GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 7th!
REBA HARRIS ZACH ELLIS
School Board Candidates -
all made it through the Primary
and advance to the General Election!
Terri Schumacher, Director 4
Natasha Minger, Director 2
Stacy Mills, Director 5
WHO ARE WE?
The City of Poulsbo and partners are sponsoring a Community Book Reading, culminating in a discussion and celebration event set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 21 at City Hall. The book selected for the community reading is “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” by Isabel Wilkerson. The book is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a New York Times Bestseller. Wilkerson is also the author of the award-winning novel, “The Warmth of Other Suns.” PLEASE JOIN US in this inaugural event!
NOTE regarding City Council Meetings: At the mayor's urging, Poulsbo City Council has replaced ALL committee meetings with a "special meeting" for city business that immediately follow each regular council meeting (the first 3 Wednesdays of the month). Meetings are open to the public and also available via BKAT cable tv channel 112 and livestreaming via the link on the city website
"COMMENTS FROM CITIZENS can be made in-person or virtually via Zoom. Please state your name and limit comments to 3 minutes unless additional time is granted
by Council. As a rule, the Council will not respond to citizen comments." -City of Poulsbo
**1/22/23 Poulsbo for All's Opinion in Kitsap Sun (2,000+ reads), "What Foster’s departure says about city’s culture" - click here
Kitsap Sun reports on departure of city prosecutor Alexis Foster following police officer ethics breach - click here
Poulsbo is full of caring, forward-thinking people of all ages, backgrounds, and dreams. Poulsbo for All Is a forum for information about local government and community concerns. See our monthly BLOG for more details and important links! Check out Poulsbo for All on Facebook. Join us in attending city council meetings - become a participant in civic life!
Racism, bullying, and threats of violence in NKSD schools
Climate crisis (wildfires, smoke, extreme heat and weather events )
Accessible, secular healthcare for all
Balancing Poulsbo's historic identity with a changing population
Extremism and hate groups in Kitsap
Relations with neighboring Suquamish and Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribes
Improving two-way communication between City Hall and residents
NEWS ON UPCOMING & RECENT COUNCIL MEETINGS:
Poulsbo Pride, a group formed in June to support activities of Poulsbo's LGBTQAI+ community and their allies, had a booth at Bainbridge Island's Pride festival - congratulations! More info on Poulsbo Pride *here*.
During May and June the City received several messages from Poulsbo area residents regarding Pride in Poulsbo. Most who objected cited "religious grounds" and fears related to LGBTQI people. There were also positive emails and city officials stood firm in their support for the LGBTQI community. In fact, after 29 (of 32) Pride flags were vandalized, two large Pride flags were raised in front of Poulsbo City Hall. We thank city officials for their rejection of homo- and transphobia and their commitment to equality.
June 1st: Pride flags were raised along Front Street for the month of June by city workers! PfA members also distributed copies of the latest edtion of The Wave (see our June BLOG) to Front Street businesses that morning. The reception was overwhelmingly positive, with requests for more flags, more events, and more celebration!
May - Led by Councilor Britt Livdahl, Council votes to display PRIDE flags along Front Street during Pride month! A handful of Poulsbo residents turned up at a council meeting to object, but a majority of councilors voted to raise the flags - thank you!
May - Urgent comments made by local residents to council regarding serious ongoing issues with racism, bullying, threats of violence, child suicides and suicide attempts in NKSD, and the lack of meaningful response from school officials, including board members and Superintendent Evans. Note: NKSD board liaison to Poulsbo City Council Rick Eckert has never mentioned these issues to council during his weekly reports - why?!
April - watch video recordings of the City's discussion on feasibility plans for the PERC (Poulsbo Events and Recreation Center). Should the city and county spend $12 million for two soccer fields near Walmart when city many streets won't be repaired for up to 10 years from now because of budget constraints? What about affordable housing? And senior services and amenities when (according to the city Planning Dept.) 40% of Poulsbo's population will be over the age of 60 within 8 years?
March 8: Mayor Erickson presents the "State of the City" at the council meeting, 5pm
February and March 1st meetings discussed a "community read event" (2/1/23, Councilor McVey) on racism and social justice; subsidized and affordable housing; 10% of Poulsbo residents live in poverty (Census report); St. Michel Medical Center may fund the Fire CARES program (rather than city funds); Parking Commission formation (Councilors Stern, Livdahl, McVey, and chaired by Ray Stevens); Mayor: "Full steam ahead for PERC" (original plan revised from $30m rec and events center to two soccer fields for $12m and annual maintenance fees of $600k0; property crime; new fireworks policy; ARPA funds update; Housing, Health, & Human Services update on new programs, including telephone support for seniors; unanimous vote, including local tribes, to sign onto a RAISE Grant application that would study connecting Poulsbo to the STO - Sound to Olympics trail
January meeting topics include new development on Viking Way, emergency preparedness (Poulsbo passes in one of 17 areas), and more
November 9, 2022, 5pm, Council Meeting Agenda includes "Council Goals Continued Discussion", 2023-24 City Budget, and property tax levy.
