Post-Election Port Comments

In the story about the port race, outgoing commissioner Mary Ann Huntington is quoted as saying,

“I hope Mr. Stokes knows the port isn’t part of the good old boys system now, that it’s a team. The port is moving forward now and he’s used to moving backward.”

Some of the commenters responded that Huntington’s comments lacked class, to which a commenter countered:

“Give me a break… You aren’t in office for 18yrs and not have class. Should things have been done differently? Yes. Is it time for a change? Maybe. I have more confidence that this lady has class than that the Sun quoted her accurately and in context.”

So here are my notes from those conversations last night.

My question following an election is usually pretty simple: “What’s your reaction to the numbers we’re seeing?”

Here’s what Larry Stokes said. I’ll paraphrase where I didn’t get it exact. With him I varied the question a bit. I said that during the primary he was surprised when he heard from me that he’d won. I believe I said something like you weren’t surprised this time, were you?

“Yes I am surprised. I thought maybe I could win. I didn’t expect it to be so lopsided because of the extensive amount of campaigning the incumbent has done. To me it shows the taxpayers are unhappy and they all know what’s going on in the community and they’re really unhappy about that big tax increase.”

I then asked him what’s next.

“What I’ve got to do right now is I’ve got to check into all the different things that people have asked me about.”

He said he’d be studying further the SEED project and other things.

“My complete intention is to be conservative and protect the taxpayer as much as I can. Tax and spend should be a thing of the past if I have anything to do about it.”

For Mary Ann Huntington, I believe I asked the standard reaction question.

“I just want to thank all the voters who believed in the port and our mission and voted that way tonight. . . I’m proud of what I’ve done, I’ve 18 years of legacy that can never be taken away from me. I’ve watched Port Orchard grow and now I can watch Bremerton grow. Come spring I can stand out on that breakwater and say, ‘By golly I did this.’”

She said the marina will be around for her grandchildren or great grandchildren to enjoy, including enjoying its role in reducing the need for other taxes because of the revenues it will bring to Bremerton.

She said she’d miss the comradery she enjoyed with other port officials, that they worked as a team and drove partisanship aside to come up with solutions.

“I hope Mr. Stokes knows the port isn’t part of the good old boys system now, that it’s a team. The port is moving forward now and he’s used to moving backward.”

She again thanked supporters, saying she raised $16,000, “which is almost unheard of in a port race.”

I asked her what she’ll be doing next.

“I don’t sit still.” She said she’ll be active in the Relay for Life campaign against cancer.

“My job is to find a cure for cancer. Three people at the port going through cancer right now.”

She called Relay for Life her mission, said she volunteers at the high school a lot.

“My husband thinks he’s going to have me at home, but I’m never home anyway. It’s back to TV dinners for him.”

“I’ve had several offers that I’ll have to weigh,” she said. Those include both jobs and volunteer positions. “I’m 67 I don’t know if I want to go to work.”

She said she enjoys serving on boards and commissions, works with the Navy League and the Puget Sound Naval Bases Association. “The Navy is such an important part of our community,” she said.

37 thoughts on “Post-Election Port Comments

  1. I must say that when I read Ms. Huntington’s statement about Mr. Stokes,I was actually shocked. What happened to statesmanship?

    I have talked to many people about the different issues in this election-probably just like everyone else who voted. My theory is that the school majority issue got swept out with the negative taste of many other issues. Many folks are stinging about the chunnel being built, the decisions about taxes that seem to ignore citizen input, and at least the perception of arrogance in city hall.

    On a personal level, I am unhappy about the idea of a quarry being built over the stumps of forest growth in West Bremerton. From the Hood Canal and sweeping in all directions, we see a “leveling of the land” and the loss of resources. It really is connected.

    The biggest tragedy is the inability to pass school financial needs with a simple majority. Education is priceless. Did the school vote suffer because there are too many “Tims” out there?

  2. “…the port isn’t part of the good old boys system now”.

    That’s exactly what the SEED expenditure looks like to a lot of people.

    Different good old boys, same system.

