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A Note From Your Mayor

Nov 19

A Note from the Mayor - November 18, 2019

Posted on November 19, 2019 at 9:24 AM by Molly Towslee

The holiday seasons are near, and the end of 2019 is rapidly approaching. I am happy to announce that our City Council has approved the contract for our new City Administrator, Bob Larson. We are excited and eagerly anticipating welcoming Bob to our team, who will officially start on January 6, 2020. Bob is presently and has been the City Administrator of Snoqualmie for approximately 15 years. He comes to us with over 20 years of City Manager/City Administrator experience in both Washington and Minnesota. We are excited to welcome Bob who will come support our council, staff, community and myself as we move towards fulfilling the needs of our city.  I have spent many hours with Bob getting to know him. He is supportive of our vision and mission and is eager to start a new chapter of his life with our city.

We are sad that many long-term employees are retiring, but we are excited for their new adventures. I’d like to thank Marline McClane and Kay Johnson for their commitment of serving our community. Marline has touched so many of our hearts in the past 29 years, and we are happy that she still wants to be connected to our city through volunteering. Kay has served all departments as our Information Systems Manager for over 21 years, and her contributions have made our communications to our citizens run smoothly. Thank you both for your longstanding commitment to Gig Harbor.

We are pleased to welcome two new employees who have recently joined our team. Kerri Rowan brings over 14 years of experience from the City of Auburn Police and is now serving as our Police Service Specialist. Tressa Smith brings several years of experience where she worked as a Legal Assistant and Deputy Clerk in Wisconsin and is now serving as our Court Clerk. Please say “hello” and welcome both Kerri and Tressa to our team.

We would like to thank Mimi Jansen and Diane Bertram for their dedicated contributions to our Tourism and Communications Department. Mimi has been the Interim Communications and Tourism Manager for almost a year. She accepted the challenge and jumped right in when the city needed help, and we are so honored to have her temporarily fill that role. We would also like to thank Diane who worked part-time behind the scenes to aid in the department’s success.

We would also like to congratulate and welcome our new City Councilmembers Robyn Denson, Le Rodenberg and Tracie Markley. Tracie will be sworn in on November 26, 2019 at 3:30 PM and on January 13, 2020, all three councilmembers will be sworn in to take the Oath of Office. On December 9, 2019, we will be honoring three outgoing councilmembers Ken Malich, Michael Perrow and Spencer Hutchins. A reception will be at 4:45 PM prior to their last council meeting that evening at 5:30 PM. I’d like to encourage the public to attend these events, thanking some for their service to our community and welcoming others. We have been hearing that the traffic is a major problem in our city and now our citizens have passed the Transportation Benefit District “TBD” Proposition #1 to help fund solutions. This allows our city to raise the sales tax two tenths of a percent to 8.7% for our road improvements. This will only amount to 20 cents per $100 and will remain one of the lowest sales taxes within the Puget Sound Region. This will allow our city to raise roughly $16 million over the next 10 years for new construction of roads and traffic improvements. It is not for maintenance, sidewalks or curbs, that will be funded in other ways. The city will also now be in a better position to obtain matching grant opportunities that come our way. This will benefit everyone that enters our city, yet only a small portion will have to be paid for by our citizens.

At the last two council meetings, Councilmembers worked on Ordinances that deal with Recreation Halls in our Waterfront Zone, Minimum Lot Size, Development Agreements and our 2020 Gig Harbor City Budget. We will still be finalizing the budget at our next council meeting on November 25, 2019.

On Veterans Day I was fortunate enough to be in our Nation’s Capital on a personal vacation. I walked through the Smithsonian Museum, the American History Museum and through many of the monuments honoring our men and women who fought for our country. Many never came home or were wounded and were never the same. Without each of them, and many more at home supporting their efforts, we would not be here today. Thank you to all of our veterans for your sacrifice and for allowing us the freedoms we enjoy.

Kit Kuhn

Nov 01

A Note from the Chief of Police - November 1, 2019

Posted on November 1, 2019 at 2:05 PM by Joshua Stecker

Mayor Kuhn asked that I provide some clarifying information to you.

There has been a recent allegation that the Mayor of Gig Harbor has unfettered access to the police department, including files and/or items of evidence.  What is true is that every Mayor and City Administrator has had a master key to the Civic Center, including the police department offices.  Nobody – even the Mayor – can have unescorted access to the police department without having first undergone a background check and at no time does the Mayor have access to the property room where items of evidence are maintained.

Thank you.

Kelly Busey
Chief of Police
Gig Harbor Police Department

Oct 26

Mayor's Update - October 25, 2019

Posted on October 26, 2019 at 10:47 AM by Joshua Stecker

On Monday, October 21st and Tuesday, October 22nd Council held two Study Sessions to discuss the 2020 Budget.  Nothing is decided until the budget is passed but it will be discussed in the two November council meetings. The links below tell where the city and council decided to add or subtract dollars. Please look at Tourism & Communications and Parks Development for the biggest changes. Tourism carried over from Monday to Tuesday.

Over the last 18 months we have provided our community greater access to the agenda, roughly 4 days earlier, to give citizens time to ask questions or attend meetings of interest. We want to hear from you during the City Council Meetings at public comment. We are here to serve our community, please reach out to staff or myself by contacting us via the information on our website.

I want to express my gratitude to the citizens for participating in phases of Ancich Waterfront Park. I continue to be inspired by your commitment, focus, and willingness to wrestle with funding concerns raised by City Council. The October 9th Listening Session hosted leaders from many community interest groups with direct ties to access at Ancich Park. We have already seen the fruit of that session as we are considering this in the 2020 Budget. It is clear we need water access at the park. See our calendar to observe the November 4th Study Session as Council strives for possible solutions for PRD’s and Ancich Park.

During Monday’s Agenda Council discussed:  Legislative, Non-Departmental, Court, Administration/HR/Legal, Information Technology, Police, Community Development, Tourism & Communications and Arts Commission.

During Tuesday’s Agenda the following was discussed:  Public Works –General, Wastewater Operating, Wastewater Capital, Parks Operating, City Buildings, Streets Operating, Water Operating, Storm Operating, Tourism & Communications, Streets Capital, Storm Capital, Water Capital, and Parks Development.

To listen to the recording of the meetings follow the links below. You can click on the highlighted Agenda Titles to go directly to that portion of the meeting:

Link to Monday, October 21st Agenda and recording:

Link to Tuesday, October 22nd Agenda and recording:

Lastly, our goal is to fill our vacant City Administrator position by January 2nd.


Mayor Kit Kuhn