November 2, 2022, 5pm, Poulsbo Council Meeting topics will include:
* Raab Park upgrade for all abilities and wheelchair friendly access,
* Nordic Cottage Project Update (low income senior housing),
* Extension of ARPA funds (federal COVID money) for free behavioral health counseling at Fishline in 2023,
* ILA SWAT Agreement with KCSO and WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife (This interlocal agreement is between Kitsap County, City of Poulsbo and the WA State Department of Fish and Wildlife for the formal establishment of a regional SWAT Team. “This is a multi-jurisdictional approach to expand the capabilities of each agency and provide for sharing of personnel, equipment, knowledge and resources in high-risk critical incidents.”
JOIN THE MEETING ZOOM at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81490564178
October, '22: Poulsbo for All members continue communications with the mayor and council regarding DEI measures in city government and the healthcare crisis at St. Michael's Medical Center Emergency Room and issues of safety and staffing throughout the medical center. In a recent Kitsap Health Board meeting Director Dr. Gib Morrow revealed that Kitsap County has only 50% of the healthcare resources (including hospitals, clinics, and practioners) necessary to serve the current population of our county. While the Growth Management Act mandates policies for critical resources like land use, utilities, transportation, environment, and recreation, healthcare is NOT addressed!
September, '22: The Mayor and Council moved to replace individual committees that previously met each month in focused sessions with single, combined sessions that precede monthly council meetings (first three Wednesdays). This format will continue through December and then be evaluated to determine if it should be continued permanently or return to the previous fashion.
August, 2022: Council is moving to condemn the former Public Works site on Iverson St. before giving it (at no cost) to Poulsbo Farmers Market & Coffee Oasis. Citing Fishline's financial assets Mayor Erickson declined their request for $25,000 to help pay the salary of a counselor, yet recent Coffee Oasis IRS filings indicate roughly $3.5 million in assets (more than Fishline).
6/29/22: Joint Meeting of Poulsbo City Council and Suquamish Tribal Council video link here.
5/18/22: the agenda for tonight's meeting includes discussion of giving (no charge) 3.5 acres of prime public property (the current Poulsbo Public Works site) to Coffee Oasis and Poulsbo Farmer's Market. See our June blog for PFA's questions and recommendations regarding this public property.
Mayor Erickson is pushing the Council to approve the conversion of an existing "green" roof (to filter storm water) at City Hall into a PATIO (video clip), primarily for use by City employees. Estimates to replace the functioning roof are $250,000 or more. Aren't there more urgent infrastructure and human service needs? What about solarizing the roof to power City Hall?
Councilmember Britt Livdahl attended the G.A.R.E. (Government Alliance on Race and Equity - see our EQUITY page) annual membership meeting in Portland in April. See her brief comments about the conference to the City Council here and PfA's remarks here.
While attending the Halloween "Ghosts in the Graveyard" community event at the Poulsbo Cemetery, Councilman Ed Stern was shocked to discover how much clear-cutting has been done by housing developers. They left no green buffer, but extended their development right up to the edge of the cemetery. No privacy between new homes and gravesites.
The Housing Action Plan Workshop report to the Council (November 10, 2021) gave an overview of current city demographics, existing housing stock, housing costs, and strategies for the future:
- Poulsbo rents are the highest in Kitsap County;
- During 2018 to 2019, rent increased 48% while income increased only 29%;
- 90% of Poulsbo workers do not live in Poulsbo, largely due to
- 60% of Poulsbo jobs are low wage (less than $3,300/month);
- 34% of renters and 29% of home owners are “cost burdened” (spend over
30% of monthly income on housing;
- 28% of Poulsbo residents are over the age of 60 and another 11% will reach
60 within the next 10 years;
- Current construction is ahead of city goals and the houses being built are
NOT affordable for those most in need of housing.
What do you think about Poulsbo's future? Can you give an hour or two each month to help ensure our city is affordable, accessible, and welcoming for all? The good news is that we have more impact working together, at the local level, and at this scale!
In the meantime, visit the City's website and watch a recording of a Council meeting to get a feel for how things move (or not). And always feel free to send your thoughts to the Mayor, City Council, and local media. Links are also on the Blog and Recommendations pages.