  3. I am glad that the revenue that is brought in to the marina will benefit the Bremerton residents so much. I would really like to hear from the Port of Bremerton or County Commissioners how that “revenue” is benefiting me here in rural South Kitsap, west of Hwy 16. What metric are you using in the future to show my children and grandchildren how they are benefiting from this multimillion dollar marina? Can you tell them what taxes were not increased and what benefits they gained from this 150% tax increase? Mrs. Hunington just does not seem to get it. Neither it seems do the other two members of the Port of Bremerton. Dumping my tax money into a Bremerton marina on the hope it will be successful and bring in revenue to Bremerton is not what I feel is right. How the stealth tax was passed shows me that even the Port of Bremerton commissioners could not explain the need to the taxpayers in a way that would have made sense and brought in support. As for that issue affecting future requests for tax increases, you bet. We will be more vigilant, watch the SEED project, and we await the next Port of Bremerton election when the taxpayer and voter will speak again.

  4. There is no “I” in “TEAM”.

    There is no “I” in “TAX”.

    There is no “I” in “ELECTED”.

    Perhaps those are the important lessons learned from the marina tax.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  5. The important lesson in the stealth marina tax is that as taxpayers and voters we have failed to monitor and inform our elected officials as to what we desire and will support. We have allowed the elected officials, Federal, State, and local to change the rules to allow every small official body to collect a tax or fee without voter approval. I wish I could believe that the officials have the skills and ability to handle the funds in a responsible way, but history has shown time and time again that given unlimited or unrestricted funds bad things happen. WE, the taxpayer and voter are at fault. “I” may not be in a team, “I” may not levy a tax, and “I” may not not be elected, but I will learn from the actions of the Port of Bremerton and will be more vigilant and questioning in the future.

  6. Wrong!

    During our busy lives working and raising a family (good for community?), We allowed the elected official a certain amount of line to run with.

    They took advantage.

    The voter reeled them in.

    YOU WILL NEVER GET HER TO ADMIT IT, BUT SHE KNEW SHE WOULD TAKE A HIT (A long time ago).

    To argue otherwise is to acknowledge that after 18 years, SHE WAS AN INCOMPETENT POLITICIAN.

    I assure you, they talked about the Marina funding and it’s impact on her re-election YEARS ago!

    There is more to this, but somebody must Dig into it.

  7. MaryAnn had better stand on the dock right away, because there is no assurance that the Marina will support itself.
    - One of the reasons other financing was rejected was because the project was deemed high risk by investors.
    -I don’t think the parking issue is resolved yet.
    -The estimated cost from the time of their decision has risen by $9 million. That certainly changes the feasibility.

    The way the commissioners got the money has been the main uproar. It has covered up the prudence issue of even doing the project. My bet is that it will prove to be a boondoggle before Kincer and Mahan’s re-election if they get that far. They won’t be able to raise all the money to get even 33% of the vote.

  8. Tom,

    There may be some room to reign in SEED, but at this point I think the marina project is too far into construction to stop and I highly doubt we’d a vote by the majority of commissioners to give any left-over funds back anyway.

    They do have the power, though.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  9. I think Tom’s point is that the cost overruns on the marina project will perhaps make it appear to be an unwise use of the Port’s special levy authority.

    It may even force the Port to come back at us for more money. At the least, it will make the total cost far more than originally stated — now somewhere in the $31-34 million range. They have about $30 million available to them.

    Whether they hit us again or not, we will be paying the 45 cents per $1000 through the year 2012. Kincer’s seat comes up for election in 2009, and Mahan’s in 2011.

    By the time their seats come up for election, the much more expensive marina will perhaps not be showing that it was worth it by any stretch of the imagination.

  10. Linda,

    You wrote, “Did the school vote suffer because there are too many “Tims” out there?”

    No, Linda, the school vote did not suffer because there are too many Tims out there.

    The school vote is a victim of enough governors, legislators, educators and other voters who fail to put into force the state’s paramount duty per our Washington State Constitution.

    From my read of your opinion, I understand you don’t get it either. So, please forgive me for citing our State Constitution excerpt, as if you are ignorant.

    “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children…”

    And now to those who will rise to write we can’t can’t continue to throw money at education…blah, blah blah, I write it’s not merely about money. It’s about priorities, leadership, commitment, refusing to pass the buck et cetera.

    Sorry for my harsh tone, but bring up the topic of schools, funding, performance et cetera here in Washington State, and I feel livid.

  11. Anoynmous,

    I agree that the State isn’t meeting it’s paramount duty. I would also say that I think if you average out the money that we are already being taxed in the name of “schools” by the state, distribute it evenly, and reduce the irresponsible mandates that suck up district funding like a sponge (and have little to do with student achievement), we wouldn’t need to raise taxes to properly fund our schools.

