Is committee redo in the works?

In order to increase efficiency, have more structure to the process and possibly increase public input, the Bremerton City Council examined its committee process during a Wednesday night study session.

Poulsbo City Councilman and County Commissioner candidate Ed Stern lead the discussion. He helped revamp the Little Norway’s process of getting agenda items to the council in committees rather than having marathon meetings. He said before the committees were set in place, councilors would spend hours debating the items at the council’s regular meetings.

The committees, Stern said, only act as an adviser and present their findings to the council during its meeting. The committees have three council members — one less than a quorum — and meetings are open to the public.

“It’s meant to speed along the business, not slow it down,” Stern said.

Bremerton has a committee system in place, where two to four councilors discuss items. Larger committees include finance and public works. Some Bremerton City Council members voiced concerns that more discussion in committee would hinder the public’s access, but Stern said the public is more than welcome to join the discussions.

The council then brainstormed on what it likes about the current system and what needs fixing. Currently staff bring future agenda items to the whole council during its twice-monthly study sessions. Under the Poulsbo system staff would present to the committee and the committee would report its recommendation to the council.

At first the idea was met with resistance, Stern said, but once staff realized they had the approval of three of the seven councilors, then it faded.

In other business the council discussed the possible sale of the former Bremerton Police West Precinct site on Auto Center Way to Soon H. and Pyong D. An. The purchase is scheduled for action at the June 6 meeting.

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