City Council Extravaganza

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The Bremerton City Council approved three contentious measures at its Wednesday night meeting.

The measures include giving a thumb’s up to naming the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge after a late state senator, moving to bring the force of state law on a notorious apartment building and renewing a contract with Diamond parking to enforce the rules at the Harborside.

The council approved a resolution asking the state Transportation Commission to name the eastbound span of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge after Sen. Bob Oke, R-Gig Harbor. Oke is credited with tirelessly fighting to have the bridge capacity doubled.
After a number of people spoke in favor of the measure, including Chet Simpson of Bremerton who said he thanks Oke every time he passes the bridge, the council voted 6-1 to approve the measure. Councilman Cecil McConnell said he liked Oke but wouldn’t support anyone who had supported a statewide measure to raise taxes to pay for transportation projects. Councilman Roy Runyon abstained, but said in his comments that the council was an inappropriate place to consider the idea.
Councilman Adam Brockus said he had been approached by both supporters of naming the bridge after Oke, and opponents. He said opponents were generally against the idea because Oke had voted against adding gays to the state anti-discrimation law. Brockus said the issue was about the bridge, and supported naming it after Oke. Council President Will Maupin was absent. In his place Councilwoman Dianne Robinson conducted the meeting.

As part of its consent agenda, the council approved a measure to begin litigating the owner of an apartment building known for drug activity, a stone’s throw from the police department. City Attorney Roger Lubovich said in a period of about two years the 12-unit apartment building on the 1200 block of Gregory Way using a state law meant to reign in properties used for unsavory activities.
Lubovich said the building had about 200 calls for police service in about two years. The city has never used the state law to shut down a property, Lubovich said. He noted, however, that the city has started the proceedings, just it never had to go all the way through court. If a judge agrees with the city, the property could be shuttered for a year.
Lubovich also noted that some of the residence are “innocent victims” and could be displaced by the action. He said assistance would be put into place before, and if, the building is shut down.
(On a side note, when I came to Bremerton last year I asked a veteran police officer for a recommendation on an apartment. The piece of advice he offered was to stay away from this building. Funny how things work out.)
The consent agenda was approved without opposition, so it might be a stretch to call it “contentious.” However, it was added to the agenda following an executive session, which means members of the public ( i.e., usually just yours truly) are required to leave the room. It might not be contentious for the Council, or for me or you, but it will be for the residents and the owner.

The council also approved a contract with Diamond Parking to continue serving the Harborside garage.
Parking isn’t an issue that brings our the gentle, good-natured side of most Bremertonians. Whether one believes the rules are too strict, or not enforced adequately, or too lenient, everybody has a complaint.
One complaint, aired by Councilman Adam Brockus, is a “philosophical” disagreement over a firm getting a contract to patrol city parking lots when the company controls parking lots of its own.
However, the contract for Diamond to enforcement the law at the garage expired in July 2007. The agreement approved 7-1, with Brockus dissenting, keeps the prior contract’s rate of $4,558 per month with a few adjustments.
The city clerk’s office provided numbers that showed the city earns about $473,000 annually from revenues from the garage, not including infractions. Conversely, it pays about $55,900 for the contract.

One thought on “City Council Extravaganza

  1. Binion here:

    Again, the comment approval function isn’t working, so I’m posting this comment manually.

    Thanks for writing/reading.
    ——-

    If that is the main reason Brokus thinks exist for opposing the naming
    of the bridge, he is being as closed minded as those opponents.

    However, at least he is apparently the only one that sees the obvious
    conflict of interest in contracting with Diamond Parking.

    Commenter name: TomRosendale
    Commenter email address: ttibbers@yahoo.com

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