The Poulsbo Beat
News, insight and conversation about Poulsbo.
As the Port of Poulsbo looks to revamp their comprehensive plan, setting the tone for their what they want the port to look like in six to 12 years, staff and commissioners are asking for the public’s input.
At their regularly scheduled Thursday night meeting, commissioners Jim Rutledge and Tony DeCarlo said they expect the not-yet-formed advisory council to meet about four times, beginning in July, to give the port direction on future projects, upland development and overall vision. The port is currently accepting applications to the citizen advisory council.
Commissioners also discussed their new parking lot, which is days away from being completed. They expect it will be open and available for Viking Fest weekend, May 18-20, and discussed offering it to a charitable organization to run parking security during the festival. The commissioners have not determined how they will charge for parking after the festival, or how much, leaving it up for discussion at their next port meeting.
For information on the port or how to get involved, call (360) 779-9905 or visit portofpoulsbo.com.
Two upcoming public hearings on the Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program have been postponed.
The county invites the public to submit questions and comments on the shoreline plan before the Planning Commission. A hearing scheduled May 1 has been pushed to June 5, at the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners’ chambers, 619 Division St., Port Orchard, at 6 p.m.
A public hearing scheduled for May 7 has been pushed to June 11 at Poulsbo City Hall, council chambers, 200 NE Moe St., Poulsbo, at 6 p.m.
Becky Erickson, the mayor of Poulsbo, says she is going door-to-door on 4th Avenue next Saturday to talk about crime awareness and prevention.
As a comment on this reporter’s story, Crime-weary neighbors become more vigilant, Erickson said “we always want the citizens of Poulsbo to be safe.” She’ll be walking the mean streets of 4th Avenue to talk to residents at 1 p.m., and said she’ll also be available during her usual Saturday morning Meet the Mayor, from 9 a.m. – noon.
Erickson and County Commissioner Rob Gelder also hosted a community safety program last month, with a disappointingly low turnout.
POULSBO — The Poulsbo City Council will hear public comment on proposed changes to the city Comprehensive Plan on April 18, 7:05 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers, 200 NE Moe St.
Among the proposed changes:
- Rezone 4.38 acres from Residential Low to Light Industrial, 20554 Little Valley Road NE.
- Redesignate 0.7 acres on Viking Avenue north of Fish Park, and 2.7 acres at 20563 Bond Road NE from Residential to Park.
- Redesignate 1 acre along 10th Avenue from Commercial to Park.
- Adopt the Urban Paths of Poulsbo Plan.
The city has posted information regarding all proposed amendments at www.cityofpoulsbo.com/planning/comp_plan_2011_2012.htm.
Kitsap library users will have only limited access to the KRL catalog from Sunday, April 22 through Wednesday, April 25 as the library system transitions to its new integrated library system (ILS) software. The new system software from Polaris Library Systems has been scheduled to go live April 26.
During the four days of the transfer, the KRL catalog will not be accessible. No holds will be able to be placed on items in the catalog during that four-day period. Patrons will not be able to access their library account records to see when the materials they have checked out are due, to renew items they’ve borrowed or to check on fines and fees they may owe.
Staff from KRL and Polaris have already moved data from the existing system into the new one and have been testing the new system to make sure the transition later this month will go smoothly.
KRL has created a web page with some Frequently Asked Questions about the transition to the new ILS.
The April 22-25 transition period is to allow KRL to transfer all current records from the existing ILS to the new system.
KRL Board Elects New Officers
At its regular monthly meeting on March 27, the Kitsap Regional Library Board of Trustees elected John Lyall to be the Board’s next president and Jackie Aitchison to be the next vice president. Both will assume their duties at the April Board meeting.
Lyall, the Board’s Bremerton representative, has served as a trustee since Oct. 1, 2007, when he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board. He is retired after a career first in human resources (including a stint as the HR Director of Seattle Public Library) and then real estate.
Aitchison, the North Kitsap representative, has served on the Board since Jan. 1, 2004. She formerly served as a Poulsbo City Council member and has been very active in promoting farmer’s markets in Kitsap County and across the state.
The KRL Board of Trustees is appointed by the Kitsap County Commissioners. The Board’s five members represent the five school district regions of the county: Bainbridge, North Kitsap, Central Kitsap, Bremerton and South Kitsap. Board members are appointed to five-year terms and are limited to serving two terms or up to 10 years on the board.
The Board’s other members are: Dan Gottlieb of Bainbridge Island, Gail Mathison of South Kitsap and Teresa McDermott of Central Kitsap.
A Look at KRL’s Collection
Kitsap Regional Library plans to spend about $1,165,000 in 2012 on its collection, about 11 percent of its overall budget.
Part of that money goes to subscribe to special research databases that librarians and the public can use in a variety of ways to get information they need for their work, businesses or education, or to research things like family history or learn a foreign language.
But the bulk of the collections budget is used to buy new items that can be borrowed by library users.
For 2012, the library expects to spend about 62 percent of the collection budget on books and magazines; about 14 percent of the budget on downloadable ebooks, audiobooks and music; and about 12 percent of the collection on physical media (music on CDs; video on DVDs).
The demand for downloadable materials is growing at incredible speed. Ebook downloads at KRL in 2011 totaled 23,204, a 374 percent increase over 2010. If the trend for the first three months of 2012 continues, a similar increase in ebook downloads will be experienced in 2012. In the first two and a half months of the year, total downloads were nearly half of the total for the entire year in 2011.
Kindle ebooks now make up half the downloadable ebooks borrowed from KRL. Books for Kindles only became available for library users in the fourth quarter of 2011.
