LWVSJ Observer Corps* notes on Friday Harbor Town Council, November 16, 2023 meeting.
The meeting started with an executive session on an enforcement issue.
Regular business resumed with a proclamation of November 25th as Small Business Saturday, recognizing the contributions of small business to the community of Friday Harbor.
SJI Chamber of Commerce Director Becki Day presented budget requests and reports for the Chamber and for the Visitors Bureau, which it runs. Day announced that Friday December 1 would be the annual Lights Festival with the lighting of a tree at Wells Fargo, followed by cocoa and treats, singing and visits to Santa the Grange.
Staff of the Economic Development Council presented a budget request and an update on their extensive trades and business training courses and plans to increase programs with the high schools.
The Town had three public hearings related to the 2024 budget; passed an ordinance setting property taxes for 2024; held over a vote on a sales tax for the Transportation Benefit District; and is holding open the final budget hearing until the December 7 meeting. The town did not collect all the tax it was allowed in 2022 or 2023 but will normalize collection in 2024.
The Council authorized the installation of a crosswalk at intersection of Tucker and Harborview, The Council noted that those requesting a crosswalk on Tucker had sought one closer to Linde Park, but they had determined that other proposed locations would not be safe places to cross given the traffic conditions. They will issue a public message about why the Harborview intersection was chosen.
The Council updated the town procurement policy to clarify confusing language, bring amounts covered in line with state law, and update position titles.
Administrator Kulseth shared some of the information from Washington State Ferries about their study on how to encourage more walk-on passengers. The town has agreed to allow one the parties rebuilding after the Spring Street fire to use a couple parking spaces to temporarily stage construction material to support the rebuilding effort.
*The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members.