Navy Yard City Park Story, Redux

Carolyn Yaschur I Kitsap Sun

Comes now, this story, about a dumpy, county-owned park in Navy Yard City, a low-income unincorporated archipelago inside Bremerton’s city limits. The county’s Web site said the park is closed, but it was open the two days I stopped by. Wide open.

(The Web site has since been updated.)

Although the view is pretty, some self-centered jerks were trying to turn it into a landfill.

So I started calling parks officials. I left messages. I waited a day to give them a chance to respond.

No calls back.

So I called back the next day. Left messages. I even reached Dori Leckner, senior parks maintenance supervisor, on her cell phone.

As a matter of courtesy, I often ask sources if I’m calling at a good time. Some might say anytime a reporter calls is not a good time. I do this so the source can hang up, gather their thoughts, and start fresh on the phone. I extend this courtesy to people I think will deal honestly with me. I am not required to do this, and I don’t always do it, but sometimes I think it’s only fair.

Leckner said it was not a good time and she would call me back shortly.

She did not.

I called once again that evening, no answer.

The story ran the next day, Thursday, without comment from the department. I did not mention the employee’s name, thinking maybe Leckner just forgot. Fair enough.

But still, no call back. Not a word.

In defense of Leckner, I also left messages with at least one other parks official who neglected to return the call.

We did hear from a deputy, however, in the story’s comment section, about his efforts to patrol the park.

The paper’s opinion editor decided to write an editorial admonishing the county for its inaction.

It ran Friday.

Still, no call back.

On Friday afternoon, I called County Commissioner Jan Angel, R-South Kitsap, whose district includes Navy Yard City.

Shortly later I received a call from Leckner. The conversation took, at the most, five minutes.

Leckner said the park was cleaned up Thursday. What could be recycled was recycled. What couldn’t was thrown away.

She said the gate was open because people keep cutting the lock and the chain.

She said the park was closed June 1 because the county doesn’t have the money to keep it up.

She also said a sign would be posted explaining the park is closed.

So there it is.

It took more work than it should have, but that’s the story.

One thought on “Navy Yard City Park Story, Redux

  1. This park used to be maintained by the Westside Improvement Club members when I lived there, as my grandfather went to several work parties. How it became part of Kitsap Counties responsibility I don’t know. It is isolated and relatively unknown spot. Perfect for illegal activity. I commend the deputy for doing his part, but he probably has his hands full with big time crime now. The old way of doing something was better. Having an organization adopt the park. Close it after hours. Have neighbors call the cops when the park is in use after dark. Take back our little niches of humanity. Post some lights and a sign. You will be arrested after hours if you are in this park. A little civic duty “might” make the difference. Or maybe Kitsap county is just waiting to put the park back into the tax rolls by selling it.

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