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Archive for May, 2008

Bob Scales, former City Councilor-turned-voice-of-conscience, sent this email to the Council and administration this afternoon.   

Councilmembers, Mayor, City Administrator and City Attorney,

At the May 28 City Council meeting the Mayor and her City Administrator asked the Council to repeal the cityʼs biennial budget ordinance and return to an annual budget process. This matter was referred to the Finance Committee. The City Attorney offered to draft an ordinance that would repeal the cityʼs biennial budget ordinance (Ordinance 2007-29) which the Council passed last year. (more…)

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Bob Scales, who served on the Bainbridge City Council from 2004-2007, has been sending a series of letters to City Council and Administration providing background on the City’s financial problems and suggestions for working through them. Here’s the letter he sent today: 

Councilmembers,

As you know, the city you are responsible for is in a major financial and political crisis. Unable to provide basic services, unable to build projects needed by the community and unable to plan for the future, your city is in a state of paralysis. Every week more red flags emerge warning you of the cityʼs pending demise. Last week you were told by staff that the city will be unable to complete any new capital projects before the year 2015 without raising taxes or issuing more debt. This week the City Administrator is telling you that the City does not even have the capability of producing a basic biennial budget. He said the City needs two more years to prepare a biennial budget despite the fact that the Council decided in early 2007 to go to a biennial budget process. What has the finance department been doing for the last 18 months if not preparing for a biennial budget? (more…)

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Bainbridge Island isn’t the only city with financial troubles. A recent New York Times article describes the bankruptcy of Vallejo, California, “in the face of dwindling tax revenues, the housing market meltdown and a faltering economy.” Folks at City Hall should read this article and weep. And when they’re done weeping, they should heed the warning signs from other cities, perhaps only a step ahead of our own community. (more…)

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Bob Scales, who served on the City Council from 2004-2007, has some questions for Mayor Darlene Kordonowy, in light of the City’s serious financial problems.

This week the Bainbridge Review started a new column, “You ask, the mayor answers.” This appears to be a forum where Mayor Kordonowy asks and answers her own basic questions about city government. Since the Mayor does not normally respond to questions at public meetings or town hall forums, I hope that this new column will provide an opportunity for the public to get some real answers about our city government.

I have prepared a few questions for the Mayor that I hope she will answer in her next column. (more…)

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BHS juniors Simon Paterson and Jake Mallove received Honorable Mentions in Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre High School Musical Theatre Awards for their work in the high school’s spring musical, Anything Goes.

Paterson, who played the gangster Moonface Martin, received Honorable Mention in the category of “Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.” Mallove, playing the alcoholic Elisha Whitney, was recognized for his “Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role.” 

This is the first year BHS has entered the 5th Avenue awards competition, in which hundreds of Western Washington high school students participate. The recognition comes at the end of a rocky transitional year for the high school theatre program, following last year’s retirement of long-time theatre head, Bob McAllister.  (more…)

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Heery International, the Atlanta-based consulting firm that has managed the City’s design and public relations efforts for Winslow Way improvements, has withdrawn its $1.4 million proposal for the second phase of its services. By letter dated May 16, local Heery representatives notified Planning Deputy Director Chris Wierzbicki that, “because of delays in agreeing to a scope of services for the next phase of the contract, the described scope of services cannot be completed within the agreed-to time frame and must therefore be withdrawn.” (more…)

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Maybe it’s the brush of spring after that long winter. Or the hours needed to follow the meetings and maneuverings at City Hall, with no return save the hope that I might play a quiet note in the community fugue. 

Certainly it’s the sobering news of troubles and tragedies of much greater proportion than island controversies, from China and Myanmar to my very sick friend in Port Townsend.

Whatever the reasons, I hit the wall on Bainbridge Island politics this week. No matter. The budget, the projects, the battles will all be there next week. And the week after. (more…)

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The Court of Appeals, Division II, issued an opinion today upholding a trial court’s refusal to force the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to take action against Eagle Harbor liveaboards. The decision is another blow to the efforts of Bainbridge Citizens United (BCU) and its director, Gary Tripp, to rid Eagle Harbor of boats which, they argue, are trespassing on public lands. DNR has been working with officials on Bainbridge Island on a harbor management plan, and has not taken action to evict boats in Eagle Harbor, in spite of BCU’s claims that DNR is required to do so under state law.

BCU and Tripp brought a lawsuit in Kitsap Superior Court after DNR took a formal position that it’s allowed by applicable state law to work with the liveaboards as it sees fit. BCU/Tripp asked the trial court to require DNR to evict the liveaboards. The trial court denied BCU/Tripp’s request, granted summary judgment in favor of DNR and left DNR free to work with harbor issues in its discretion.    (more…)

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If you missed last week’s Town Hall meeting, Dave Henry of the Bainbridge Island Community Network has posted the audio on his website here. He also assisted with the video, which will be released at a later date, according to an email he sent out this morning.

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The Kitsap Sun has posted an article about the allegations of police misconduct against Officer Steve Cain by Kim Koenig. The article is based on a review of Puyallup Police Department records of its investigation of  the criminal complaint Koenig lodged against Cain following a traffic stop last September. The City of Puyallup recently released those records to the Sun. Read the Sun article here. (more…)

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