President Kincer called the meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Port of Bremerton, to order at 10:00 a.m., August 26, 2008, followed by the flag salute.
Present were Commissioners Cheryl Kincer, Bill Mahan, and Larry Stokes; Port Attorney Gordon Walgren; staff members Ken Attebery, Tim Thomson, Fred Salisbury, Steve Slaton, Becky Swanson, and Ginger Waye. Visitors are shown on the attached sheet.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Commissioner Mahan moved to approve the Agenda with the addition of Action Item #4, Resolution 2008-70 supporting the rebuilding of the Seabeck Marina. Commissioner Stokes seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Steve Slaton recognized Port employee, Billy Jarred for his ten years of service to the Port. Mr. Jarred began employment on March 18, 1998 as a temporary employee becoming permanent on July 9, 1998. He worked at the marine facilities the majority of the time before transferring to the airport. Commissioner Kincer congratulated him on being a great asset to the Port and said she has personally heard great things about him. Commissioners Mahan and Stokes concurred.
Commissioner Stokes moved to approve the Consent Items as presented. Commissioner Mahan seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
John Hanson, Bremerton resident, stated the Port recently appointed citizens to a Community Outreach/Public Participation (COPP) committee. He discussed the recent meeting of that committee for which he is acting as chairman. That first meeting was mostly a meet and greet and he stated he appreciated the Port getting the citizens up to speed. The next meeting will be held September 23 at 3:00 p.m. and the public is invited to attend. He stated he was recently interviewed by the Port Orchard Independent and looks forward to working on the committee.
Steve Boyer, Kitsap County Sheriff, stated his appreciation to the Port for 1) Cooperating with the Diablo Bravo national emergency exercise by providing the staging area and accommodating this exercise; 2) Providing long-term support of the Sheriff’s Department emergency vehicle operating course (EVOC); 3) Assistance at the marinas with the Sheriff’s boat; 4) Commissioner Stokes approaching him regarding a partnership using trustees for Highway 3 cleanup. It is important to be good partners and he wanted to take the time to say thank you.
Thomas Pennington, citizen, discussed rate increases at the marina saying that people who used to pay taxes within the district had priority for moorage, but that is no longer the case. It also appears that people outside the district are being encouraged to seek moorage. He feels higher fees for those outside the district should be considered.
Vivian Henderson, Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners (KAPO), extended an invitation for all to attend the KAPO monthly membership dinner at Angel’s Buffet on August 28 at 5:30 p.m.
ACTION ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION:
Action Item #1 – Ratification of the December 8, 2005, agreement between the Port of Bremerton and the Suquamish Tribe and all subsequent actions.
Ken Attebery stated there were comments at the previous meeting relating to the Port’s agreement with the Suquamish Tribe which led to the Port reviewing past records and finding that the agreement had not come back before the board after execution by the Commission President and Tribal Chairman and he took responsibility for that. After years of work, once the negotiations were completed, agreement reached, documents signed and executed, the Port was simply happy to have that step in the Corps of Engineers permit process behind us. He understands perfection is expected; however, it does not always happen.
There is tremendous complexity in a project the size of the Bremerton Marina. It requires many contracts, agreements, and understandings between the Port and other entities. For professional services, the Port provides compensation, for grant funds received, the Port provides a product; in the case of the Tribe, a permit required from the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) could not be obtained without Tribal approval and by providing considerations to the Tribe through the agreement, the Tribe, as its consideration, removed their objection to that permit.
Mr. Attebery provided a history of the Tribe negotiations stating it is considered a government-to-government proposition and representation by the Commission President and the Tribal Council Chair was appropriate. After the Port learned of the Tribe’s objection to the Corps permit, the process began in 2004 with a letter from then Commission President Cheryl Kincer to the Tribe requesting the start of “formal consultation.” The Tribe proposed that a settlement agreement would be the right approach and negotiations began. The 18-month negotiation process was mentioned no less than ten times in Commission meeting minutes and there was continuous contact by the CEO with individual Commissioners to get reactions to the terms being negotiated. In January 2005, Commissioner Mahan became President and took over negotiations. At the October 25, 2005 meeting, the Tribe’s proposal was presented by the CEO and the elements of the proposed agreement were discussed. In early December 2005, the President executed and delivered a proposed agreement to the Tribe; the Tribe executed it and delivered it back to the Commission.
