Happy 2019 Gig Harbor! We’ve been busy, starting the year off with several recruitments and two Council meetings! Councilmember Jim Franich was appointed by Council to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. I look forward to having Jim work with me to be able to fill in when I’m not available and keep the City on course.
The City Council has awarded a contract to Gary Jackson to fabricate and install stainless steel and bronze artwork to be mounted around the new Ancich Waterfronk Park boat storage facility. Construction of the Ancich Waterfronk Park boat storage facility is nearing completion, with landscaping work underway. We amended the design to allow for grasscrete pavers on the lower section instead of solid concrete pavers. This will be much more aesthetically pleasing as well as environmentally friendly. We will also be working to ensure that the Ancich Pier is driveable for vehicles up to 10,000 lbs.
Council has approved two ordinances that will restrict that use of disposable plastics by businesses in the City. Beginning in June of this year, businesses will no longer be able to provide single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. Businesses can provide re-usable plastic bags or 40% post-consumer recycled paper bags. In November of this year, restrictions will go into effect on businesses for providing plastic straws, cutlery, and other disposable plastic items.
The City passed legislation last month that provides for the design and location of small cell wireless facilities. This is the new 5G small cell that’s being mandated by the federal government. Council was not pleased that the federal government is forcing this issue on us. This is to help with low-lying areas that have poor reception. These units would be mounted on street lights and water towers. The new rules have been passed on an interim basis and Council will be discussing their options for permanent rules in the weeks to come. Without passing this legislation, the carriers would have the ability to put small wireless cells wherever they wanted.
Council unanimously approved a Resolution supporting the School District Bond that will be on the February 12th ballot. This bond would raise $198,550,000 to build two new schools and rebuild two existing schools that are badly needed.
At our January 28th Council Meeting, we congratulated the Gig Harbor High School Women’s Soccer team for their accomplishment of winning the State Championship!
The City will soon begin work on planning Phase 5 of the Cushman Trail which will extend the northward from Borgen Blvd. to the Purdy urban growth area. PND Engineers will conduct the study for the City on a professional services agreement. The City received a $200,000 federal grant for this study.
On February 6th, there is a Parks Commission meeting where they will be looking at the names that have been suggested for our new park at Soundview and Harborview. We will also be working on a site plan, deciding where to put a donated park bench and a potential gazebo. As time permits, the gazebo will be purchased with pledges from the community. The park is dog-friendly, with many walking trails and a picnic bench.
Angela Summerfield, our designated City Attorney from the firm Ogden Murphy Wallace, joined us for her last City Council meeting on January 28th. Angela has been a great help and a reliable advisor for the City for over 10 years. Ogden Murphy Wallace has several other good attorneys that will be working with us, but Angela will be greatly missed.
Please help us congratulate some promotions and new members to our City! Police Sergeant, Michael Cabacungan was promoted after serving as an officer with the Police Department for 14 years. Ryan Erwin was also sworn in as the newest officer on the police force. Trent Ward who has been promoted to fill the position of City Engineer and brings a lot of knowledge and experience to the job and his familiarity with the City will be a great benefit to us. We are happy to have Melissa Hartwig join our HR Department as an HR Assistant, after formerly working in our Community Development Department as a Planning and Building Clerk. A huge welcome to Madeline Kinney, laborer to our Public Works Operations team!
We have several positions that will be getting posted soon. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please have them visit our HR page or go directly to www.govjobstoday.com to see what is available. We are currently looking for a Parks Manager, GIS Coordinator, Part-time Court Clerk, Senior Planner, among other positions that will soon be posted. We are also awaiting council approval to post an in-house attorney.
Our Human Resources team is working on evaluating all of the city’s personnel policies to make our staff more efficient and empowered to do their jobs well. Council has adopted new policies related to personnel overnight travel, social media posts, and employee conduct.
Our final 2019 Budget will be online and available on Wednesday, February 6th. Council will hold a retreat on March 2nd to work on upcoming goals and tasks to move our City forward in 2019.
Staff and I look forward to continuing to serve our great community in positive ways in 2019!