    Further, I’m starting to think that the leadership in Olympia has been doing this strategically for the last 10-15 years, in order to undermine local control of school districts so that the State can take over public education and eliminate local control of public schools.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  12. The Port may need to buy some fake sailboats to act as decoys to attract boaters. Even if that doesn’t work the pine masts will give a jaunty air to the $30+ million bemusement park.

    Sorry, I can’t help but be sarcastic and worried at the same time. Gallows humor? If someone would just give me some hope, I’d volunteer for a Marina promotion to save the investment. How about me organizing some Seagals as a welcoming crew?

  13. Mary Ann probably shouldn’t have taken that parting shot at Stokes. Nonetheless, there is no discounting the efforts or achievements in her 18 year service as Port Commissioner.

    Diligence and a watchful eye on government are nothing new to me, so calls to focus on the Port or its related projects with the goal of vengeful sabotage are a waste.

  14. Eliminate local control of public schools? What a great idea. Merge all the school districts and the savings could be fantastic. We are merging fire districts, water and sewer districts, why not all school districts? One massive organization with heavy union input to educate Washingtons State youth. As for a strategic plan by our State legislature, I think you give them to much credit for thought and foresight regarding education. What they seem to agree on is to divide Kitsap County into so many Congresssional and Legislative districts that our voice is not heard because we are so divided amongst ourselves. Let the various taxing districts created take the blame for increasing taxes while our State leadership works hard in passing more undfunded mandates for the counties. Rest assured, the Port of Bremerton will be back to the taxpayer to fund the operation and maintenance of the marina, unless the State allows another stealth tax and we do not notice the posted note in the Sun.

  15. In lockstep with the State Supreme Court Justices overturning the voter-approved property tax initiative…

    Perhaps someone could file a cause of action in superior court alleging the voters were misled by the ballot language. Therefore, the election is overturned.

    Who needs the ballot box when we have the Supreme Court transgressing from “legislative” intent to “voter intent?” The “reasonable person standard” takes on new meaning! Skip the election. Hire a professional polling firm and turn the results over to the Supremes.
    :)

  16. For those genuinely interested in “reigning in SEED”, there is an upcoming forum where any and all community persons have been invited to provide insights or skills into the work plan and strategies of the SEED Project.

    Even for those who wish to kill the project without full knowledge or understanding of its details, this meeting is an opportunity to gain additional information towards an informed decision.

    There are breakout groups, and some items on the agendae include grants/funding resources, website/newsletter development, education & training programmes, business/technology research, local business resource integration, and government relations.

    It is being held November 15, 2007 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Port of Bremerton Airport Offices. Contact Laura Melrose at 360-674-2381 ext 22.

    And if you cannot make it, consider asking for the minutes or documents which resulted from the meeting. Perhaps even a reporter will attend to bring back the word to the public.

  17. “…any and all community persons have been invited….”

    Invited by whom? By what method? That odd “forum” to which Keating provided a link?

    The point of contact is apparently a Port of Bremerton employee, since the phone number is the Port’s.

    I admit to having zero interest in attending, but I have to say that the apparent lack of any notice whatsoever on the Port’s own web site or on the “SEED” web site is puzzling.

    Claiming that “any and all have been invited” is not the same as actually letting the general public know about it beforehand by using some method like the web sites the general public might look at.

    Was there a “legal notice” that we missed?

  18. Thanks, Anonymous and Kathryn, for your responses to my post.
    Regarding the school majority vote: I believe that I stated the taxes, were an issue. I still do not support “Tim.” I believe that his view is wrong-headed.
    Here is the deal: Taxing entities on both the state and local levels need to take care with my tax dollars for children! Step up, particularly if this simple majority goes through. We have to start somewhere for children. What gets voted in can get voted out. Meanwhile, if we get a “YES” on this, I will be glad, and I will be watching.

  19. “Invited by whom?

    The Port of Bremerton.

    By what method?

    Email, with a list which included Chambers of Commerce, city mayors and representatives, State Representatives, county officials, tribe officials, the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, West Sound Technology Professionals Association, Kitsap Public Utility District, Congressional offices, Wet Apple Publishing (Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal), Puget Sound Regional Council, Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, and a slew of private sector entities. Not to mention all of their respective contacts. I also personally forwarded it to a Kitsap Sun reporter yesterday at 5pm, then posted it here.

    That odd “forum” to which Keating provided a link?”

    That odd “forum” has 210 registered users. Another with which I am affiliated has over 1000.

    I don’t find it puzzling that it isn’t listed on SEED’s website, since there are no press releases there and the site has long been used to represent the vision, premise and phases of the project. Nor am I surprised it isn’t yet on the Port’s website given the first mass email was sent on November 9 at 2pm. Certainly, it should be on its website, but as it’s unlikely the “average” citizen boots up every day and hits the Port’s site for its primary source of information, it is via media or other public outlets by which this should also be communicated. That’s the point of a press release. If these outlets choose not to publish the information, that is another matter.

    It is entirely appropriate to claim that “any and all have been invited”. There were similar meetings (also published in “that odd forum”) in February and April. A Sun reporter was listed as an attendee at the former, though I don’t recall articles about either being published. We shall see if this one makes the cut.

    Concern regarding press releases and notices is valid, but when this outweighs the importance of understanding issues involving the region’s future, the message is that being pedantic is an acceptable substitute for informed participation.

    More meaningful dialogue needs to occur about Kitsap SEED sans those who admittedly have zero interest. It would be much preferred to log in and partake in substantive discussion regarding the project and aspects of its agendae versus chatter which merely sets the stage for superficial opinion pieces. Hence, why I qualified the information as being directed to those with genuine interest.

  20. WOW! 48 hours notice! If the Port of Bremerton were serious about involving the community, they would post this in a highly visible place on their website with ample notice.

    By the way, are two out of three Port Commissioners attending? I haven’t seen that on their meeting list on their website, either, and SEED is definitely Port business.

    Invited the public? Hardly.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  21. On SEED’s latest “open house handout”, it is said that there will be $338 million in “private development investment” over 15 years.

    http://www.portofbremerton.org/documents/pdfs/seed-overview.pdf

    Have we gotten anything in writing yet? A list of those private companies who will be providing those funds would be a strong factual basis on which to consider support for SEED.

    I called Port of Bremerton and asked this very question this morning. The response was “We have many private investors interested.” When I ased if any were committed, I was told, “No, we don’t anticipate commitment until further down the road”.

    I was told that the private investors won’t be arriving until we have some place for them to “hang their shingle, so to speak”, like with the Bremerton downtown redevelopment. My response was that I didn’t think it was the purpose of taxpayer funds to build facilities for private entities to “hang their shingle” and then hope that they will come. Private companies with that kind of money should build their own facilities.

    It is one thing to build public facilities (like the government center or convention center examples in Bremerton – which I support) and have private businesses lease space as part of ancillary development. It is quite another thing to build an expensive facility with the hopes that, “if we build it, they will come”.

    Oh, and the person I spoke to was surprised I’d heard about the meeting on Thursday. She wanted to know where I heard about it and if I was a supporter of SEED.

    If the Port of Bremerton sincerely wants the public’s support of SEED, perhaps the Port of Bremerton could show some effort in telling the PUBLIC about these sorts of opportunities! When I asked why it wasn’t put on their website, I was told that she thought they might be having website issues lately.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  22. To clarify a few points, the meeting on the 15th is, I believe, a work group meeting. Not a public presentation, although, I prepared a presentation that I would willing share that makes a business case for a sustainable business park in Kitsap County as part of a Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) assignment.

    To you, Linda, I would like to share a perspective about the future of clean energy technology. In fact, here are some references that would throw light on the topic:

    Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage by Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston, October 2006.

    The Triple Bottom Line: How Today’s Best-Run Companies are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success – and How You Can Too by Andrew W. Savitz and Karl Weber, August 2006.

    Natural Capitalism, Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, October 2000.

    Green Gold, Japan, Germany and the United States and the Race for Environmental Technology by Curtis Moore and Alan Miller, September 1995.

    The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift by Andrews R. Edwards and David W. Orr, June 2005.

    The Sustainability Handbook: The Complete Management Guide to Achieving Social, Economic and Environmental Responsibility by William R. Blackburn, February 2007.

    The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line by Bob Williard, May 2002.

    Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, April 2002.

    Triple Bottom Line Risk Management: Enhancing Profit, Environmental Performance, and Community Benefits by Adrian R. Bowden, Malcolm R. Lane, and Julia H. Martin, July 2001.

    Integrating Sustainable Chain Management with Triple Bottom Line Accounting (An Article from: Ecological Economics) by B. Foran, M. Lenzen, C. Dey and M. Bilek, January 2005.

