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A Note From Your Mayor

Mar 09

March 9, 2018 Mayor Kuhn Has Posted to His Blog

Posted on March 9, 2018 at 12:06 PM by Shawna Wise

We’ve been busy trying to satisfy the needs of our community.

1. Our local food bank, FISH, has been looking for another location for their facility.  There was government land on Hunt St, to the east of TCC, that was waiting to be signed over to Pierce Transit.  Pierce Transit was willing to sign it over to the City once they owned it, but it had been stuck in the government process for over a year.  I met with Derek Kilmer and he was able to push it through just recently. In April, Pierce Transit’s Board will hopefully sign it over the City and then it will come before our City Council for adoption.  Once we own the land, we hope to partner with FISH and lease the site to them for a nominal fee.  FISH hopes to raise the funds for the future building. We are looking forward to this partnership with FISH.     

2. In 2017 the City purchased 11.4 acres north of YMCA for $3.5M, to be paid over 3 years, with the stipulation that it had to be developed as a park.  This property, in addition to other City-owned property adjacent to the YMCA, is part of a developing master sports complex plan. We have received $206,000 of state funding and this project remains one of the City’s top legislative priorities.  On March 6th, the City held a public meeting to hear the community’s desire for the park.   Lit turf fields received the most public interest and this vision will be included in the design concept.  This concept / master plan will be shared at future community meetings and we will continue to solicit public input.   The YMCA has expressed their desire to partner with the City for the development of the park and we are interested in hearing from all community groups for ways in which we can work together. This project will be done in phases.

3. Several months ago, I reached out to the Haub family, owners of the triangle property across from the Tides Tavern.   I explained to them how important it was to our citizens and the community to keep the entrance to the Gig Harbor bay a natural preserve.  They also saw the importance of this and were willing to discount the land for the City to move forward on a purchase, upon Council approval, to secure this crown gem for present and future generations. After two months of negotiations and positive conversations, I presented the purchase and sale agreement to Council.  Council voted in favor of the agreement at a public meeting on March 6th.  I feel the Haub’s will soon accept and sign the agreement.  The contract, which the Haub’s have seen, allows us to put only 25% down, $625,000, and pay the remainder over three years at low interest, the federal applicable rate by law.

This purchase is by no means completed.  There are stipulations that require public input, appraisal, environmental phase 1 studies, arborist reports, and due diligence.  This work will be done within the next 60 days with a hopeful close on this beautiful piece of land on May 31st.  It is also stipulated in the contract that we keep this as a nature preserve and not sell to a developer for profit. Our plan is not do to any capital improvements on this property for quite some time. We hope the citizens come to council and voice their support because we need you, our citizens, to show the council how supportive you are.  

By making this purchase we are not neglecting our other obligations. We are still here to solve the Public Works shop needs.  They have been patient and we must show them we are sensitive to their needs.  Also, our community is in dire need of lit fields and other outdoor amenities.  We are working hard to make this a reality so the community can have year-round sports.  There are many other needs within our community and we also need to be mindful of our finances.   The Council and City will be working hard to see where we can trim our budget to continue to help our community.

I look forward to updating you again soon.  Ask your friends to join my blog!

Feb 14

Mayor's Update February 14, 2018

Posted on February 14, 2018 at 5:36 PM by Shawna Wise

February 14, 2018

On February 12, 2018, the City Council passed Ordinance 1383 declaring an immediate six-month moratorium on the acceptance of certain residential development applications.  At a January 31st council worksession, many councilmembers expressed the need for a moratorium.  It started with several councilmembers wanting a complete moratorium.  As Mayor, I tried to pinpoint where their concerns were so there would not be broad repercussions.  As a result, the moratorium was narrowed down to only include residential development. This exempted the following:

- Permits for one single-family home on an existing recorded lot

- Permits for  repair, restoration, refurbishment, replacement and remodels of existing residential dwellings

- Permits for additions to single-family homes 

- Permits for accessory uses and structures

- Boundary line adjustments

It also excludes vested homes and projects that already have a complete application filed. Presently, there are 1200 homes that can be built under this category.

We were the fastest growing city in Pierce County in 2017.  There is a need for responsible growth. I have tried to guide the council forward to make decisions.  As Mayor, I do not even vote unless there is a tie.  Council passed this ordinance 6-1. 

Our city prides itself on transparency.  A moratorium is used under emergency measures and is not something that is widely publicized prior to enacting.

By law, we have to allow public comment within 60 days of the moratorium.  We are not going to wait that long to hear the citizens voice.  At the March 26, 2018 City Council meeting, there will be a public hearing on the ordinance and we will take public testimony.  I encourage anyone who wishes to speak on this topic to attend the meeting so that Councilmembers can listen to your views. After the public hearing, the Council may continue, modify, or repeal the moratorium. If continued, a work plan will also be adopted.

As Mayor of Gig Harbor, I feel I represent not only the 10,000 citizens that live in our city limits, but the other 55,000 that surround our city and call Gig Harbor home.  They all work here, shop here, play here.  

My goals as Mayor are:

1. Transparent Government and respect for citizens.  Provide accurate communication to and from our citizens.

2.  Preserve the Character and culture of our Maritime city and strengthen our downtown business district. 

3.  Protect Our Environment. Protecting our beautiful bay, natural evergreens, and spectacular mountain views.

4.  Responsible Growth.  Have infrastructure concurrent to development to create a vibrant city while maintaining our small-town feel.

Mayor Kit Kuhn

Feb 02

Mayor Kuhn's "Coffee with Kit" February 6th 7am-8am

Posted on February 2, 2018 at 4:32 PM by Shawna Wise

Join Mayor Kuhn on Tuesday, February 6th for "Coffee with Kit". Stop in between
7:00am – 8:00am and share your thoughts or ask questions.

MarKee Coffee Shop, 5275 Olympic Dr.

Coffee with Kit is scheduled for the first Tuesday of every month!