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Burkett eyes 6-year finance plan for city

Steve Burkett, Sequim's new city manager, thinks his most important job is ensuring the city's financial stability, so he and his staff will begin developing a six-year financial plan.

Burkett, who has been on the job three months, spoke to the Sunrise Rotary Club on Friday, Jan. 22, and the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Jan. 25.

Burkett said he must take a long-term view, which can be difficult because short-term issues arise.

The country is going through the biggest recession in the past 80 years, so he, the staff and council must plan and look ahead with a six-year revenue projection and financial plan.

City revenues are down 15 percent since 2005-2007 and, although the city has some rainy day funds, it shouldn't count on the return of boom times, Burkett said.



March workshop

He also wants to develop a vision for the city and a strategic plan beginning with a March 5-6 workshop with the council.

"How do we want our community to look in 10 years or 20 years?"

Once they agree on that, they can develop a mission statement and a way to gauge their success, Burkett said.

As Sequim makes the transition from a small town to small city, Burkett wants to implement a pavement management system to evaluate and categorize the city's streets.

Then streets needing work can be identified and prioritized, he said.



No more 'handshakes'

He also wants to develop more written agreements such as developer agreements instead of "handshake agreements" that often come back to haunt the city, Burkett said.

Wayne Enterprises' project probably will be the first with a developer agreement spelling out what the developer must do and what the city must do, he said.

The proposed Sequim Bay Resort Community is a 166-acre resort community near John Wayne Marina in southeast Sequim, bisected by Whitefeather Way.

It would include a planned unit development with four major subdivisions and a fifth separate subdivision totaling 252 single-family homes plus 19 commercial lots on 15 acres to include 123 hotel rooms.

Other projects on the city's list are a new city hall and a sub-area plan that is both realistic and commercially feasible, Burkett said.

And, of course, they have begun the impact fees discussion, he said.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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