    The Ten Spiritual Pillars of Business Success/Building a Wholesome Workplace for Triple Bottom Line by Rao Kolluru, February 2005.

    It’s ok to feel a bit baffled and confused about the concept of sustainability. Think of it as a three legged stool. You need all legs for it to stand. If one is broken the stool will fall.

    As it stands, Kitsap County isn’t sustainable. Anywhere from 25-40% of our population commutes out of the county, costing us, as reported in the Sun in a story called “Changing the way we do business,” 2003, $103 M dollars a year and 70 M hours. And, that was before ferry increases and the bridge toll.

    In Green Gold, Japan, Germany and the United States and the Race for Environmental Technology by Curtis Moore and Alan Miller, September 1995, the authors discuss how a hostile political climate cost the United States valuable time and that other countries have outpaced. Countries like China and India invest in their scientists and engineers. They are investing in the discovery of new technologies. If we continue with a hostile political climate, we just put ourselves farther behind.

    You can argue about the need to keep pace, for jobs, etc, but it is here. When I put together the statistics for why a sustainable business park makes sense, I was floored by them. I had no idea our job situation is as bad as it is. Over 44% of the County’s population works for the government. The largest employers are the Federal Gov’t, including DOD and the Navy, followed by the hospital and the school districts, along with O.C. Wal-Mart is up there, but doesn’t compare.

    Not everyone can get a gov’t job, although 150 people try for every opening. Throw in the fact that in 2006, I believe, from the Kitsap Trends Report, that we had a net loss of 600 gov’t jobs, we are not in a pretty place.

    We can do as Kathryn Simpson suggested and try to get more people on the gov’t payroll, but is that truly sustainable? Wouldn’t it make better sense to try to grow the business ourselves? And, doesn’t it make sense to take advantage of a growing industry?

    Tim is willing to take the attacks. I cringe when I read them, however, because I see you as attacking the future of our county’s economy and its people.

    For that reason alone, I hope that you will take the time to educate yourself. There are countless websites that showcase changes that companies are making to go green. Not all of it is “greenwashing.” Wal-Mart, surprisingly, is taking the lead, striving for changes. You have to hand it to them, those people are smart! They are doing life-cycle assessments on their operations. Many other companies are following suit. Here is a quick list: 3M, Alcan, AT&T, BlueScope Steel, CANFOR, Codelco, ConocoPhillips, Continental
    Daimler-Chrysler, Electrolux, ExxonMobil, Fujitsu, General Motors, Hewlett Packard, Kennecott Utah Copper, Loup Valley Dairy, Nissan, Procter&Gamble, Rolls-Royce, Sarnafil, Solvay, Stonyfield Farms,
    Toyota, Vestas, Volvo,
    Unilever, Wharington.

    These are just a few who are using one type of framework or assessment tool. There are literally dozens of different assessments being developed whereby companies measure their sustainability.

    This is big business. I hope what you learn will help to dissuade your doubts.

    As I said, I am willing to share my presentation to you, as well. It offers even more statistics.

  23. Mary,

    Please point out where I EVER said that we need more people on the government payroll???

    Further, my very angst with SEED is that it uses taxpayer funds to do what private companies should be doing!

    Poor form, Mary. Poor form.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  24. Hey Kathryn, here is a website to check out: http://www.vitp.ca/ It’s the Vancouver Island Technology Park in Canada. It’s a 100% government supported, tax payer sponsored technology park. It was 98% filled in 2 years. It generated 2023 jobs on 35 acres. In 2005, it was 100% filled and brought in $280 Million in revenues, taxes and construction impacts.

    The University of Victoria purchased it from BC and now runs it, encouraging new innovations in green technology. The possibilities and what they are doing are limitless, running contests to encourage entrepreneurs and budding engineering students, crafting partnerships, etc.

    Just imagine the possibilities. I am thinking, Kathryn, that once you get a deep understanding of what is possible and what it would mean to the education of our children, that you will come to be one of SEED’s biggest supporters. I am making an assumption here, but I wonder if your resistance is coming from a resistance by the Republican party in Kitsap County to anything green.

    It’s not the case elsewhere. People of all faiths and political persuasions are embracing this future.

    In fact, I just printed an article that spoke of “creation care” and was entitled something like Is God Green? I’ll look it up and find it for you. In any case, it addressed a movement growing within fundamentalist churches to be better stewards of the Earth and to do more to stop climate change, etc.

    It’s all good.

  25. Mary,

    Went to the website, here are the technology clusters that the companies are grouped in:

    Our tenants can be defined to exist within the six technology clusters known in British Columbia: Life Sciences, Alternative Energy, New Media, ICT, Wireless, and Fuel Cell.

    I did not see any of the tennants that really promote fuel cell or alternative energy development. Most seem to be in the life sciences or wireless arena. Most did not seem to fit.

    I would think there would be a better way to bring a company like Cisco (one of the tennants) into the region.

    Finally, notice how they have a nice website that informs people, unlike SEED. I still believe that SEED is a boondoggle and will not change my preception until they become transparent and disseminate the information.

    Ms. Keating, when I want to find out information about a government project, you bet the first place I go is to the government agency responsible. Washington state DOT for traffic updates, the federal reserve to find out about interest rates, my local municipality to find out about the services I need (water, sewer, garbage). You bet I expect SEED to effectively communicate over its website. Its failure to do so is an indication of exremely poor project management. Look at the benchmark provided by Ms. Colburn.

    I am not against developing green energy, but there is a lot of VC out there funding these activities (Al Gore went to work for a VC firm that specializes in investing in green firms). That is how the USA funds new ideas that work.

    Next you are all going to tell me how great corn based ethanol is for the environment.

  26. Mary,

    Yes, you are very presumptive.

    Just as I don’t get my talking points for education issues from the WEA, neither do I get my talking points about economics from the local Republican party.

    Further, Mary, I don’t perceive the local Republican Party in Kitsap County as being “resistant to anything green”. I perceive the local Republican Party as being resistant to greenbacks being taken from taxpayers to fund speculative investment. I’m very concerned about the inability of some elected officials to differentiate between appropriate use of taxpayer funds and appropriate use of private venture capital.

    I look forward to Mr. Stokes’ participation in the Port of Bremerton arena.

    I’ve said all along that I’m all for Clean Technology development. But I prefer to invest in it through the stock market and personal choices, not through my taxes each year.

    I’ll look at the link after dinner. But I wanted to immediately respond to your irresponsible presumptions.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  27. “WOW! 48 hours notice! If the Port of Bremerton were serious about involving the community, they would post this in a highly visible place on their website with ample notice.”

    “Wow” is that you missed that meeting is November 15 and the notice was sent November 9, which is 6 days, or 144 hours. As for which Commissioners will attend, I suppose you’ll have to show up to learn that. I’ve seen all of them at meetings I attended. The transmission list speaks for itself in terms of seriousness. Where’s your question to the Sun about why it isn’t published? After all, we just had a blog thread devoted to gaming.

    Invited the public? Absolutely.

    On SEED’s latest “open house handout”, it is said that there will be $338 million in “private development investment” over 15 years. …Have we gotten anything in writing yet? A list of those private companies who will be providing those funds would be a strong factual basis on which to consider support for SEED.

    So you’re asking if they’ve received a list of private investors or companies fifteen years in advance? What is your professional point of reference for other private or public sector projects which have lists of companies or development investment 15 years out?

    My response was that I didn’t think it was the purpose of taxpayer funds to build facilities for private entities to “hang their shingle” and then hope that they will come. Private companies with that kind of money should build their own facilities.

    Then you were being dishonest, as it is precisely what you supported with NASCAR. Did you ask them for a list of the CEOs and Fortune 500 business which were projected to arrive here? Or, should we locate your exact quote in these blogs on that issue when you urged opponents to think about what could be versus what was? What changed your core philosophy respecting economic development, other than a personal grudge against the Port?

    No, building public facilities to lease space as part of ancillary development is not different from building an expensive facility with the hopes that, “if we build it, they will come”. Both are investments with risks and without guarantees. However, you are correct that the typical construction/leasing projects are not the same as one wherein the CleanTech product or service is incorporated into design and operation of the facility.

    The more you speak, the more you make known your lack of understanding of not only the project, but the issues surrounding it. Not that this is a bad thing, as few people understand venture capital.

    The person’s surprise regarding your knowledge of the meeting could mean a great many things, none of which has any relevance when compared to a written email which asks that it be forwarded to recipient email lists. That the Port might be having website issues is valid. I didn’t ask: my interest is more along the lines of what will actually be covered at the meeting.

