Blogging for All!
Updated: Jan 21, 2022
WELCOME TO PoulsboForAll!
What is PoulsboForAll?
Progressive action and active voices
Pam Keeley’s write-in campaign for Poulsbo’s City Council in November 2021 revealed that many Poulsbo residents feel their city government is complacent and often unresponsive. Poulsbo has been a fairly quiet 20th-century sort of place. Some of its leaders have been in office a very long time: one Councilmember has served for 30 years, another for 20; Becky Erickson has been Mayor for twelve years and was on the Council for two years before that. While this commitment to public service is to be appreciated and admired, we wonder whether entrenched ways of thinking and doing things prevent Poulsbo from its ideal path into the present.
In the 21st century, Poulsbo faces big issues including explosive growth, climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, racism, and the disastrous police killing of a Native man, Stonechild Chiefstick, in 2019. How can we balance our respect for Poulsbo’s beauty, traditions, and Nordic heritage with the problems it needs to address with new resolve?
PoulsboForAll aims to serve not only as a community forum, but as a springboard for action. We intend to work with the City Council whenever possible and to spur elected leaders to action when needed. Crucially as well, we aim to prepare and nurture leaders for election.
PoulsboForAll fosters civic
* encouraging citizens to keep a
closer eye on City government,
* engaging in conversations about
problems and solutions, and
* preparing a new generation—not
only of volunteers, but individuals
willing to step up and run for
office in 2023.
Concerns of Voters:
runaway growth and building of homes
lack of “middle” housing—e.g., condominiums
lack of affordable housing for people on fixed/lower incomes
Environmental degradation and climate change
Traffic and sidewalks
Accessible health care for all
Diversity and racial equity
Extremism and local hate groups
Poulsbo’s relations with neighboring tribes
Better communication by City government
How can I get involved?
- Our first task is to increase vigilance on City government (the general Council and its committees) and its regular meetings.
- This requires VOLUNTEERS to “adopt” a city council committee and attend its meetings, take notes, and report back for discussion and possible action.
Why is this important? Two examples:
1. At a meeting in September, the Public Works Committee brought up a plan to build a rooftop patio, primarily for the use of City employees, on a second-story roof of City Hall. The existing, ecologically sound “green” roof, designed to absorb and filter rainwater, would be replaced by a hard patio—an environmental step backward. A feasibility study for this absurd plan would cost over $15,000, and then the patio would cost 250,000 or more of our tax dollars. A Councilmember commented that the optics of this proposal are not good, but the Mayor continues to press for it.
2. Especially in light of the police killing of Stonechild Chiefstick in 2019, the City Council has been urged to reinstate a general Citizens’ Advisory Committee, or form a Racial Equity Advisory Committee, and to hold professionally guided racial sensitivity training (as other Kitsap municipalities have done). In late 2021 the City joined G.A.R.E., a network of government jurisdictions working to achieve racial equity. Joining G.A.R.E. is a great first step, but the City needs to move ahead and utilize the tools and resources it provides. These plans arise periodically in the Housing, Health, and Human Services Committee, but continue to see no action. Would some citizen activism help break this inertia?
Each City committee does important business, and their meetings are public. Will you commit to attending the Zoom meetings of one committee —learning what its priorities are, seeing how it handles its charge, and alerting PoulsboforAll to important issues that arise? Team up with a friend! Learn how government works (or doesn’t), and help everyone get informed!
The Poulsbo City Council meets the first three Wednesdays of each month, at 7:00 PM.
Watch Council meetings on BKAT, cable tv channel 12, live at 7pm and rebroadcast Friday, 1am and Saturday, 3pm. Or to watch a live streaming meeting or the recording of a previous meeting, click here.
If you wish to provide a citizen’s comment or public hearing comments, you can attend the virtual meeting or submit written comments to the City Clerk to be read into the record at the meeting. Please send comments to the City Clerk at email@example.com or mail written comments to the City Clerk’s Office, 200 NE Moe Street, Poulsbo, WA 98370. Handwritten comments may be left at the drop box at 3rd & Moe Street. Comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting.
To view meeting agendas or sign up for email notifications of council meetings, click here.
Send an email to officials at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone the Mayor or a council member at (360) 779-3901, or visit the Mayor's "open office hours" every Saturday, 9am to 12pm, in person at the 2nd floor lobby of City Hall or by phone during Covid restrictions (360) 779-3901).
To watch recorded Poulsbo City Council COMMITTEE meetings, click here.
Capital Improvement Planning
The Capital Improvement Planning meets as needed as a committee of the full Council. The committee shall consider and make recommendations on the city’s capital improvement needs including strategic planning and finance/budget.
The Community Services Committee meets the 2nd Wednesday each month at 4:00 PM. The committee shall consider matters related to the library, parks and recreation, and other community services.
The Finance/Administration Committee meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 5:00 PM. The committee shall consider matters related to the office of the city clerk, the finance department, city audits, personnel issues, and salaries and wages.
Housing, Health & Human Services
The Housing, Health and Human Services Committee meets the 1st Wednesday of each month at 4:00pm. The Committee considers matters related to the health and well-being of Poulsbo residents, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. The Committee discusses City initiatives, programs and partnerships that address four community needs: (1) affordable and transitional housing, (2) low barrier behavioral health services (mental health, substance use disorders), (3) public health and equitable access to health services, and (4) services for individuals with low and limited income across age groups, with a focus on our youth and seniors.
Lodging Tax Advisory
The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee meets to review proposals submitted. The committee consists of at least five members of which at least two are representatives from businesses that collect the tax, at least two which are persons involved in activities funded by the tax, and one member from the city who acts as chair.
Planning & Economic Development
The Planning & Economic Development Committee meets the 4th Wednesday each month at 3:30 PM. The committee shall consider matters relating to business development, economic vitality and promotion of Poulsbo as a healthy city with a diverse business foundation.
The Public Safety/Legal Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday at 4:00 PM. The committee shall consider matters related to police, municipal court, claims against the city, reports from the city attorney, review of draft ordinances and other legal matters.
The Public Works Committee meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 5:00 PM. The committee shall consider matters related to engineering, planning, and public works facilities and utilities development maintenance and repair and operations.