Poulsbo mayor wants city hires to be vaccinated

Restaurants can continue to use parking spaces

At Wednesday’s Poulsbo City Council meeting, Mayor Becky Erickson suggested that the city implement a personnel policy change to not hire anyone who isn’t vaccinated for COVID-19 until the end of 2022.

Some exemptions for the vaccine may be included, such as for medical or religious reasons, Erickson said. About 90% of city staff are currently vaccinated. The topic will be revisited at a future meeting.

“It’s important that we do this,” Erickson said.

Also, the council extended the Summer Fair program for another year through 2022. The renewal process will require an update to the requirements and guidelines, such as charging market rate for use of space in the city right away for streateries, and considering times of usage such as certain hours and flexibility for weather. The council will vote on the topic at a council meeting in early November when a detailed plan will be available.

Summer Fair is a voluntary program that eases restrictions of the use of public right of ways that was issued under COVID circumstances to allow businesses to expand to comply with occupancy and social distancing restrictions. To date, the city has allowed some businesses to operate dining areas in parking stalls, including Western Red Brewing, Burrata Bistro, State 42 Wines, Slippery Pig Brewery and Green Light Diner.

Current requirements and guidelines of the Summer Fair include: Tents require building permit if over 120 square feet; Maintain disabled parking stalls; Maintain distance from alleys/hydrants/emergency access features; Ability to remove quickly for snow removal; and Cause no damage to sidewalk/pavement or obstruction to Storm Drainage.

In other city news, the council approved an agreement for Johnson Parkway retaining wall art, which is being worked on in partnership with the Suquamish Tribe. The tribe has a cultural committee that will be engaged in the art selection.

“The city of Poulsbo and the Suquamish Tribe desire the inclusion of authentic native artwork at the Johnson Parkway/SR305 Retaining Wall representing the Suquamish culture,” documents read.

Council documents state interpretive signage will be installed near the walkway in the vicinity of the roundabout retaining wall. The tribe and the city will coordinate on the interpretive signage after the retaining wall, tribal artwork and the roundabout centerpiece artwork are installed. The city will provide the signage.

“I think this (agreement) is sensitively and carefully written,” Councilmember Connie Lord said. “I’m just very inspired by the care that was put into it.”

The tribe will utilize $25,000 from the city plus $20,000 forfeited impact fees for procurement and installation of the artwork. The art is scheduled to be installed next spring.

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