Highlights of Bainbridge City Council‘s Accomplishments in the Past Four Years
The City Council does most of its work by setting policy direction, and then relies on the City Staff, under the direction of the City Manager to develop programs and codes to assure policy implementation. It is a very collaborative process.
- Completed the financial recovery from the deficits of the Great Recession to the current positive balance, with healthy and prudent reserves and the highest bond rating (allows future bonds to be maximally cost effective).
- Established a system of Priority Based Budgeting, so that we can more easily determine on a regular basis that our spending is in line with our Comprehensive Plan established priorities.
- Oversaw the development to completion of the Comprehensive Plan Update. Thanks to Council leadership, Bainbridge Islanders were more personally involved in this process than in most other cities. Because of that involvement, the resulting Comprehensive Plan truly reflects our collective vision for the future of our Island. For more on this plan, go to Navigate Bainbridge: Charting our future together.
- Established as a City priority work on consistency review to amend code to conform to new comprehensive plan. A complaint in the past has been that development on the Island is not consistent with our Comprehensive Plan. We have made great strides already in improving the protections provided by our tree and vegetation regulations, and in the related changes we are implementing in Low Impact Development regulations.
- Set a goal for Bainbridge Island to become a Washington State leader in Disaster Preparedness within the next several years. To this end, the City is collaborating with the City Fire Department and the Rotary Club among others. Together they held the second annual Three Days of Preparedness weekend engaging many Islanders in this vital effort.
- Saw the development of the current Shoreline Master Plan to completion and acceptance by the State of Washington.
- Developed an Aquaculture Limited Amendment to the Shoreline Master Program. This Amendment seeks to markedly increase the environmental protection of our fragile tidelands. It is currently under review by the State Department of Ecology. Among other things, it would bar the location of any more offshore food-fish net pens on the Bainbridge Island shoreline.
- Developed a small park and an accessible public beach access on Manitou Beach, and arranged transfer of the finished project to the Park District. Likewise cooperated with the Park District in transferring a City-owned easement to enable construction of a community trail along IslandWood property.
- Passed a Critical Areas Ordinance that protects wetlands, steep slopes and other fragile areas of the City.
- Created a Climate Change Advisory Committee to further the critical goals of the Comprehensive Plan related to Climate Change. The Council has, through Resolutions and by joining national campaigns related to climate change, been vocal in its commitment to helping Islanders to address climate change on a local level. The City’s Green Team is working to make City government an effective partner.
- Established a Human Services Funding Advisory Committee whose citizen members review funding proposals and develop a recommendation. This recommendation is submitted to the City Council for consideration and approval. This reformed process invites human service agencies to submit funding proposals and includes an evaluation process.
- Set up a broadly representative Affordable Housing Task Force to further the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. Housing affordability for lower and middle-income families and for seniors is a critical need on Bainbridge Island, as it is elsewhere. This Task Force has orders to deliver proposals for concrete results by mid-year 2018.
- Worked to expand multi-modal transportation throughout the island. Sidewalk and/or shoulder improvements have been made on Wing Point Way, North Madison to Valley Road, and on the southbound lane of Blakely Hill from the Head of the Bay. A Fletcher Bay Road project should start soon, and more improvements are scheduled for coming years. An Infrastructure Task Force is looking into the possibility of seeking voter approval for an accelerated building program, both for bicycle safety and for pedestrian safety both in Winslow and throughout the Island.
- Completed an inventory of City streets and roads, and prioritized funding of street repair and maintenance, so that the AVERAGE condition of our streets now is well ABOVE AVERAGE. City Public Works has proven very responsive to individual complaints and concerns, especially though the See Click Fix feature on the City website. See http://www.ci.bainbridge-isl.wa.us/635/Report-an-Issue.
- Established a Transportation Benefit District to make funding of street maintenance and repair more reliable.
- Our Police Department achieved accreditation by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.
- Restored funding for the Arts and for Human Services in the city budget. At the same time, the Council adopted a financially leaner and more citizen-based process for deciding how to expend those funds in support of the Community.
- Conducted a thorough community process resulting in the design and completed construction of our “new” Waterfront Park. Worked cooperatively with the Bainbridge Island Rowing Club, so that its construction of a new rowing center can go forward on property immediately adjacent to the Park.
- Acquired grant funding to supplement available City funds to complete the redesign and construction of a new City dock. Construction is currently under way.