Mr. Attebery reviewed terms of the agreement:
The Tribe agreed to and delivered a letter to the Corps removing their objection.
The Port agreed to:
Provide 200’ of lineal moorage for the Tribe’s fishing fleet
Provide a one-time payment of $10,000 to the Tribe’s net repair fund
Provide annual payment of $7,000, adjusted for CPI, to the Tribe’s fisheries enhancement fund
Participate in an on-going educational program.
The agreement also includes provision for resolution of dispute and a condition that if the marina is ever removed, the agreement would terminate.
In conclusion, Mr. Attebery stated that the agreement was negotiated in good faith; has been honored for over 2.5 years; and the Commissioners were continually appraised of the negotiations.
Commissioner Kincer moved to ratify the December 8, 2005, Agreement with the Suquamish Indian Tribe and all actions taken by the Port since implementation of said Agreement. Commissioner Mahan seconded.
Commissioner Stokes stated he was not involved in this agreement in any way and would abstain from this action item.
Commissioner Mahan stated the treaties that provide for this process were approved by the United States Government and the Port has to abide by the laws of this Country and State. The Port entered into a long process of negotiations and reviewed it at numerous public meetings at which the public had an opportunity to make comments; unfortunately, at that time there were not many people in the audience and not much coverage from the press. He reiterated that the negotiations were done openly and reported on numerous occasions with the opportunity for comment. The Port would not want to go back now and reopen negotiations.
Commissioner Kincer agreeed with Commissioner Mahan stating the process was done in good faith in an open forum and according to law. She opened the floor to public comments regarding the ratification only. Directions were given to the clerk of the board to take down any questions regarding the agreement that aren’t answered at this meeting and they will be answered in writing and posted on the Port’s website.
Tim Matthes, taxpayer, stated that a lack of a public and open process has gotten the Port where they are and to continue to exclude the public can only lead to a bad situation becoming worse. He asked the Board to stop the process and start over from square one following proper notification procedures and accepting public comment. He stated that he fears the Board is talking about doing it the other way around by carrying out the vote and then answering questions.
Vivian Henderson agreed with Mr. Matthes stating that the Tribes may have the privilege of not contacting their members, but the Port does not. It is frightening that the tribes can stop a project just by writing a letter to the Corps. She stated there are people who would disagree that the Port made this an open process.
Don Smith, taxpayer, questioned how much the moorage space used by the Tribe is costing the taxpayers.
Richard Butler, taxpayer, questioned why the moorage space is at Port Orchard Marina versus Bremerton Marina. He stated that as a taxpayer he shouldn’t have to come out to check on the Port, but will if necessary; feels the process was done in stealth mode and to find out about it in the newspaper is a silly way to do it.
Kathryn Simpson, citizen, addressed Mr. Attebery saying she appreciated his statements and his desire to take responsibility; however, it is not his, it is the Board’s responsibility to ratify. She stated her disappointed with the Board commenting that Commissioner Mahan stated it was required by law to enter into these types of agreements; however, the terms of those agreements and ratification is the Port’s responsibility. She questioned in what minutes the terms of the negotiations were discussed? She stated that if she was to ask the Port not to ratify at this time, the cost to the taxpayers and the Port would far exceed what was previously agreed to; however, the public was kept out of this process and the Port denied every member of the public to come out and speak to this issue. She commented on Port and Tribe responsibility to comply with the law and that she certainly would have questioned why the Port was giving up 200 feet of prime dock space in Port Orchard to the benefit of the Bremerton Marina. She also commented that she spent two hours with a public records request and wanted to thank Port staff for handling in such a professional manner.
Lary Coppola, Port Orchard Mayor, stated he understands the process with the agreement, his only issue is for Port Orchard and that the Port gave away 200’ of moorage at Port Orchard Marina when the agreement was for Bremerton Marina; the boats should be in Bremerton, they are not wanted in Port Orchard.
