Bellingham City Council
Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer
Action Taken at January 8, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
1. Authorize the mayor to sign a $100,000 settlement agreement with Curtis A. Parrott for alleged excessive force? On 2/11/2015, Mr. Parrot was arrested by two Bellingham police officers for domestic violence, hitting his daughter. The officers were advised not to handcuff him behind his back because of a previous arm injury. They ignored the warning causing a rotator cluff tear in his left shoulder and a left knee meniscus tear. An assault charge against Parrott was dismissed. A claim for damages in the amount of $500,000 was filed on 3/28/2016. The city denied the claim for damages on 5/11/2016. One of the officers was fired in December 2016 in a separate matter. Fearing the firing of the officer might cause the city to lose a civil lawsuit they settled. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
2. Ratify the collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, Local 114F? The general terms for fire and EMS dispatchers: wages will increase by 2.25 percent on January 1, 2018 and by 2.25 percent on January 1, 2019. In addition, the Attendance Incentive Program will be converted to a 1.75 percent increase in wages. Each member of the bargaining unit will receive a one-time ratification bonus in the amount of $450 on their first pay check following ratification. Finally, a “Me Too” provision has been added to match the medical cost share achieved by that group. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
3. Authorize Council President Roxanne Murphy to review a letter to the Justice Department and sign it on behalf of the council? Mayor Linville met with Congressman Rick Larsen about drafting a letter to the Justice Department regarding marijuana regulations. The city is opposed to any possible upcoming changes in federal policy made which would be contrary to the decisions made by Washington State voters in favor of legalizing marijuana use. These sentiments are similar to those expressed in statements made by other states and individual cities. (Mayor’s report) Approved 7-0
4. Appropriate $8,879,232 for goods and services checks issued from December 2 through December 29, 2017? (AB21836/21837/ 21838/21839) Approved 7-0
Action Taken at January 22, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
5. Ratify the collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police (Lieutenants)? The following general terms have been added/amended: 1/1/2018; Wages will increase by 2 percent with a base rate of pay set at 15.5 percent above top step sergeant base rate of pay (Step C). 1/1/2019; lieutenant base rate of pay will be set at 16 percent above top step sergeant base rate of pay (Step C). 1/1/2020; bachelor’s degree premium by 1 percent to a total of 5 percent; and longevity at 20 year and 25 years each by 1.5 percent. The city’s contribution to medical health care benefits will increase at 6 percent in 2018, 2019, and 2020. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
6. Deny a request to provide water service to the three new lots to be created by the Gradual Valley II Cluster Short Plat? On 10/20/2017, Bellingham Public Works received a request from Neil and Lanna Ray that the city authorize Whatcom County Water District No. 7 to provide water service to three lots to be created by the Gradual Valley II Cluster Short Plat, located outside the city’s UGA at 1915 Academy Road in the Lake Whatcom watershed. City policy (interlocal agreement with WD7 dated 4/13/1993) is to limit the number of potential new development units in the watershed. In the spring of 2007, residents living in the Lake Whatcom watershed notified the city that WD7 had begun providing water to newly created lots in its service area without city approval. To remedy this situation, WD7 agreed to obtain city approval for all new connections regardless of whether they were for new or existing lots. At the same time, the mayor and City Council directed staff to deny all water service requests for lots created after 7/1/1991. City staff continues to follow this policy direction. (AB21820) Approved 7-0
7. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $169,225 to Tiger Construction of Everson to improve water quality on James Street? The engineer’s estimate was $254,868. The project involves installing drainage and asphalt, performing earthwork and traffic control on the Sunset Square portion of James Street. The city received 14 bids, the high bid was $260,580. (AB21842) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
8. Deny the appeal of a latecomer assessment for 1220 Powell Street? The appeal is for the partial reimbursement of the cost of construction of a sewer main and street. The appellant, Greg Brethauer, based his objection primarily on conversations had with a subcontractor who performed some of the earthwork and construction included in the latecomer’s assessment, and who claimed not to have been paid in full. Mr. Brethauer has argued that he should not be required to reimburse the applicant (developer Jim Bishop) for costs that exceed those actually paid by the applicant to the subcontractor. Ordinance number 2001-01-003 directs an appeal first to the Bellingham Hearing Examiner and then to the City Council for final review and decision. The Bellingham Hearing Examiner conducted an open record hearing on the appeal on 12/13/2017 and recommended denial. (AB21843) Approved 7-0
9. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County for first response Emergency Medical Services? Under the EMS plan that was created and supported by the EMS levy, all fire departments in Whatcom County are eligible to have their EMS dispatch fees paid by the county EMS fund and are eligible to participate in a county-wide record management/patient care reporting system. These are services that we are currently providing and have historically provided in the city. In order to take advantage of these benefits, the city needs to enter into an agreement with Whatcom County and the other participating fire agencies. Entering into this agreement will save approximately $160,000 per year in general fund expense. (AB21845) Approved 7-0
10. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $1,797,870 to Colacurcio Brothers of Bellingham for the 2017 watermain improvements? The engineers estimate was $2,489,729. The 2017 project involves replacement of watermains on Donovan Street between Old Fairhaven Parkway and east of 24th Street. The city received nine bids, the high bid was $2,371,633. A protest was received by the fourth-lowest bidder, Tiger Construction, and was rejected by staff because the claim was determined to be invalid. (AB21848) Approved 7-0
11. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Jeff Daffron to the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board? The board advises the city on the purchase, management, maintenance and use of properties within the Lake Whatcom Watershed. Jeff Daffron, a 50-year resident and the owner of Quicksilver Photo Lab (which has done work for various departments of the city), has served previously on the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Board, as a Precinct Committee member and participates in the Homeowner Incentive Program. His term will expire on 1/22/2021, at which time he may be reappointed. (AB21850) Approved 7-0
12. The mayor appointed Janet Ott and Joan Drinkwin to the Sehome Hill Arboretum Board of Governors. The arboretum site is 175.5-acres, the university owns 38 acres and the city 137.5 acres. The initial agreement between the city and Western Washington University to develop and coordinate the Sehome Hill arboretum was adopted at the City Council meeting on 8/7/1974. Recent updates: 12/12/2005 meeting, vote #268 and the 4/20/2015 meeting, vote #69. The board works with the city and WWU in planning the use of capital, operating and maintenance funds authorized by the city or WWU, and such endowment funds to the arboretum as may be received by either agency. Janet Ott has lived in Bellingham for 29 years, is a business coach with Ott & Associates, head of the Whatcom CISD team for the past six years and is a CERT graduate. Joan Drinkwin, a local resident of 13 years and is currently employed by Natural Resoures Consultants of Seattle. She has served in a number of positions related to fish and wildlife habitat ecology and restoration, with emphasis on nearshore and freshwater habitats. Janet Ott’s first term will expire on 12/18/2020 and Joan Drinkwin’s first term will expire on 2/9/2021. (AB21853) Does not require council conformation.
13. Authorize the mayor and police chief to sign a renewal agreement with the Bellingham Housing Authority for police services? The housing authority will pay the city $110,288 and provide office space for a drug and crime prevention officer to work directly with staff and residents of housing authority properties and surrounding neighborhoods. The officer will provide both law enforcement and crime prevention services such as setting up block watch meetings, coordinating with the police department crime prevention units in targeted neighborhoods, working to locate drug dealers and providing counseling to juveniles at risk of drug involvement, doing a weekly inspection of multi-family developments and filing monthly reports with the housing authority and an annual report with the city. The officer will be available to residents and staff Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This agreement runs from 1/14/2018 through 1/13/2019, it continues an ongoing program and may be extended if both parties agree. (AB21857) Approved 7-0
14. Appropriate $9,958,135 for payroll checks issued from November 23, 2017 through January 10, 2018? (AB21858/21859/21860) Approved 7-0
15. Appropriate $4,230,940 for goods and services checks issued from December 30, 2017 through January 12, 2018? (AB21861/21862) Approved 7-0
16. Relinquish a portion of the surplus utility easement located within vacated East Oak Street? (Public hearing held) The property, located in the southwesterly half of East Oak Street, from the alley between Blocks 54 and 55 to Boulevard Street (vacated in 1957), has been determined to be no longer needed for utility service. Parhul Holdings, the owner of Lot 1, Block 55, of The Town of New Whatcom, has requested the relinquishment in order to develop the property; a utility easement within this vacated segment of said street will be retained for existing and future public utilities. AB21841 (Resolution 2018-01) Approved 7-0
17. Approve an emergency ordinance regarding homelessness and emergency housing? The mayor thanked all who came to speak for the vulnerable population, the unhoused persons in our community, reporting that we have people who are willing to help with lockers and tent cities but that we still need to find a location. This ordinance declares an emergency; adopts interim zoning regulations for the siting, establishment, and operation of temporary tent encampments; and sets twelve months as the effective period of the interim zoning regulations to allow the city to study the land use impacts of such uses. (Ordinance 2018-01-001) Approved 6-1, Roxanne Murphy opposed.
18. Amend the Shoreline Master Program and send an acceptance letter to the Department of Ecology? At the 12/3/2013 meeting, vote #256, the council voted to redesignate the recreational use subarea to Shoreline Mixed Use within the Waterfront District shoreline designation; it creates an allowance for stand-alone, non-water-oriented uses in the log pond subarea only; and clarifies which portions of the Shoreline Mixed Use subarea allow residential uses. The state Department of Ecology has reviewed the amendments and issued recommended changes. AB21825 (Ordinance 2018-01-002) Approved 7-0