Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bainbridge government’

This afternoon, the following statement (posted on the City’s website) was issued by the City of Bainbridge Island:

The City of Bainbridge Island
February 27, 2012

Dear Bainbridge Island residents:

The Seattle Times published stories, yesterday and today, which focused on the Douglas Ostling tragedy and on how the city has dealt with accusations of misconduct by our police officers in the past. TheTimes’ story does not adequately reflect the City’s commitment to police professionalism and accountability, nor does it convey some of the significant work that has been in progress at the city. The relationship between our community and our police department is one of the city’s most critical connections with its citizens, and because this is such an important topic, I wanted you to be aware of some facts.

The Council, the Police Chief and I are committed to ensuring that police officers receive the appropriate training, that practices are transparent, that any misconduct is addressed, and that we improve the standards and expectations for everyone who works for our police department.

Under any circumstances, the loss of a human life is very painful. The City continues to join its citizens in offering its sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Ostling. The Kitsap Sheriff and Prosecutor have made their investigative files available for those who would like more information. Our administrative report and reports from the prosecutor are included with this letter.

Our commitment to the citizens of Bainbridge Island is that our officers will understand how to best handle people in crisis. Chief Fehlman is a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), facilitates classes here, and was on the Board of the Sonoma County NAMI chapter before coming to Bainbridge. Before the officer involved shooting, seven of our 21 officers had completed Crisis Intervention Training, with three getting additional certification to become trainers. The Bainbridge Island Police Department will continue to make this critical training a priority for our officers.

Police officers are often called upon to engage people in the most difficult moments of their lives. Every police department will receive complaints about how an officer handled a situation. The most critical thing when a complaint is made is how we respond. I can assure you, when there has been misconduct, or accusations of misconduct, we have responded appropriately by investigating allegations in a timely and fair manner. (more…)

Read Full Post »

At tonight’s presentation about the authority of Council members under the Council-Manager form of government by Seattle lawyer Steve DeJulio, Mayor Debbi Lester and Council members Dave Ward and Steve Bonkowski quickly shut down Council member Bob Scales when he tried to ask questions about the authority of individual Council members to act without a Council vote. Council authority has been a raw question since Lester, Bonkowski and Dave Ward hired a law firm to give advice about firing City Manager Brenda Bauer without obtaining a vote of the full Council. DiJulio’s presence was at Council’s request following the dispute over that issue.

DeJulio gave a crisp one-hour briefing on the laws governing the power and functioning of local government in our state. He told Council it has legislative authority to act by motion, resolution, or ordinance. A significant responsibility is to adopt a budget, also done as a legislative body in open session.

DeJulio explained that, under the island’s Council-Manager form of government, the Council has legislative authority, and the power to appoint the City Manager. State law specifically prohibits the Council from interfering with the decisions of the City Manager. The statute requires that the Council deal with staff solely through the Manager, except for purposes of inquiry, or at public Council meetings. (more…)

Read Full Post »

UPDATED: As of 4 p.m. on May 20, with 200 additional votes left to be counted, the Kitsap County Auditor reports that the change in government  is passing with a vote of 69.76%. The school bond is still just short of the supermajority, at 59. 57%. Over 9000 people cast votes on these measures (9205 on the form of government vote, and 9414 on the bond). On another note, our change of government vote was featured on KUOW today, with Mayor Kordonowy and change of government campaign member Bob Fortner giving their comments by phone. Click here for the audio.

The voters have spoken and they want real change in local government. Last night’s unofficial vote count from the Kitsap County Auditor gave the change of government measure an impressive lead at 71.4%, out of  7511 votes counted. The school bond measure is falling short of the required 60% supermajority, at 57.68%. Results will be updated today at 4 p.m. when ballot drop-offs and late mail-ins will be counted. 

Change-of-government supporters celebrated at the Treehouse last night, noshing on pizza and salad and marveling at the wide margin of victory. Council members Debbie Vancil, Kim Brackett, Bill Knobloch and Barry Peters were in the crowd of about fifty. Shortly after the results were in, state Representative and former Bainbridge Councilor Christine Rolfes, dropped in. Rolfes sponsored a bill in Olympia that enabled the change-of-government measure to be on the ballot in May, instead of during the general election in November.   

(more…)

Read Full Post »

After months of waffling, I’ve finally decided I’m voting in favor of changing our City government to the council-manager form.

I’ve gone back and forth on this question because it wasn’t clear to me whether the City’s problems are structural or simply the result of two terms with a divisive mayor, abetted by eight years of ineffectual Councils.

If we vote to adopt the council-manager form of government, we probably won’t see any big changes right away. After the election is certified, Mayor Darlene Kordonowy will become the eighth member of the City Council (if she chooses) until her term expires at the end of 2009. The often contentious 4-3 split on Council will widen to 5-3, because the current Council majority has been supporting Kordonowy’s policies all along. City administrator Mark Dombroski will, in all likelihood, keep his job. Citizens will still distrust City government, and we’ll continue to see the symptoms of that distrust: political controversies, large numbers of public records requests, and litigation between islanders and their government. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance sent out the following press release this afternoon:

Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance filed suit in Kitsap Superior Court against the City of Bainbridge Island, Wednesday, April 22. At issue is how the city has used, and plans to use, fees paid by 2,200 water utility and 1,800 sewer utility customers. In addition to portions of Fletcher Bay and Rockaway Beach, city utility ratepayers live within the Winslow core area from New Brooklyn south to Eagle Harbor and from Sportsman Club Road/Finch to the eastern shoreline.

In a statement issued at the time of filing, Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance Secretary, Sally Adams, said “We greatly regret that the City has pushed the ratepayers so far that it became necessary to file this lawsuit to counter the misuse of utility ratepayer fees. Under law, COBI utility ratepayers may only be charged for services they receive. They may not be charged for costs that benefit other public projects.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

During public comment at a City Council meeting in mid-February, Senior Center Vice President Joan Treacy noted that in the City’s councilmanic bond issue last fall, the Council included $250,000 to begin work on an expansion of the Senior Center. Nearly a half-year later, the Senior Center has not seen any of the proceeds. “Where is our money?” she asked.

Finance wizards

Finance goblins

It was a question heard ’round the island, at least among serious City watchers who worry about the City’s solvency, given its borrowings from the water utility, staff layoffs and the budget cuts still necessary to weather the financial downturn.

As the City’s financial crisis has deepened, many of our most cherished plans and programs have been trimmed or eliminated. We can argue whether a new Senior Center should be started now, and whether it should become a higher priority than other projects still waiting in the wings. But when the City borrowed money by issuing bonds for the express purpose of putting money toward the project, the decision was made, and the City has no choice but to spend the money for the Senior Center, as promised in the bond contracts and offering documents (or pay it back).  (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Council-Manager ’09 campaign posted a 4-minute video on its website this week, explaining the advantages of the council-manager form of government. I’ve been on the fence about change of government all along, but this video just might seal the deal for me. It’s professionally done, succinct and persuasive. Its most compelling point: our current form of government itself creates conflict, distrust and antagonism between the administration and the City Council. And for years, that’s been one of the biggest complaints from citizens about City Hall.

So…what do you think of it?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers