I’ll update more on this later.
I attended the debate between the port commissioner candidates and was not at all surprised to see that the port’s tax for the Bremerton Marina continues to be the dominant issue.
Challenger Larry Stokes said it’s the reason he’s running. Incumbent Mary Ann Huntington said if she had to do it over again, she’d still go with the Industrial Development District that launched the tax, but she’d favor the port taking a much more aggressive stance to make sure there was ample publicity.
Audience members did veer to other subjects, but it kept going back to the tax.
One audience member, who didn’t want to be named, likened it to the port taking money out of his wallet without permission. Of course, that would be illegal. What the port did, while quiet, was technically legal. The same guy attended a Bremerton City Council meeting several weeks ago and chastised the council when it discussed whether to put the parks levy on the ballot. He told the council then that all the people wanted was a chance to vote on the matter, but that the council hadn’t done it. Council members rightfully seemed perplexed, but I think he was confusing the port and the city, which upon reflection I can see why he might. The council did put the parks measure on the ballot.
The mayor, I would add, also went to great lengths weeks before to make sure I knew what the city was considering.