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FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2014 | Vol. 114, No. 23 | WWW.BAINBRIDGEREVIEW.COM | 75¢


City loses lawsuit over council member emails

The return of the Scotch Broom Festival

Judge cites ‘grave concerns’ over council members’ actions BY BRIAN KELLY

Bainbridge Island Review

Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review

The annual Bainbridge Island Scotch Broom Festival made it’s way down a surprised Winslow Way Friday, May 30 lead by this year’s hastily crowned queen: Mickey Molnaire. “It’s my moment in the sun,” she laughed after the parade. BY REVIEW STAFF

Downtown Winslow saw the return of the much-loved Scotch Broom Festival Friday, May 30, amidst much laughter and the craning necks of uninformed passersby. The tiddlywinks game? They may have overlooked that. The classic hot rod pulling up in

front of Town & Country? That only drew a handful of second looks. But the ensuing parade of islanders waving handfuls of Scotch broom marching down Winslow Way? That was hard for anyone to ignore. This year’s hastily crowned queen was Mickey Molnaire, the wife of Ron Konzak — one of the quirky event’s original co-creators. As such,

she has been a perennial attendee of the festival, but was most definitely not expecting to wear the crown Friday afternoon. “It’s my moment in the sun,” she laughed. Though a crucial aspect of the festival, luckily for Molnaire the queen TURN TO FESTIVAL | A18

The city of Bainbridge Island violated the state’s Public Records Act by failing to turn over emails that city council members had sent and received on their personal email accounts, a Superior Court judge ruled Friday. Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jeanette Dalton ordered the city to search the hard drives of the computers of councilmen Steve Bonkowski and David Ward, and also said the pair who had sued the city over the missing public records should be awarded attorney fees. The ruling was a complete victory for the two “good government” advocates who filed the lawsuit against the city and councilman Steve Bonkowski, David Ward and former councilwoman Debbi Lester last year. Althea Paulson, a Bainbridge Island blogger who writes about city

politics, and Bob Fortner, a leader in the successful 2009 campaign to change the city’s form of government, filed the lawsuit after the city failed to release emails that showed the council members were discussing city business on their personal email accounts. “This decision leaves no doubt that these council members put themselves above the law, and they put their personal agendas over their responsibilities to the public,” Paulson said after the ruling was tendered. “This is a strong reminder to government officials all over the state that government must be ethical in all their dealings and transparent and accountable to the public,” she said. “It’s a victory for all of us.” In their lawsuit, Paulson and Fortner repeatedly pointed out that city policy forbids council members from using their personal TURN TO LAWSUIT | A10

Marijuana retail to be located in city’s business-industrial zone BY CECILIA GARZA Bainbridge Island Review

Cecilia Garza | Bainbridge Island Review

Bainbridge Island City Hall had an overflow of residents at Monday’s meeting to give input on Bainbridge’s marijuana business regulations. The majority of the crowd spoke in opposition to a retail business in the Rolling Bay neighborhood.

Bainbridge’s burgeoning pot industry just got more regulated. The Bainbridge Island City Council directed staff Monday to revise the recently approved marijuana ordinance. In it, the council asked that retail be moved from Rolling Bay and limited to the business industrial zone along with growing and processing. “It seems to me that having a retail outlet embedded deep within our neighborhoods didn’t make sense,” said Councilman Steve Bonkowski on the potential for increased traffic. “I think your proposal to restrict to industrial areas, which by design are all adjacent for the most part to Highway 305, I think they have the traffic control

because of their location.” City staff will revise the ordinance the council approved in May within the next month and in doing so, remove its Nov. 12 expiration date. Retail businesses, the council agreed, should be moved from the three previously-approved neighborhood service centers, Lynwood Center, Rolling Bay and Island Center, to the Day Road business-industrial zone. Processing and growing will remain limited to the same zone, the Day Road business-industrial district. In addition, the ordinance’s energy requirements should be shifted, the council said. Currently the ordinance requires growing businesses to reduce fossil-fuel based electricity by pulling at least 50 percent of its energy consumption from

island-generated renewable energy. The redraft will not require growers’ to have a percentage of its energy come from island-generated resources or be renewable. The city may however, request documentation or monitoring reports on growers’ energy consumption. This change came after Councilwoman Anne Blair noted she was hesitant to alter the energy consumption standards since law enforcement has reportedly used energy records to identify illegal grows. Councilman Val Tollefson argued that this simply meant that grows use more power than a residence, but does not show how it compares to industrial businesses. TURN TO ZONE | A10

Bainbridge Island Review, June 06, 2014  
Bainbridge Island Review, June 06, 2014  

June 06, 2014 edition of the Bainbridge Island Review