Kevin Fetterly, City Council Candidate

Candidate Questions posed by Quality Bainbridge

1. What interests inspired you to run for a seat on the City Council?

The IslandPower Committee brought up some serious issues about our electricity supply (CO2 and reliability). As an Electrical Engineer, I am interested in trying to solve these problems, but without spending $146M to buy the Grid. I thought it best to get involved directly with the City’s decision-making to help move these ideas forward.

2. What are your top five priorities that you would work to have the City accomplish during your term in office? For each identified priority that requires the expenditure of money, please state how you would fund it.

  1. Negotiate a deal with PSE to purchase renewable power for all 12,000 electricity accounts on the Island. This will require that we raise the sales tax on electricity from 6% to 8%. The tax increase will require a public vote.

  2. Improve the Electric Grid’s reliability by creating a loop structure (underground) for the existing sub-stations and add another sub-station for Winslow due to the lack of capacity. Cost to the City is zero, because PSE has accrued capital that will pay for the improvements.

  3. In the first 2 years, add road shoulders to 15 miles of streets for pedestrian and bicycle safety. Thereafter, add 2 miles per year until we reach the Core40 goal. The first 15 miles will require $7.5M. I would propose that we use Council originated bonds for the initial work. Subsequent funding ($1M/year) would be funded by reprioritizing the City’s budget, especially “auto-pilot” expenditures.

  4. Finish our Trail System ($300K). After the new Council kills the 305 Bridge project, the freed up monies can be redirected to finish construction of the missing sections of Trails.

  5. Replace the police station at a price tag of $20M (including land). I will work with the Council and the Police Dept to cut down scope of the project to fit in a more palatable budget. This project would need to go to the Voters for funding.

3. What skills, training, resources, expertise and relevant previous experience will you bring to the Council?

I have run my own business for 20 years. This experience has given me the capability to analyse the finances of proposed projects and budgets.

I also spent part of my career in the Corporate world. The most valuable skill learned was that of (formal) Quality improvement. Any Organization can improve its response and output quality through continuous process improvement.

4. Islanders consistently identify water quality as a top community priority and yet a City study shows our streams are significantly polluted with fecal coliform, nitrogen and phosphorus. What ideas do you have for improving the health of island waters?

There are two issues related to stream water quality, 1) vegetation buffer zones and 2) inadequate septic systems. I will work to increase the stream buffer setbacks and formalize the requirements for planting. The new Council will also need to revisit decisions made by the current Council that allow loopholes for new development.

We will have to tighten regulations for septic systems within the drainage zones. Pierce County had to outlaw single tank septic and cesspools for the area surrounding Burley Lagoon. I would propose similar regulations… to rebuild old systems and require that all systems be inspected (tanks and the drain fields) every 10 years.

5. How do you think growth (economic and population) on the island can best be managed? How would you address the balance between development and preserving our natural resources?

What remaining development that occurs on Bainbridge needs to be concentrated in Winslow. I will work to eliminate any loopholes that allow R0.4 or R1 subdivisions to be built on the remaining farms and openspace.

An ordinance is needed that requires a yearly, detailed City Council review of our aquifer status. If any wells fail the State regulations (5′ level drop or 100mg salt), the City Council should be force to take action.

Within the limits of our water supply, we should increase density in the Winslow core by reexamining current zoning.

6. How should we address the issue of code enforcement?

Egregious code violators should have their properties “frozen”. That is, the land could not be sold or developed for a multi-year period. This type of penalty has been used elsewhere.

7. What are your thoughts about the affordability of housing on Bainbridge Island? What policies or actions, if any, would you like to see our City implement to increase the inventory of affordable housing?

I suggest that the City could work with non-profit entities to use surplus City land or donated property to construct affordable housing. The City can forgo the development fees normally charged and provide project loan guarantees for development phase.

What the City will be unable to do, is increase our housing supply large enough to change the current real estate pricing. We could add 10,000 units of housing and it would be absorbed instantly by the Seattle’s economic boom. Housing sponsored by the City should be occupied by people who work on Bainbridge.

8. Kitsap PUD is soliciting indications of interest in expanding broadband access to neighborhoods on the Island. What role, if any, should the City have in assisting with this expansion?

It would be valuable to have an alternative to the Cable TV monopoly. The City could facilitate a relationship with Century Link and KPUD to build out a fiber system. Century Link suffers from an antiquated copper network but has the Customer service skills to run a retail network.

I understand that the KPUD Fiber is funded by a small property tax. If this is the case, we would put the idea to a vote by the public.