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Council sets 2011-2012 goals
Sequim city councilors and staff met on Saturday, Jan. 22, at The Lodge at Sherwood Village for an annual retreat. They expanded on their 2010 goals and established a few new ones for 2011, including a school-district boundaries survey of opinions about parks and recreation in the Sequim city limits.
by MATTHEW NASH
For the second year, Sequim city council members came together to review and determine citywide goals at an annual retreat.
They met with Julia Novak, of Novak Consulting Group of Cincinnati, Ohio, on Jan. 21-22 to revise their goals and learn how to be more effective in communications and at council meetings. They all said they were happy with the retreat.
Council member Susan Lorenzen said the retreat helped her realize how far the council has come in a year.
“I feel hopeful about our direction,” she said.
Council member Erik Erichsen felt the dialogue was comfortable and there were no restrictions on saying what needed to be said.
Last year, the council identified nine priorities for 2010/2011:
• Select a site for a new city hall
• Evaluate options to improve parks and recreation services
• Decide on future use of the Guy Cole Convention Center
• Encourage development of Sequim Speaks
• Rethink transportation in Sequim
• Establish Sequim as a leader in renewable energy
• Review citywide zoning and implement zoning reform
• Complete annexation of and extend services to Battelle, Sequim Marine Sciences Laboratory
• Develop and adopt a downtown plan
Each goal was discussed in detail, with some consolidated due to progress and plans made. Goals for 2011–2012 are:
• Improve the development review process by restructuring land use and building permit application procedures to ensure application proposals reflect the goals of zoning.
• Negotiate and purchase a site for city hall; proceed with programming and developing a financial plan (concurrent, not sequential, activities)
• Conduct a survey to understand parks and recreation needs in Sequim and the future of resources like Guy Cole Convention Center.
• Clarify the role of Sequim Speaks
• Consider a transportation master plan, including consideration of truck routes and an understanding of how Sequim’s transportation system fits in the larger regional system.
• Establish Sequim as a leader in renewable energy by improving access to solar energy, including a utilities element in the comprehensive plan, and annexing the marine sciences laboratory into the city.
• Develop and adopt the downtown plan, encourage staff to think outside the box and include consideration of a plaza, clock tower, kiosk or water feature.
Points of interest
In their 2011 budget, councilors approved a survey of residents within school district boundaries about creating a parks and recreation district and about the future of facilities like the Guy Cole Convention Center. A subsequent survey of city residents would cover city services.
Steve Burkett, city manager, said councilors hope to approve purchase of a site for a new city hall by summer at the latest. Councilors and staff have narrowed the search to a few sites.
Burkett said a lot of the elements for establishing Sequim as a renewable energy leader are long-term.
He feels supporting the marine sciences laboratory’s development is key. Councilors and staff are working with Battelle to annex most of the laboratory property into the city limits and to provide water and sewer services.
“They have some really exciting plans for additional research and development there, with potential for jobs,” he said.
The consultants’ suggestions for the downtown plan are available for public viewing and comment online or on Feb. 10 at the Sequim Transit Center. Implementation of the downtown plan, with some immediate impacts, is set for March.
Look for more information on city goals and developments at www.ci.sequim.wa.us or contact Sequim City Hall, 152 W. Cedar St., at 683-4139.
Sequim in 6 words
City councilors were asked to define Sequim in six words or less at their retreat.
• Ken Hays, mayor: The jewel of the Olympic Peninsula
• Laura Dubois, mayor pro tem: small, growing, young, old, rich, poor
• Erik Erichsen, councilor: remote, friendly, independent, self-sufficient, monetarily poor
• Don Hall, councilor: Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, Co-op, I-Hop
• Bill Huizinga, councilor: friendly, slow-paced, progressive, convenient, proactive, evolving
• Susan Lorenzen, councilor: hometown, peaceful, open, friendly but divided
• Ted Miller, councilor: scenic, friendly, bright future, pride, semi-rural
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.