Tom Pennington, described his idea of bribery in big politics and stated that he looks at this agreement as bribery and extortion. He questioned whether the tribe came to the Port or if the Port went to the tribe and whether the funds will come out of general Port funds, Bremerton Marina funds, or Port Orchard Marina funds. Also questioned whether the tribes fishing boats need to show insurance as others have to and whether the contract went through the Prosecutor’s Office and was recorded through them.
Robert Oliver, taxpayer, asked what would occur if the Board voted no today. Commissioner Mahan responded that he didn’t feel the Port had that option. It is a matter of integrity and respect; the Port entered into this agreement in good faith. He stated he had no intention of not ratifying.
Kathy Seamans, taxpayer, referred to item 7 of the agreement that says that in the event of a dispute, there shall be a face-to-face meeting so she feels there is a way to not ratify today and to allow for public comment and renegotiate. She stated she was appalled at the lack of public comment and input having to do with the public’s money and the Board acted like the public was an invasion of their jobs. She said the public is the reason for those jobs and she was very disappointed.
Commissioner Stokes stated that the past is a cancelled check and tomorrow is money in the bank and expressed his hope that commissioners and public can both look ahead. He thanked the citizens for their comments saying he feels everyone was sincere and he would like to see everyone live happily ever after and that we all do a better job.
Commissioner Mahan addressed the question of the tribal moorage being in Port Orchard versus Bremerton stating that the Tribe had already been using Port Orchard and in the negotiation process the Tribe requested to remain there. He clarified that the financial costs for the agreement are borne by Bremerton Marina tenants; the Commission did not want taxpayers paying for any part of the agreement. He reiterated that this was an open process and stated that anyone who says otherwise is wrong. He suggested that other tribal agreements such as the one between Elliot Bay Marina and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe be compared to the Port’s agreement and it will be shown that the Port did very well in their negotiations. He further discussed the requirements of the Port to uphold the laws that govern the Indian treaties. He stated that he thought the public is more upset with the fact the tribe has a say in what we do and if the public wants to see a change in the law, it needs to be brought before the federal government. He stated the Tribe is not happy with the current agreement and he feels the worst thing that could be done is to go back and renegotiate. The Port needs to ratify the agreement and move on.
Commissioner Kincer confirmed that she began the negotiations and stayed the course until she could no longer do that and she turned it over to Commissioner Mahan as he became president. She feels he did a great job negotiating for the Port reiterating that the Tribe is not happy with the terms and she thinks it is absolutely necessary to ratify the agreement.
Robert Oliver, stated that the terms of the agreement were disclosed in answer to his specific question brought up at a meeting where there was a marina rate increase discussion.
Kathryn Simpson, stated she took great exception to the statement that this was fully disclosed in the minutes; she didn’t find terms and conditions until January 10, 2006, after the agreement was executed. She read the terms from those minutes and again stated she took great exception that there was an open process.
Commissioner Mahan stated he took great exception to her comments as the minutes do not note exact language of the discussion. Minutes are not verbatim; they reflect the topics of discussion.
Richard Butler, referred to Commissioner Mahan’s comment regarding the public being upset because of having to negotiate with the Indian tribes stating he didn’t know where Commissioner Mahan would get that idea; Mr. Butler’s concern is that space was given up in Port Orchard to accommodate building the marina in Bremerton. He questioned whether the Tribe was mooring for free before the agreement.
Bob Seymour, Port Orchard Marina tenant, questioned rafting in Port Orchard; tenants aren’t allowed to overhang slips; however, the Tribe is rafting. Steve Slaton stated rafting is not allowed.
Commissioner Kincer stated that a lot of attention on this subject has been directed at Commissioner Mahan. She clarified that she was the one involved in negotiations until she was unable to continue any longer. She feels she did the best job she could and Commissioner Mahan continued on doing a fine job; she confirmed that the Commission was happy with the job he did.
Question was called and the motion carried. Yes – Kincer, Mahan; Abstain – Stokes.
Action Item #2 – Lease Amendment with Laurier Properties LLC.
