Holiday Greetings friends and citizens of Gig Harbor!
Much is happening around the City:
- On December 10th, Building Official Paul Rice officially awarded the City a Certificate of Occupancy for the Civic Center building. City staff have been diligently working toward completing every item and task up to the highest standard. With the planting of a the last few trees, the Civic Center is now officially complete.
- In my last blog post, I wrote about my decision to veto Council’s initial adoption of Ordinance 1401 raising the transportation impact fees. Council discussed the fees and projects further at their December 10th meeting and adopted my recommended removal of two projects (#10 the Hunt Street Crossing project and #12 the roundabout that might be considered associated with #10). The new TIF rate of $5,071.44 is much more equitable and allows the City to move forward with the planning for many needed transportation projects.
- We have received many great name suggestions for the new forest park on Soundview and Harborview. The Parks Commission will be reviewing the suggestions and making recommendation to Council in the near future. We’re also looking at adding exciting new features to the park like benches and even a gazebo.
- We are excited to announce that Katrina Knutson has been hired to fill the Community Development Director position. Katrina has spent the past three years as the City’s Parks Manager and has recently been serving as the interim Planning Director since Jennifer Kester left the City. It has been my vision even before I was elected to combine the building and planning departments under one director. I have studied cities that have Community Development Directors and our city also had done this for over six years at one time. After I took office I spent time observing and studying the departments. That convinced me it was the best decision to go this direction and that I should move forward with my plan. One of the most important aspects of my vision was to find the right person. After a thorough search and extensive studying of the candidates there was a clear choice that Katrina Knutson is that person.
- The City is also working through the process of filling the City Engineer and Human Resource Assistant positions.
- I am happy to say that the City Council and myself supported having the Nativity scene back at Skansie Park under the tree. It had been a part of our traditional holiday display with other secular items for over 12 years.
- At our last Council meeting we did pass a motion to deed land to our local food bank FISH. This had taken several years of work. I wish to thank Pierce Transit, Derek Kilmer, Council, our Public Works Staff and FISH for helping to make this possible. There were many challenges that had to be overcome for this to be a reality for FISH to build a new food bank building to serve our community.
- The monthly Coffee with Kit meetup has been cancelled for January. The next session will be on Tuesday, February 5th, at 7:00 a.m. at the Kimball Coffeehouse.
I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season.