Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer

Action Taken at February 13, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:

21. Authorize the mayor to sign an annual agreement with Whatcom Council of Governments for the Whatcom Smart Trips program? At the 2/27/2006 meeting, vote #42, the City Council voted to begin participating in the Smart Tips program, a joint venture of the Whatcom Council of Governments and Whatcom Transit Authority. Smart Trips is an ongoing program between local government, public agencies, employers and schools to reduce single-occupant car trips and promote transportation by walking, bicycling, ride sharing and riding the bus. For the first five years the city contributed $100,000 per year, since 2011 it has been $25,000 per year. (AB21496) Approved 6-1, April Barker opposed.

22. Appropriate $5,075,400 for goods and services checks issued from January 14 through February 3, 2017? (AB21510/21511/21512) Approved 7-0

23. Appropriate $3,064,903 for payroll checks issued from January 11 through January 25, 2017? (AB21513) Approved 7-0

24. Authorize the mayor to sign annual agreements with the Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College, and Western Washington University for the Bellingham Public Library “holds pick-up” locations? These agreements were initially approved by the City Council at the 12/10/2012 meeting, votes #244, 245 and 246; it formalized a program that began in 2007. The Bellingham library maintains self-checkout station at these colleges in order to increase access to Bellingham library materials for students, staff and community members. The schools provide space, electricity and adequate shelving for the library stations, collect and organize book returns for the library. Library patrons will be allowed to use staff telephones to contact the Bellingham Library with questions. The agreement runs from 1/1/2017 through 12/31/2017. This agreement may be terminated given 60 days’ notice. (AB21514/21515/21516) Approved 7-0

25. Relinquish a portion of a utility easement located within vacated “G” Street? (Public hearing held.) The Port of Bellingham, the site’s current owner, has requested the partial relinquishment to develop the property located in vacated “G” Street between the southwesterly line of Chestnut Street to the southwesterly line of Laurel Street. The easement area, located at 1010 Roeder Avenue is surplus to the city’s needs and is not required for providing continued public utility services. Surplus utility easements are typically relinquished at no cost to the property owner. AB21493 (Resolution 2017-06) Approved 7-0

26. Establish the administrative application fee of $1,500 for telecommunications permits? Telecommunications providers seeking to use city right-of-way for the provision of telecommunications services must obtain a permit. The amount of the administrative application fee, which will cover the city’s costs of drafting and processing the permit. AB21498 (Resolution 2017-07) Approved 7-0

27. Update the Green Power program? At the 12/9/2002 meeting, vote #222, the council endorsed the Earth Charter; it encouraged acting with restrain when using energy. At the 3/14/2005 meeting, vote #53, the council voted to join the Cities for Climate Protection program, it urged the reduction of air pollution emissions. At the 7/24/2006 meeting, vote #183, the council voted to purchase electricity through Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power program. This update authorizes participation in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership program, and directing the purchase of renewable energy credits equal to 100 percent of electricity used in municipally owned facilities. Since 2006, the renewable energy credits market has grown throughout the country creating opportunities to purchase credits at substantially reduced costs. This amendment creates more flexible guidelines for the purchase of renewable energy credits while recognizing the continued importance of Puget Sound Energy as a community partner. AB21499 (Resolution 2017-08) Approved 6-0-1, Pinky Vargas abstained.

28. Establish permit fees for special events? At the 2/27/2017 meeting, vote #38, the City Council adopted an ordinance regulating special events in the interest of public health, safety and welfare and provides for fees, charges and procedures required to administer the permit process. Open Events, those which charge no admission nor condition of participation, will be charged $53 for the application review; Restricted Events, those which charge an admission fee or require pre-registration, or are age-restricted or otherwise not open to the general public, will be charged $107 for application review and $107 for an inspection fee. If traffic control, security, or other city services are required as a condition of approval of the special event permit or to repair or clean public areas after an event, the applicant shall be responsible for paying these expenses at the rates established by the City Council by periodic resolution. AB21501 (Resolution 2017-09) Approved 7-0

29. Affirm the safety of all people residing in Bellingham? This statement addresses many issues, including (but not limited to) inclusion of immigrants, gender equality and LGBTQ rights, equal protection under the law regardless of ethnicity, environmental awareness, social services for the disadvantaged and alternatives to incarceration, and respect for local tribes and sovereign nations. The full text can be found at: AB21504 (Resolution 2017-10) Approved 7-0

