the PRTPO had with Representative Chapman.  David Garlington did a great telling the City of Sequim’s story regarding Highway 101 improvements and the federal funding exchange program was also discussed.  Both items are on our legislative agenda and the PRTPO list, thanks to the efforts of our board member, Councilor Dennis Smith, and David.

-    Council Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager


week ending october 23

-    Clallam County Childcare Committee – Sequim hosted a monthly meeting of the committee this week.  Items discussed included planning for childcare services for school-aged children after November when federal funding runs out (for both the Sequim area and the County as a whole – a follow-up meeting on this topic is being scheduled), shortages of personal protective gear amongst providers (mainly gloves), a recent grant submitted to the Washington State Department of Commerce for future childcare system planning, the status of childcare businesses (many business are still surviving but it is much tougher given reduced capacities), and the shortage of trained childcare workers.  A Peninsula College faculty member specializing in training childcare workers will join the committee’s future meetings.

-    Mayor Armacost and Commissioner Ozias – Mayor Armacost and Commissioner Ozias had their monthly meeting this morning.  Items discussed included the County’s plan for continuing grant funded services after CARES Act funding expires (currently at the end of November), legislative priorities, a possible second future ballot box for Sequim, positive community response to the Sequim Council vacancy, and personal protective gear shortages beginning to be experienced by area childcare providers (gloves).  On the latter, I’ve put in a countywide request with the County’s Emergency Operations Center.

-    Regional City/County Manager/Administrator Meeting – The area’s city managers and county administrators had our twice a month meeting last week.  Items discussed included a joint civic engagement letter we are drafting, risk management, labor negotiations, budgets, and general community issues.

-    NODC Meeting – I attended the NODC’s monthly board meeting yesterday and provided an update for Sequim, since we have not attended many NODC meetings this year due to Council turnover.  Other items on the agenda included a presentation on Thermally-Modified Hemlock Production on the North Olympic Peninsula, a staff report that focused on grants and staffing, and a member roundtable (where I submitted our report).

-    Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) – I attended the BOCC meeting last week on behalf of the countywide childcare committee.  I had no additional updates to offer as CARES Act funding for childcare countywide has now been allocated through the end of November.

-    Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager


NO update for week ending October 16

Week ending october 9

Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Direction

-    2021 COVID-19 Possible Community Investments Planning – I’ve begun coordinating with staff and partners on what additional community investments I may recommend to you in 2021, or perhaps even as early as late this year (federal funding sources from the current CARES Act are expected to run out at the end of November).  I am working on two scenarios: 1) federal funding continues to be available; and 2) federal funding is no longer available.  Examples of the types of investments I am evaluating include additional small business funding, additional human services funding, additional childcare funding, etc.  Depending upon when a vaccine is implemented widely enough to begin to reduce health and safety laws (such as limiting gathering sizes, social distancing, and mask wearing), timely investments in certain areas prior to things further opening up could help prevent more businesses from closing and more people from having personal crises, quickening our community’s recovery time from the pandemic.  We want to make sure that we provide you with solid recommendations to consider prior to the window when those investments could have the greatest impact, which is why we are working on it now.

-    CODE Scrub and Other 2018-2019 Council Goals – Implementation of many of our 2018-2019 goals was originally planned to go well beyond the two-year timeframe.  Staff committed this week to trying to complete much of what remains by the end of next year.  Of particular focus is the “code scrub”, which represents two of the six Council goals.  Staff have continued to work on code revisions this year, despite COVID-19 and other hurdles, and will now methodically begin bringing salvos of them to our Boards and Commissions and to the City Council.  Assuming the Council is still committed to this effort, you should expect a steady stream of code amendments through the end of next year.  We’ll also be bringing a report on the status of the Council goals to you by the end of the year to make sure we are on the same page about what we are able to accomplish, what you want us to accomplish, and what might drop off the list.

Council Follow-Through

-    Chamber Board Meeting – Councilor Smith and I attended the Sequim Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce Board meeting this week.

Related Items

-    Board of County Commissioners CARES Act Work Session – I attended the Board of County Commissioners discussion on CARES Act funding on Monday.  The focus of these sessions continues to be the latest round of funding provided by the State, which needs to be allocated and spent by the end of November.  We continue to coordinate with childcare providers on their countywide request, which currently stands at $140,000 to cover the month of November.  There presently isn’t a regional plan for what will happen after November if no additional federal money is available but we, at the City of Sequim, are starting to do some of our own thinking (see above) for the Sequim area.

-    Planning Calendar - Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager


 

week ending october 2

Council,

Here are this week’s items:

Council Follow-Through

-    Civic Center Solar Dashboard Goes Live - Public Works and IT recently posted on our website a “dashboard” showing solar energy generation from our Civic Center Rooftop installation, which was successfully completed in June using COVID construction protocols.  The public can now view real-time energy production as well as recent history.  It’s very interesting, for example, to see production drop way down when our normally blue skies were filled with wildfire smoke.  Our relatively simple dashboard came included with the Solar Edge inverter that we had installed with our grant from WA Dept. of Commerce, which covered one-third of all construction costs.  It will be useful to Facilities staff (Del/PW and IT) as they monitor energy production as compared with usage in the building.  https://www.sequimwa.gov/965/Civic-Center-Solar

Related Items

-    BOCC CARES Act Discussion – I attended the Board of County Commission (BOCC) meeting on Monday to represent the Countywide Childcare Committee.  We presented a request for additional countywide childcare investments through January (a total need of about $470,000).  The commissioners were receptive to the request and we’ll await their final decision in the next few weeks regarding funding for October and November.  The Boys & Girls Clubs are serving as the administrative agent (contacting with the County) to a consortium of 6 organizations that are working together to serve countywide childcare needs for school-aged children.

-    Meeting Between Commissioner Ozias and Mayor Armacost – Commissioner Ozias and Mayor Armacost had their monthly meeting last Friday.  Items discussed included the Council’s upcoming special meeting, the statewide behavioral health forecast, public health messaging, and the US census.

-    Youth Services Task Force – The Youth Services Task Force met last Friday and received updates from Clallam Transit, St. Vincent DePaul, the Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA, and North Olympic Library System.  Of note, Clallam Transit’s ridership is at about 40% of normal due to COVID.  St. Vincent DePaul is seeing a slowing of requests for assistance.  The Boys & Girls Club continues to work through increasing its staffing to meet increased demand.  North Olympic Library System continues to work to improve its curbside service in Sequim.  The Sequim YMCA is providing more space for kids with internet needs and has trained 60 teens in Sequim as babysitters to help with the local need for childcare.

Public Works Smoke Testing - The Public Works Department will begin smoke testing portions of the City’s sanitary sewer system next week. The smoke testing is an inspection technique that aims to locate defects, breaks, leaks, and faulty connections which become sources of groundwater infiltration and stormwater inflow into the City’s sewer collection system. Preventing infiltration and inflow (I/I) minimizes processing and treating unnecessary water at the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) and consequently helps reduce operating costs at the WRF. Also, reducing I/I helps manage the risk of an overflow discharge event into the Strait during wet weather. I attached the press-release from last Friday for more information about the testing.

-    Planning Calendar – Was attached

Thanks,

Charlie Bush

City Manager