May 4, 2018
Interim City Administrator
Tony Piasecki began as Interim City Administrator on April 16th. He has hit the ground running at City Hall and has assisted me with several issues involving large matters, benefiting from his expertise. Tony has over 30 years of public service experience and over 15 years of experience as a City Manager with the City of Des Moines and Burien, WA. Together, Tony and I are working very well together and I know the staff are very appreciative of the knowledge he brings. He is helping me address the needs of staff and council and will help complete projects to the benefit of our citizens. We continue to work with a recruitment company for the search for a permanent City Administrator. They will be conducting first round interviews over the next month.
New Hires at City Hall
We have worked hard to complete necessary positions to satisfy our growing needs. We have added a person for our Human Resources department which continues to be a very busy. On May 14th we will have a new Assistant Clerk, Josh Stecker. Josh is coming from Port Townsend where he is a Deputy Clerk presently. He has a tremendous amount of experience and we are looking forward to his arrival.
In the past 30 days, we have hired several seasonal workers in Public Works, and we have hired two full time regular Public Works employees. We have completed our court staff needs to 3.5 FTEs from 2 but continue to search for a regular part-time court clerk. Our Tourism & Communications Department hired their administrative assistant, a part-time regular position. Also, we have an open position for a new police officer and are recruiting for that. As part of our recruitment, Human Resources hosted an employment fair at City Hall, with many other Gig Harbor businesses. We hope to make this fair an annual event.
For the last two plus months, we have held public meetings, council meetings, and advisory meetings on the residential moratorium and changes we want to make to our codes. We have heard from many of our citizens and we are listening to what you say. It is loud and clear. The council, staff and citizens advisory committee have been reviewing the zoning code to examine how to better manage growth, focusing on multi-family residential. We have broken our efforts into three groups of issues. The first group is mostly related to residential density. We plan on having these code changes adopted in late May. The second group, related mostly to location of density, will be considered by the middle of July. The third group of larger impact issues will be worked on over the next 3 to 6 months. At the May 14th City Council Meeting, we will consider two technical amendments to the moratorium ordinance and conduct a public hearing on the ordinance that address the first group of issues.
At the May 14th City Council Meeting we will decide on the purchase of the property. At this meeting we will be presenting a power point show casing the urban forest, the house, the land surrounding it and what the city will be getting from this sale. The appraisal for the Haub Property, the triangle property, has come back good. The arborist report showed a healthy forest.
It is fortunate that we can purchase this property, the property that is part of the gateway to our downtown. We will have the ability to provide open space in the heart of our community. This is a beautiful piece of property that will be a gem near the waterfront for years to come.
Our plan continues to be keeping the forest property as raw land as it is written in the land sale purchase. 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.
We have received a lot of public input on the sports complex design. We are currently working through finalizing the design. We have made some improvements to the roads and layout of the fields. This design should be finalized by the end of May.
FISH Food Bank Property
Pierce Transit is proposing transferring two parcels of land along the west side of SR-16 to the City of Gig Harbor for a new FISH Food Bank and Community Services facility. The environmental report has come back good. We are proceeding forward to help them with the transfer. Right now, we are waiting for Pierce Transit to sign over the land and then council will look forward to approving it.