Day to Everyone,
is here, and daylight savings time is this coming weekend. Which means more
daylight in the morning and evening, which I am sure we all have been looking
able to get away a bit last month to New Zealand and am thrilled at the way Bob
Larson, our City Administrator, ran the City in my absence. We are very
fortunate to have Bob, and now I have a bit more time to focus on projects
while he helps run the day to day operations.
I want to share some highlights and updates from our last couple of council
meetings. In February, Council authorized an amendment to the City budget to
allow $700,000 to build a float off of Jerkovich Pier at our new Ancich
Waterfront Park. This money, combined with a $500,000 contribution from the Gig
Harbor Canoe & Kayak Race Team, will allow us to build a new float system
for launching canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. City staff are working with the
race team to come to an agreement on the rest of the funding before the end of
March. If Council passes the finance mechanism and everything falls into place,
we may be able to complete construction this year. There are still a lot of
questions, work to be done, and dollars to be allocated for this to happen.
Parks Division continues to be exceedingly busy with park development,
planning, feasibility studies. Recently, we have been working with students at
Discovery Elementary School as we consider new playground equipment for 5 – to
project was funded by the City Council in the 2020 Budget to achieve goals set
in the 2007 Master Plan for Veterans Memorial Park. The students met at the
park for a field trip with the family of Kenneth Leo Marvin whom the park is
dedicated to, Parks Commissioners, a councilmember, and city staff to discuss
and learn the various considerations that need to be taken into account when
preparing for the development of a park property. The students were eager to be
involved, and their teachers were exceptional partners in this
community-building endeavor. You can read (and watch) more about that
effort here. Thanks to Nicole, our Parks Manager, and
the Park Commission for making this happen.
like to recognize Terry Lee for his financial contribution towards finishing
the Cushman Trail Emergency Locator Signage project that will expand upon the
recently installed posts to a frequency of every 1/8 of a mile. This increase
in frequency meets safety goals as identified by the community and industry
standards. I would also like to recognize PenMet Parks for their partnership,
both in funding and generally, on this effort to ensure consistency across the
entire length of the Cushman Trail. We can achieve great things with our community
and our community partners – safety on the Cushman Trail is an important City
goal, and we are pleased to provide this amenity on our popular regional trail.
mark your calendar for Parks Appreciation Day Saturday, April 25, from 9 am to
noon. The event is scheduled in conjunction with our area partners and will be
held for interested volunteers who can sign up for the park they are interested
in here. We are focusing on five city-owned parks; Veterans
Memorial Park, City Park at Crescent Creek, Wilkinson Farm Park, Grandview
Forest Park, and Soundview Forest. We look
forward to working alongside our park-minded community members as we pull
weeds, spread bark, and bark dust, and show our park properties some love! The
City’s Parks Commission and staff are working to organize a fantastic event.
Help value our parks by joining us.
month, Council reversed a previous decision they had made requiring union
negotiations to be held open to the public. Council’s new resolution
acknowledges that sometimes discussions with unions can be sensitive, and
holding negotiations in private can help both sides communicate more openly.
Prior to reversing their decision, Gig Harbor was the only City in Washington that
required union negotiations to be open to the public.
are coming to the foodservice ware ordinance that went into effect last fall.
The biggest change is that now all pre-packaged items can be sold, regardless
of what materials they are made from. I am pleased with this change by Council
as I felt it had put regulations for the groceries without really understanding
the implications for them as to compete and sell products. This allowance is
good for five years, after which all pre-packaged items that are non-recyclable
plastic will be illegal.
year, the Public Works Committee directed staff to start work on a new
above-ground lift station on Ryan Street. After presenting initial renderings,
the City heard concerns from a number of residents. As a result, Council has
instructed staff to prepare three new options to present for Council to review.
An open house will be scheduled in the future to show residents what the
has decided to hold regular informal study sessions twice a month on the
Thursday immediately following a Council meeting. These study sessions will be
open to the public but will not allow for public comment. They are a chance for
Council to take a deeper look at more complicated issues. These study sessions
will replace the council committees - Public Works, Planning & Building,
Intergovernmental Affairs, and Finance & Safety Committees. Council will
try this system for six months and then see if they want to keep it
to welcome Laura Pettitt, our new Tourism & Communications Director. Laura
has over 17 years of experience working in communications, marketing, public
relations, graphic design, and travel. Most recently, she was the
Communications Manager at the Washington Public Ports Association. Mimi Jansen,
who did a great job filling in as the Interim Tourism & Communications
Director, is moving on from the City, and we thank her for all her hard work.
department is also working hard, recruiting a new City Attorney, and bringing
on a new Information Services Manager this month.
concerned about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is on a lot of people’s minds.
We are working with the State and County and monitoring what they are telling
us and the public. We are taking this seriously and will continue to provide
the highest level of safety and emergency during the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Please see the City’s website for our precautionary statement and links to
every one of you a joyful weekend.