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The following email was sent today to all employees in the City of Bremerton. It gives an update that the City remains on solid financial footing at this time in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Dear City Personnel,
As you all know, the City of Bremerton is in an unprecedented public health emergency that has impacted our lives at work, at home and our communities. I want to take a moment to express my deep appreciation for your dedication during these challenging times.
It’s periods like this that truly bring us together to overcome challenges. There is no playbook for how to operate in this environment, but I have witnessed our employees rally during this time of enormous disruption. As I’ve said before, this is an all-hands-on-deck moment and it’s clear each of you has risen to the occasion.
At present, we face uncertainty about how and when the stay-at-home order will be lifted and when guidelines will be put in place for the City to safely reopen. Despite these questions, I want to communicate what we know at this point, specifically about the economic situation in our City. In the news, you are likely to hear more about funding shortfalls facing cities across the state and the nation. What I want to share with you is that Bremerton is in a solid position due to the sound fiscal practices that we have put in place over the past few years. There are still some things we don’t know, but we are closely monitoring conditions for impacts to revenue and other funding sources. We remain extremely cautious about the budget due to these circumstances. Even with some unknowns, we are not anticipating budget cuts, including employee positions, at this time. My focus has been – and I will continue – to look objectively at our financial situation. Without exception, I will be taking a careful, deliberate and measured approach to managing our City finances throughout this crisis.
Looking ahead, I expect we will hear more from the state and federal levels about strategies to reopen the economy and how to best protect our community. One of my top priorities is the health and well-being of our staff when we begin this next phase. Once we learn more from medical experts and government leaders, we will provide the important safety protection measures they recommend going forward.
In the meantime, I want to again thank you for your commitment. I am proud every day of what has been accomplished and how you have come together for a common cause during this extraordinary time.