News Briefs | Around the Island, Dec. 6

Council approves city furlough

The Bainbridge Island City Council has agreed to an administration-proposed 10-day furlough for city staff.

The periodic closure of City Hall for a total of 10 days next year would cut 80 billable hours for each employee, saving an estimated $370,000 in expenses, or the equivalent of almost four full-time employees next year.

The furlough would not affect staffing at the city’s Police Department and selcet employees manning Public Works facilities.

City employees, most who are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, will vote on the furlough agreement this Monday.

Mark Dombroski, the city administrator, said the furlough would likely pass with ease since alternatives to the agreement could include staff layoffs.

Furlough dates have already been selected for 2009, and potential dates for additional furlough days in 2010 have also been drafted in case revenues do not rebound.

The first day of the shutdown would take place on Jan. 2, 2009 if approved by union members.

Kitamoto earns human rights honor

Bainbridge Island resident Dr. Frank Kitamoto has been honored with a lifetime achievement award for his human rights advocacy work.

The Wall of Fame awards is an annual event recognizing individuals, groups and organizations in the community who have made significant contributions to human rights efforts in Kitsap County. It is awarded by the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights and the Board of County Commissioners.

Kitamoto was nominated by Bainbridge Island School District Supt. Faith Chapel and received recognition in Bremerton on Friday.

He only became aware of his nomination and his receipt of the award on Monday.

“I was very surprised,” Kitamoto said. “It was a nice conference and I was honored to be presented with this award.”

He was recognized for his work with the Japanese-American community and for his work with the school district’s multicultural council, which he helped to found 25 years ago.

Kitamoto practices dentistry on Bainbridge.

He said he looked forward to continuing his work with the Japanese-American and Bainbridge commuities.

Human rights will be center stage on Bainbridge Dec. 10, as island residents honor the 40th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The event will take place at noon in front of Bainbridge Performing Arts and will include speeches and readings by citizens and representatives of Bainbridge Island’s faith communities. The event is open to all.

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