Tim Thomson explained that the Laurier Properties lease of 1.21 acres of land in Olympic View Industrial Park is up for periodic rental adjustment. Staff negotiated a lease rate that raises the rent to the rate previously established by the Port Commission. The increase is set at one-half the total for the first year to lessen the impact on the lessee but will be brought up to the final rate by the second year of the five year term. This amendment also includes up-to-date provisions for use of premises, delinquent payments, and sewage.
Commissioner Mahan moved to approve the lease amendment with Laurier Properties LLC. Commissioner Stokes seconded.
Clarke Coulterasked that during lease presentations such as this, the lease rate be included. Tim Thomson responded that the Laurier lease rate is currently set at $4,607.88; the first year of the amendment it would increase to $5,941.74 and the remaining four years would be set at $7,275.60.
In answer to Commissioner Stokes questions, Tim Thomson responded that the original lease was signed in the early 1980’s and was assigned to the present lessee approximately seven years ago. Also, it is not normal policy to bring the rate up in increments; it is negotiated if requested by the lessee to lessen the burden of such a significant increase. Commission Stokes stated he feels the taxpayer is entitled to a fair return on their money and all rates should be at fair market value.
Commissioner Mahan clarified that 4-5 years ago the Commission reviewed lease rates and gave specific instructions to staff to renegotiate leases at fair market value. Because the increases would be significant (about 60%) to reach fair market value, the decision was made to allow lease rates to increase incrementally over a four or five year period to lessen the hardship on those subject to the increase.
Gene Hart suggested factoring in inflation in the lease rates. He reviewed this lease and there was a seven year period where the rate was not increased at all; feels the Port is behind the curve.
Question was called and the motion carried unanimously.
Action Item #3 – Authorization for the Port CEO to execute Task Order #5 to the consultant agreement with CH2M Hill for design and construction services for the Runway Rehabilitation Project Phase II.
Fred Salisbury stated that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorized the runway rehabilitation project in 2006; however, in early 2007 FAA had funding issues and asked the Port to break up the project over a 2.5 year period. Phase I is underway right now; Phase II is for the final design and construction engineering services including runway overlay and stormwater drainage improvements. The Port has worked for several months with CH2M Hill and FAA has approved the scope of work. An independent estimate was required by FAA and has been completed. Staff has completed final negotiations with CH2M Hill and anticipates FAA concurrence on the $760,000 fee. Ninety-five percent of the approved fee is eligible for FAA funding. The Port share is estimated at $38,023.
Commissioner Stokes moved to approve Task Order No. 5 with CH2M Hill and to authorize the Port CEO to execute the contract upon receipt of written FAA approval. Commissioner Mahan seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Action Item #4 – Resolution 2008-70 supporting the rebuilding of the Seabeck marina.
Commissioner Stokes stated he feels it’s important to support Seabeck; a vital community within the Port district. The resolution in support of rebuilding the marina in Seabeck was read aloud.
Commissioner Stokes moved to approve Resolution 2008-70 supporting the rebuilding of the Seabeck Marina. Commissioner Mahan seconded.
Tim Matthes thanked the Commission for this initiative stating it is important to not underestimate our abilities to work together. What is being done today shows support for the project to the State.
Question was called and the motion carried unanimously.
Study Session Item #1 – Kitsap SEED
Ken Attebery provided a progress report on the SEED project:
Tim Thomson is continuing to coordinate with Economic Development Administration on the grant opportunity.
The 3rd party review has run into an issue because of summer vacations of personnel with the regional businesses the consultant wanted to talk with. The next piece of their review is expected to be delivered by the first or second week of September. In answer to Commissioner Stokes, Mr. Attebery responded that the consultant was approaching the six weeks in which the consultant said they could complete the review. Commissioner Stokes stated that if they said six weeks, it should be done in six weeks. In response to Eric Larson’s question regarding vacations, Mr. Attebery stated that because of vacations, the consultant is not completing the review as quickly as anticipated.