30. Reinstate the medical services officer position in the fire department? The position was eliminated on 12/31/2013 when the city of Bellingham became a contract provider for paramedic services in Whatcom County. With passage of the countywide EMS levy at the November 2016 general election there is levy funding to reinstate this position, $154,550 is the estimated annual salary and benefits. AB21478 (Ordinance 2017-02-003) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at February 27, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:

31. Spend $60,000 to purchase 0.14 of an acre in the Lake Whatcom Watershed? The property is located in the Silver Beach area of Lake Whatcom, adjacent to city owned property. The property is being purchased to improve the drinking water quality. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

32. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Mike Estes to a partial term on the Planning and Development Commission? A 16-year resident of Bellingham, Mr. Estes is chief technology officer at PriceWaiter in Bellingham. He has served on various political boards, campaign teams, and committees, including chairing the Whatcom Democrats from 2012-2014 and serving on the Whatcom County Redistricting Committee in 2016. Mr. Estes is replacing Jeff Brown, he was initially appointed at the 12/13/2010 meeting, vote 242, and reappointed at the 11/24/2014, vote #237. The partial term expires on 1/1/2019, at which time Mr. Estes may be reappointed. (AB21528) Approved 7-0

33. Appropriate $3,278,568 for goods and services checks issued from February 4 through February 17, 2017? (AB21530/21531) Approved 7-0

34. Appropriate $3,406,709 for payroll checks issued from January 26 through February 10, 2017? (AB21529) Approved 7-0

35. Dissolve the Public Works Advisory Board? The City Council established the board in 1997 for the purpose of advising the mayor and council regarding Public Works Department processes and capital projects. It was due to sunset in 2004; at the 1/10/2005 meeting, vote #13, the City Council voted to continue the board until 12/31/2009. At the 11/23/2009 meeting, vote #254, the City Council voted to make the board permanent. The City Council established the Transportation Commission at the 8/10/2009 meetings, vote #183, some of their duties overlap with the board. Due to lack of work items and the inability to establish a full board and quorum at meetings, staff proposes the board be dissolved. The current board members agree with the proposed dissolution and with staff’s recommendation of more targeted use of community expertise through issue-specific workgroups. AB21494 (Ordinance 2017-02-004) Approved 7-0

36. Transfer the Starcom Service Corporation’s telecommunications franchise to the Zayo Group? In 1993, the City Council granted Starcom Service Corporation a 25-year non-exclusive franchise to construct and maintain fiber-optic cable lines in city right-of-way for the provision of telecommunication services. The granting ordinance provides that any transfer of the franchise requires City Council consent. Starcom Service Corporation has been purchased by Zayo Group and is seeking the council’s consent to its proposed assumption of the franchise. AB21495 (Ordinance 2017-02-005) Approved 7-0

37. Clarify the permitting process for telecommunications facilities located within city right-of-way? Telecommunications companies seeking to use city right-of-way currently must obtain a permit, it provides the grantee with general authority to use city right-of-way for telecommunications purposes, subject to the additional obligation to obtain all necessary construction permits and land use authorizations. The City Charter requires all franchises to be granted by the City Council; it does not specify the form of the ordinance or identify who shall grant it. This amendment will clarify the permit process. AB21497 (Ordinance 2017-02-006) Approved 7-0

38. Adopt a process for review and approval of special public events? Special events such as parades, block parties, festivals, races and demonstrations define community character and provide economic benefit, recreational opportunities, and social interaction. The city does not currently have a comprehensive set of rules and procedures for reviewing special events, resulting in a lack of efficiency, predictability, and consistency among city staff and event organizers. A fee resolution (passed at the 2/13/2017 meeting, vote #28) establishes the rules, resources, application procedures, and fees to facilitate the city’s review and approval of special events. AB21480 (Ordinance 2017-02-007) Approved 7-0

39. Establish a city policy with respect to immigration enforcement, equal protection and equal provision of city services? The “Keep Bellingham Families Working” ordinance guarantees that city funds or resources will not be used to enforce civil immigration matters and asserts that city services will be provided without regard to immigration status. The possible loss of federal funding is anticipated. The full text can be found here: AB21506 (Ordinance 2017-02-008) Approved 7-0