Bainbridge council to plan annual retreat

The Bainbridge Island City Council's agenda is light as the year comes to a close and the holidays approach.

But one item should get plenty of attention at the council's Wednesday, Dec. 19 meeting.

The city council will begin planning for its annual retreat at the start of January. The retreat serves as a key strategic moment for council members to set the tone, vision and path for the city in the coming year.

The retreat is scheduled to be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6. As with past retreats, the council will meet at the Bloedel Reserve's Education Center. The meeting is open to the public.

The annual retreat serves as an intensive forum for the council to develop and plan its goals and work plan for the coming year. During such time, council members have an opportunity to discuss what they see as priorities, and develop the direction of the city in the months and years to come.

Hot topics remain lingering among the council such as the future of the city's water utility, island roads funding and the state of the police department.

Council members will also get an overview of city procedures and rules.

The next year's council mayor and mayor pro tem will be discussed, and the top picks will be appointed at the following council meeting. Currently, Councilwoman Debbi Lester serves as mayor. Councilwoman Kirsten Hytopoulos held the title in 2011.

The retreat will also include an overview of the strategic visioning exercise the council took part in during the summer. The exercise was administered by representatives from Strategic Government Resources, the search firm charged at the time with finding Bainbridge Island's next city manager.

The remainder of the city council's Dec. 19 meeting will be composed of mostly procedural and housekeeping items such as amending the city code for business and occupation taxes, discussing the storm and surface water management repayment to the street fund, terms of a Public Works Trust Fund loan, the water system plan update, and interlocal agreements with the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council and with Kitsap County for cooperative services on road projects.


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