Study Session Item #2 – Bremerton Annexation Process
Ken Attebery stated that the Resolution along with the Petition for Annexation was delivered to the City of Bremerton and the avigation easements and notices are in escrow waiting for finalization of the petition process. Testimony was provided at the Bremerton planning commission meeting on August 19. Annexation is a discussion item on the City’s study session agenda on August 27 with the public hearing scheduled for September 3.
Steve Slaton discussed details on the following:
Contractor will be back on site within the next two weeks at Bremerton Marina to carry out repairs to the Turner Joy stern moorage system and the camel on the wave wall.
Moorage at Bremerton is at 60 boats equaling 27% filled.
Progress on the diesel tank project in Port Orchard. He discussed the possible cause of failure of the previous tank.
Progress on testing of the Bremerton breakwater joints for damage from the ferry collision in February. Commission Mahan questioned if Washington State Ferries (WSF) is responsible for fixing any problems. Mr. Slaton responded that responsibility for the breakwater is with the contractor – it will be worked out between those two entities.
Gene Hartquestioned how many of the marina slips will be occupied during the Blackberry Festival and whether the Port had done any marketing for it or for the Armed Forces Festival next year.
Steve Slaton said that guest moorage should be full and permanent moorage slips that have not yet been leased will be opened up for additional guest moorage. The Port was aware the marina would be full so it was not necessary to market. The Port is also working on a spring event project for both marinas to open up boating season on this side of the water. In response to Mr. Hart’s question about other events, Mr. Slaton responded that the Port is always marketing to boating groups for their rendezvous.
Tom Penningtonasked if the Port is detracting from Port Orchard by marketing Bremerton. Mr. Slaton responded that the Port is marketing and trying to grow both facilities; they are marketed as a package.
Lou Soriano discussed his concern about the Port’s liability for the ferry damage to the breakwater. Mr. Slaton confirmed that the contractor is required to have insurance naming the Port as additional insured. Becky Swanson, CFO, also stated that in addition to the builder’s risk policy; the Port has always felt it prudent to work with the Port’s insurance carrier and they have been notified of all aspects of the incident. If a problem between the contractor and WSF arises, the Port’s insurance carrier will work on behalf of the Port even though the Port has no financial responsibility.
Discussed meeting with Sheriff Boyer regarding using trustees to clean up the Highway 3 roadside between Gorst and the Port. He discussed other options for cleanup if that does not work out.
Met with Mayor Lary Coppola and Port Orchard City Council Members on the annexation process and the Interlocal Agreement for wastewater services.
Attended the COPP citizen committee meeting. Every member contributed; he likes the way they do business. Members all agreed to appoint John Hanson chair. Next meeting will be September 23 at 3:00 p.m.; would like to make sure the public is aware and able to attend.
Meeting regularly to discuss annual event in the spring over Memorial Day weekend. Activities will be held at both marinas with boaters being able to go back and forth to participate.
Port held its second retreat on strategic planning to discuss what the Port is anticipating in the future and how the Port can grow through that process. An item of discussion was the possibility of the Port moving into being managed as an enterprise fund; living off revenue received from leases and activities not property tax.
Met with Vivian Henderson and Karl Duff to discuss Kitsap County’s Puget Sound Regional Council’s membership and the implications of that in the future.
Vivian Henderson thanked the Board for the extra opportunity to speak stating it was emotional, but believes the Board tried to do the right thing. She discussed her anger at the situation of having to pay bribes to the tribe.
Commissioner Stokes commented that he understands the City of Bremerton will go to court if the Tribe opposes Bremerton’s boardwalk project.
Commissioner Mahan reiterated his previous comments that the Port followed the law that has been upheld by state and federal entities citing the Boldt decision.
Clarke Coulter, Bremerton Pilots Association, discussed the upcoming Blackberry Festival Fly-In and the activities associated with that event.
President Kincer recessed the meeting into executive session at 11:55 a.m. to discuss personnel issues pursuant to the provisions of RCW 42.30.110(1)(g) with expected adjournment at 12:25 p.m.
President Kincer reconvened and adjourned the public meeting at 12:25 p.m.
Kenneth W. Attebery Bill Mahan
Chief Executive Officer Commission Secretary
September 5, 2008 September 9, 2008