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A Note From Your Mayor


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.

Cheers,
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!

Jan 24

Mayor's Update January 24, 2018

Posted on January 24, 2018 at 1:22 PM by Shawna Wise

 

January 24, 2018

Welcome everyone. The last time I reported about the city was January 2nd, my first official day in office. We presented you with a Vision and Mission statement which had been lacking for over 8 years.

Moving forward 3 weeks, we have been busy! Two council meetings behind us, 4 new Councilmembers and a staff that feels settled with a clear direction moving forward. I am proud of our over 100 employees that work diligently every day to provide services, many of which we take for granted. I have a better respect for them looking from the inside. We are all blessed to call Gig Harbor home.

I want to hear from you.  Coffee with Kit is scheduled for the first Tuesday of every month at MarKee, 5275 Olympic Dr.  Stop in between 7:00am – 8:00am and share your thoughts or ask questions.  MarKee has hot beverages and treats for purchase. February 6th is my first Coffee with Kit.

So, what am I working on?

1)  I let our City Administrator go my first day in office. By February 12th we should have decided on the national recruitment company to find the proven person we are looking for. We are only going to accept the best, we deserve it. I will keep you updated on this.

2)  Sports Complex:  We need more sports fields. We have recently acquired property near the YMCA in Gig Harbor north, thanks to past council members. We also own several parcels adjacent to this. We are in the process of reaching out to our citizens and partners for input as we develop a sports complex that could satisfy our youth with fields that have been needed for decades. The YMCA is very interested in helping us to make this happen and has stepped forward to show a strong interest. We hope to get our citizens involved to make sure their wishes are heard. We envision a fantastic sports complex with lit and turfed fields for our winter weather. We also have a rare chance of providing a forest within one of the adjacent areas where we can provide beautiful wooded trails and a balance for everyone to enjoy. But our goal is to let you, our citizens, weigh in on this plan. We need your feedback by the end of March so watch for our outreach in the near future on our city’s website, social media, partnering sites, publications, and flyers. 

3)  Ancich Waterfront Park: As you know, it is moving along. I did make one change that has been well received and that is to have grass pavers in the lower area. Solid pavers will still be used in front of the boat storage for 8 feet but then grass pavers will be used, providing many positive elements: environmentally friendly and storm water dissipation, beauty versus solid pavement, and less global warming and heat in the summer.  I hope the public agrees with this small change and I look forward to your input at our upcoming council meeting.  Sign up to receive notifications of project updates through Notify Me at  http://www.cityofgigharbor.net/list.aspx

4)  Post Office:  We recently met with the United States Postal Service (USPS) Real Estate Specialist and will be helping to identify possible locations to address their needs. We will keep you updated as we try to come up with the best solution for our citizens while working with the needs of the post office.  Their lease in the current downtown location has been extended until 2021.
5)  FISH - Our Local Food Bank:  For over a year our city has been trying to provide a better location for FISH to service those in need.  We have reached out to Representative Kilmer to assist with transferring land to the City that is owned by Pierce Transit.  This land, near Hunt Street, would be an excellent location for the FISH Food Bank building. More updates to come.

I enjoy working with our citizens, partners, and businesses.  Together we will work hard to build our city responsibly while maintaining our character and culture.

Cheers
Mayor Kit Kuhn