Monthly Archives: July 2007

Tax Talk Continues

Over on the Kitsap Caucus blog there is a bit of a discussion about the Port of Bremerton race, including much about how the tax increase remained dark for so long.

Driving through South Kitsap today I saw a lot of signs in support of Port Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington. Based on signs alone it would appear Martin DiIenno would be the other primary survivor, but I don’t know if signs are necessarily an indicator of who will win. If Huntington is the top vote getter Aug. 21, the next number to look at is whether she has more than 50 percent. If she’s first, but not the majority choice, the question becomes how big is the ABMAH contingent. If she’s in second, she’s in trouble.

Council District 4 — An Invitation

Four residents are contending for the city council fourth district seat and today you get a small slice of what they want to see the city do.

There will be more later this week. The candidates will kick off this year’s Eggs & Issues debates Thursday. I’ll be there to report on it and will have a story later that morning, but there should be room at the Family Pancake House should you want to go yourself.

In the Olympian piece I referred to a few days ago Mayor Cary Bozeman is quoted as saying you have to have a plan to succeed.

That is somewhat interesting given that the current District 4 councilwoman Wendy Priest has been arguing for the completion of the Sub-Area planning process before moving forward on property tax breaks for developers.

Three of the candidates have posted comments here. How about we make it official? How about we post questions here and allow the candidates to answer them online? I’d be interested in knowing whether you readers would welcome such a forum and whether the candidates would be willing to participate.

What say ye?

Bozeman Running Again?

Mayor Cary Bozeman filed a candidate registration form with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, indicating he’s a candidate for Bremerton mayor in 2009.

That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll run. On Thursday he said he probably won’t decide for another year or so.

The state requires candidates to file with the PDC before raising funds. Bozeman plans to have a campaign event Aug. 28. He hopes it’s an annual event as long as he’s in office.

Olympian Visits

The Olympian (which coincidentally is headquartered in Olympia) ran a story Sunday comparing revitalization efforts in Bremerton, Vancouver and Bellingham to Olympia.

While Olympia struggled with downtown issues and projects that went nowhere, Bremerton built a waterfront conference center with a hotel; a six-story government building including a new City Hall; and two condominium buildings with units selling for up to $1.7 million. In five years, it has gained 265 residential units.

There’s also a slideshow.

Leaders in Olympia tout the three cities’ plans as one of the keys to their success.

Unlike Bremerton, Vancouver and Bellingham, Olympia does not have a downtown master plan.

“We don’t have one,” said Keith Stahley, director of Olympia Community Planning and Development. “We have 12.”

Read the comments for the story as well. Start at the bottom.

Seattle on Bremerton Again

In early 2006 the Seattle City Council came to Bremerton for a retreat, to establish some policy goals for the upcoming year and to hear about Bremerton’s face lift.

Monday morning it was Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels in town. He didn’t stay overnight. In fact, toward the end of his speech he referenced as his the ferry boat everyone could see out the huge windows of the Fountain Room.

He wasn’t here to see anything. He came to talk about green cities, the discussion of which you can read about here and here.

He had some specific comments about Bremerton. He used to ride the ferry to see movies at the Admiral. It’s a new place, he said, something his city is trying to emulate.

Referring to the defeat of his plan for a tunnel to replace the viaduct in Seattle, he said, “Congratulations Mayor Bozeman on your waterfront tunnel.”

Bremerton is one of the 618 cities that are part of an effort Nickels started, to get cities to agree to the Kyoto Protocol agreement to reduce carbon emissions, even if the federal government won’t. Nonetheless, City Councilman Mike Shepherd said there’s more Bremerton can do to walk the talk.

The council might have a discussion on the issue at a fifth-Wednesday workshop in August.

Bremerton to Bend

I’m traveling to Bend, Ore. today to watch the induction of schoolkids into a program run by the National Guard. It’s similar to one we’re expected to see here in Bremerton. The state approved money for the school already.

UPDATE (7/27): It was brought to my attention that I failed to add more thoughts about the school.

A few things stand out. One, I went with photographer Larry Steagall and on the second day I brought a video camera. Only one time were we prevented from going where we wanted, and even then we were just asked to wait. We wanted to see what has happening with the girls in the school and they were in a private moment. Other than that the operators of the school gave us access to everything. From what I can tell, they hid nothing.

The first day of drill sargeant yelling was pretty intense and it started in front of the kids’ parents. In fact, that’s how they separated from their parents.

Third, I talked to three boys, who all wanted to be there. This was, of course, before the program began. By the end of it about 40 of the 150 or so students will have exited.

Larry and I plan to return a month or so from now.

It seems the folks running the Washington school have talked a lot with the operators in Oregon. There are some big differences geographically, which we’ll address when we finally run the story sometime this fall.

Cameras Are Coming

There was nary a soul in the council audience Wednesday to protest the city’s implementation of traffic cameras to catch red-light runners and school zone speeders.

There was one critic on the stand. Adam Brockus voted against it, saying he hadn’t overcome his fears that the program was a step toward the “Big Brother” that oversaw every aspect of life in the novel 1984.

Brockus was alone in his vote against the program.

People have protested it here before, but I predict we’ll really hear about it once the cameras start shooting photos.

Assuming it follows the life cycle the program has elsewhere, it will become a fact of life, unless someone takes the city to something beyond municipal court. As mentioned in a previous post, there have been lawsuits.

Silverdale Gets Its Own Recognition

In May 2006 after Inc. Magazine called Bremerton-Silverdale one of its top boom towns (No. 13), the Central Kitsap Reporter included as its house editorial (the unsigned opinion piece) a rant telling Bremerton to “Get off Silverdale’s coattails.” Its point was that Bremerton was getting all the recognition for the economic stuff happening in unincorporated Silverdale.

Never mind that the Inc. story talked mostly about Bremerton.

“For years, Bremerton’s waterfront was nothing more than a parking lot for the city’s top employer, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Boarded-up buildings have been replaced with retail stores thanks to a harborside development program that includes a $47 million conference center, hotel and condo complexes.”

So now that has Silverdale listed as the 99th best place to live in America, should Bremertonians complain that the CK non-city is getting undue credit for the changes going on in a place where ferries actually do arrive from Seattle?

Silverdale is located on the Kitsap Peninsula, a short ferry ride from Seattle across the Puget Sound.

Well, before we get hasty, there are some real pluses to Silverdale.

Now known as the major retail center for Kitsap County, the unincorporated community is home to both quaint shops on the waterfront and Kitsap Mall, one of the largest shopping complexes on the West Sound.

True it is. Fact is Bremerton did benefit from Silverdale in much of the recognition it received. I’m not sure that warranted the tantrum about the coattails, which I’m guessing might have been written at the behest of some folks who are quite proud of the area formerly known as Dickeyville, a place that will one day succeed in governing itself.

Besides, publications such as Money change the criteria every year. When Bremerton was ranked the top place in 1990, that recognition was because the magazine included the entire county. Surely Bremerton would not have won on its own. Even now you’ve got to wonder if the city as a whole would qualify. It didn’t make the CNNMoney list this year, I’m guessing because of the city’s income and crime rates.

So lets take off our hats, bow and offer a mighty congratulations to Silverdale. Enjoy your year on the list.