This is an interesting trend well worth watching over the next 18 months.
The City of Poulsbo is holding a public workshop and hearing tonight to discuss the Comprehensive Plan amendments. Many of the amendments are “text amendments,” such as updating Waterfront Park to Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park. The amendments also include four properties that have been acquired by the city as park space, re-designating them from residential or commercial to park.
The city also plans to formally adopt the Urban Paths of Poulsbo plan into the Comprehensive Plan. For future planning purposes, such as grant applications, the city is adopting the plan with some trails still designated as ‘proposed’ — those trails that cross private property that the city has not yet finalized.
Parks and Recreation Director Mary McCluskey said those paths on private property, shown in pink on the map, are “desired future connection points.”
“We want to connect A to B,” she said. However, the city cannot and has no intention of “taking” private property. Instead, the city has been working with private owners to create easements for the trail. McCluskey stressed the pink lines can only become trails through the property owner’s willingness.
The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 200 NE Moe St.
In honor of the Bainbridge Public Library Building’s 50th Anniversary, all branches of Kitsap Regional Library will offer forgiveness on overdue fines for items returned on Saturday, March 17.
Poulsbo Library is located at 700 NE Lincoln Road. It is open Mondays 1-8 p.m., Tuesday-Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Thursdays 1-5 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and closed Sundays.
Overdue fines will be waived for any item returned to a KRL branch or the bookmobile that day. Outstanding fines for items returned earlier, fees for lost items or fees assessed on items that have been referred to a collection agency will not be waived.
Because KRL sets $5 as the maximum overdue fine, the maximum savings possible to a library patron would be $5 per item returned.
The goal of the amnesty day is to encourage the return of overdue library materials. Generally speaking, KRL would rather have overdue items returned than have to collect a replacement fee and buy a new item.
In addition to helping the entire system celebrate the Bainbridge Library anniversary, it will also help KRL remove overdue fines from patron accounts prior to transferring our user records to the new Integrated Library System software that will go live April 26.
“As we move to a new Integrated Library System the end of April, we want both our user and collection records to be a clean as possible,” said Carol Schuyler, Director of Support Services. “To be able to combine this with a celebration of our Bainbridge Branch is a wonderful opportunity.”
KRL encourages patrons who have overdue items from the library to search your house for missing library books, magazines, DVDs or CDs so you can bring them in on March 17.
The Poulsbo City Council is now available anytime, anywhere…provided you have an internet connection. Mayor Becky Erickson announced today that past council meetings will available as video for review on the city’s website.
“Ultimately, we would like to stream our council meeting live on the web as well as televising them on BKAT,” Erickson said in a statement. “The public should always have the ability to see their government in action.”
The city council meets the first three Wednesdays of the month at 7 p.m. at City Hall (200 NE Moe St.), and airs live on public access station BKAT (Bremerton Kitsap Access Television). Erickson said they will “try to get [the video] up within 24 hours” of the meeting.
While the Attorney General’s opinion is a sitting commissioner cannot be appointed to another board position during his term, the issue has never been brought up in Washington state courts, continuing to add uncertainty to the Port of Poulsbo’s predicament.
Newly elected Commissioner Jim Rutledge asked for the state Attorney General’s opinion after questions arose on Commissioner Arnold Bockus’ appointment to a vacancy before his elected term ended, leading to animosity on the commission.
Because the commission is small — three seats — when Bockus lost his bid for re-election in November and Commissioner Glenn Gilbert resigned right before the election, Commission Chair Tony DeCarlo wanted to fill Gilbert’s vacancy as soon as possible. After a three-week application period, in which only an applicant from Silverdale applied (outside port boundaries, disqualified), Bockus stepped forward.
What the concern is for Rutledge, and a few members of the public, is how legal it was for Bockus to have been appointed before his term expired, and that he voted for himself.
DeCarlo said that after consulting with the port attorney, he alone could not appoint or vote for a commissioner; that task would go to the County Commission. With two sitting commissioners until Dec. 31, he and Bockus appointed Bockus to Gilbert’s former position.
“Two of us voted, and [Bockus] voted for himself, and that’s where the rub lies, I guess,” DeCarlo said.
The port’s attorney, Greg Norbut, said the opinion leaves the situation “up in the air.”
“It’s not case specific, it doesn’t even note the fact [the port had] only one applicant,” Norbut said. “It takes a hypothetical situation.”
Norbut said he has not discussed further action with the commission, but his impression is any legislative action would be taken up by Rep. Sherry Appleton, who requested the AG opinion on behalf of Rutledge.
DeCarlo, however, is not uncertain: the Attorney General’s informal opinion on the legality of the case does not change the circumstances for him. In the informal opinion, Christopher Lanese, assistant attorney general, cited a common law public policy principle that a sitting commissioner is ineligible for appointment if the appointment is made during the commissioner’s term.
The opinion cited several different court cases, all pointing to a different solution, but DeCarlo specified a Florida case in 2009, which ruled no “prohibition against appointing bodies appointing its own members to positions.”
No Washington case or statute has directly addressed this issue. The opinion stated there have been no developments in Washington law that says a court would follow the public policy principle; because of this, the opinion also states legislation would have to address this subject to clarify these questions.
The Poulsbo Friends of the Library will host a used book sale at the Poulsbo Library on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Poulsbo Library.
The Friends meet the first Monday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in the meeting room at the Poulsbo Library (except during July and August). Membership is $5 a year. For more information, go to www.krl.org and click on the “KRL Support” tab on the home page.