Island Power Effort Tabled for Now

From Bainbridge Island City Manager Doug Schultz’s Report June 16th, “After over two years of studying the feasibility of forming a municipal electrical utility, the City Council voted during their meeting on June 13 to cease further consideration of forming a municipal utility at this time.

City Manager Doug Schulze is featured in PSE promotion of a grant to Island Church.

City Manager Doug Schulze is featured in PSE promotion of a grant to Island Church.

We didn’t even get our measure on the ballot. As one confused person asked at the June 13th Council Meeting “how can this go forward with a 10% vote, don’t we need 51% or something?” Yes, it’s called a ballot measure. We had hoped that the council would write an ordinance to put our measure on the ballot so that the island could vote on it. But, PSE wasn’t going to make the Thurston mistake again. They were going to stop our campaign before it reached the ballot.

One concerned person wrote council:

“It was stated that there is little public support for this issue, which is no surprise seeing the constant negative press leveled by PSE using ratepayers’ dollars. Regardless if there is support now or not, it is perhaps the only meaningful way for the public to engage in dialog and debate as a democratic tool of education on this matter. The council has wisely spent the 100k of taxpayers money for the Hittle report, which lays out a positive process forward, so it seems that the public should at least have a right to a full debate and vote.”

I couldn’t agree more. People seem to like the word democracy but don’t always know what it entails.

PSE is completely embedded in our community, giving money (via their foundation) and participating in the following events (only a small sample):

  • Bainbridge in Bloom – sponsors
  • Bainbridge Farmers’ Market – booth
  • Bainbridge Museum of Art – sponsored fundraising BASH
  • Bainbridge Rotary Auction – sponsors
  • Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce – on the board
  • Bainbridge City Hall – PSE employees attend the following meetings: City Council, Utility Advisory Committee, Comprehensive Planning, and Planning Commission.
  • Bainbridge Island Downtown Association – $14,000
  • Bainbridge Schools Foundation – $5,000 grant from PSE
  • Bainbridge High School junior received a $1,000 scholarship prize from PSE for her Grand Old Fourth illustration
  • Bloedel Reserve – sponsored Light the Night event
  • City of Bainbridge Island -  received a $15,000 grant from PSE to upgrade 207 LED street lights (1/3/2017).
  • Bainbridge Island Review – digital and print ads run every week for more than 2 years. The Review came out against the idea of the feasibility study – screen grab of opinion piece sandwiched between two PSE ads.
  • Grand Old Fourth – sponsors, participants
  • Grow Development – PSE presented a rebate check of over $40,000 to support energy-efficient construction on Bainbridge Island.
  • Halloween – sponsored trick or treat downtown
  • Harbour Pub – paid for the lease on a Biodigester
  • Island Church - $50,000
  • Islandwood – sponsored 65 students
  • West Sound Wildlife Shelter – sponsored fundraising event ($10,000)
  • Chilly Hilly Bike Event – booth
  • Winter Studio Tour – sponsors


It has rained money from PSE for the past few years.  Great for the island, but, maybe not so great for democracy?


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