Archive for January, 2012

Yesterday a “Transition Addendum to Employment Agreement” was posted to the City Council’s next meeting agenda. With it, the word is out: City Manager Brenda Bauer’s time with the City of Bainbridge Island is indeed coming to a close. Although the Addendum isn’t effective until the Council votes on Wednesday night, it signals that the Council, which has been meeting in extended, closed Executive sessions over the past several weeks, has reached an agreement with Bauer on the terms of her departure from the City.

The skulking, anonymous Mrs. Johnson of threatening-email fame was correct back in the beginning of January when she sneered that Bauer’s “employment is coming to a close.” She was also right when she wrote “you do have a choice on how you leave.” But Bauer’s choices have turned out to be much better than Mrs. Johnson’s resign-now-or-you’ll-be-sorry taunt.

In fact, judging by the generous terms of Bauer’s leave-taking, she might have had a taunt or two of her own (I’m guessing it was along the lines of “until you find a new manager, you need me more than I need you.”) Under Bauer’s original Employment Agreement, she was entitled to six months’ severance if she was fired without cause (which is narrowly defined in the contract). If she quit, she got nothing. Hence, Mrs. Johnson’s effort to entice her to resign. (more…)

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Submitted by Bruce Weiland, bpweiland@comcast.net

The Citizens Park Task Force is an informal group of community volunteers who have come together for a single purpose — to convert the ugly vacant lot on the corner of Highway 305 and Winslow Way into an attractive and welcoming gateway to Bainbridge Island.  Our vision is to make this former Unocal gas station site into a source of pride for our entire community.

In connection with this campaign, we are committed to four key principals:

(A) No public funds will be spent to create this park;

(B) Every step of the project will be subject to the approval of the City and Kitsap Transit (the current owners of the parcel), and the Parks and Recreation District (the future managers of the park);

(C) the design of the park will integrate broad public input and ideas; and

(D) the park will be environmentally safe and responsible. (more…)

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By RACHEL LA CORTE, Associated Press – 25 minutes ago

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — As lawmakers held their first public hearing on gay marriage, a Democratic senator on Monday announced her support for the measure, all but ensuring that Washington will become the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The announcement by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, that she would cast the 25th and deciding vote in favor of the issue came has hundreds of people filled the Capitol to advocate for and against gay marriage.

“I know this announcement makes me the so-called 25th vote, the vote that ensures passage,” Haugen said in a statement. She said she took her time making up her mind to “to reconcile my religious beliefs with my beliefs as an American, as a legislator, and as a wife and mother who cannot deny to others the joys and benefits I enjoy. This is the right vote and it is the vote I will cast when this measure comes to the floor.”

The state House is widely expected to have enough support to pass gay marriage, and Gov. Chris Gregoire publicly endorsed the proposal earlier this month. However opponents have already said they would challenge any new law with a public referendum.

Read the entire article here.

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This post has been updated as of 1/11. See italics below.

Yesterday Council member Dave Ward and incoming Mayor Debbi Lester delivered a document to City Hall, signed by both of them, directing that an item be added to the agenda in Executive Session at Wednesday’s Council meeting: “Review Employee Performance.” The closed session is scheduled to last 2 hours at the conclusion of the meeting (at approximately 7:50 p.m.), and already included two other matters, “Current and potential litigation” and “Collective bargaining negotiations.”

Under the Council/Manager form of government, the only employee whose performance may be reviewed by the Council is the City Manager.

The Ward-Lester action occurred less than 24 hours after the Council retreat on Sunday where the new Council committed to conducting themselves under the collaborative and transparent principles of the Governance Manual.

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“Time is not your friend.”

So wrote the pseudonymous “Mrs. Johnson” in an email to Bainbridge City Manager Brenda Bauer yesterday, telling her that she can resign from her City position in exchange for assistance finding a new position, or wait to be fired and “not have our our support.” Claiming that Bauer’s time with the City is “coming to a close”, Mrs. J told her she has no choice on whether to leave her City employment, but still has time to choose the terms—voluntarily or involuntarily.

The emailer, who writes as if s/he is in-the-know with a majority of Council and can offer assurance as to the actions the City will take, is apparently hoping the City can avoid the terms of Bauer’s employment contract. That contract requires the City to pay severance of six months’ salary if she is fired without cause (“cause” is defined by the contract). If she could be induced to resign, she would get nothing.  (more…)

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