    What is ironic are comments about sincerity when the most prominent point of discussion is not the project or the forum created for meaningful input.

    John,

    You are still able to find out about SEED via the Port and SEED’s website. What you will not find is a press release about every meeting or discussion had, which is the norm.

    Should SEED’s site be updated to include a press release section with more ‘news’? Indeed. But it nonetheless remains the reality that forums of this nature should also be reported by media.

    Amusingly, when the Port held its meetings for the port marina tax, this information was available at its website. The public’s complaint then was not enough “press releases” in the paper, the inferred form of primary contact. Fast forward to now. Although the Port has sent its information to an extensive list and the media was alerted, this time citizens change their tune and indicate the Port’s website is the primary point of reference. It’s circular logic designed to avoid real topics. Only one person has made any attempt to discuss the actual project or its underpinnings since my announcement (Mary).

    I am quite familiar with the benchmark provided by Ms. Colburn. The provincial government approved its conversion into a research technology park with a budget of approximately 12 million dollars for an already existent 165,000 square foot building. The government backed it 100% and helped it to move forward. It achieved LEED Gold (vs. the Platinum level envisioned by SEED), primarily due to wastewater treatment which is only one of several components proposed by SEED.

    SEED envisions a 75-acre site with projected build out out of one million square feet of building space, with Pod 1 alone bearing a final price tag of $32 million. Its current grants are a mere fraction of what will be required, and citizens have already begun to balk and find ways to shut it down because of their ignorance or poorly informed expectations.

    It seems rather doubtful an updated website will alleviate this condition. Even now, with a forum set for input and realisation of several goals, the best bloggers here can do is to argue about minutiae.

    There is indeed a great deal of VC out there funding the development of green energy, which means they are more likely to fund the companies creating it…not entities aggregating it into a business park in alignment with part of SEED’s goals. Perhaps what you really need to do is get on the phone with some VCs in this region, or attend the many forums they sponsor regarding their best practises.

    Mary,

    What is this partisan drivel you’re on about? Interest in a healthy or prosperous life for future generations isn’t limited to persons from a particular party. Nor is it accurate to say Republicans are against environmentally-sound efforts. It would be a mistake to presume everyone interested in SEED is a “greenie”.

  28. Please share with us the names of the Port representatives you are talking with, so we can have a heads up as to who is reliable and who is not.

    TIA

  29. Dona,

    Are you confusing me with someone else? I barely stuck my big toe into the NASCAR debate. Yes, I supported bringing it to South Kitsap from an economic development perspective. However, NASCAR was also bringing a LOT of money with them up-front.

    Second, if you think I don’t understand venture capital, please tell me why you were touting in these blogs awhile back that you were looking to hook-up venture capitalists with SEED?

    All I’m asking for is for some of that venture capital to invest up-front, instead of after the buildings are built? Yes, I’m sure it will be easier to entice venture capital once we’ve built the buildings and supported start-up businesses for a few years. The venture capitalists will buy-up the technology and have it moved to their own production plants, who knows where.

    This isn’t Canada. The United States has not become a socialized society for business development.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  30. “One of the hardest tasks of leadership is understanding that you are not what you are, but what you’re perceived to be by others.” – Edward L. Flom

  31. Done,

    If the Port sincerely wants to engage the public then the Port should have posted this meeting on it’s website in addition to sending an email to a select group of people.

    It should be obvious to the Port, by now, that the public expects more than they have been doing to communicate with the public. They just don’t seem to get it.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  32. OK. Dona, you caught me on that one. I probably shouldn’t have made an assumption that Kitsap Republicans are anti-green. It is my observation based on the attacks seen here in the blogs, but it is certainly not my observation with fellow BGI students, who are all over the place in terms of their politics, from libertarians to those leaning far right and left and everything in between.

    However, my blog entry was meant to be informative and to offer places to go to seek more information on the value of growing clean technology and the strength of the movement behind it.

    I had hoped that the information I provided would be the focus of any responses, not one comment.

    My goal, quite simply, with that comment was to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying perceptions and assumptions that are causing a resistance to SEED, so that we can address those.

    I apologize for making what you (and Kathryn) believe was a faulty assumption.

    There were probably better questions to ask. OK, here are a few and I am not directing them at you, Dona.

    Before I share them, I think it would be helpful to set some ground rules. Even words like drivel (from you, Dona, who I admire and esteem) carry weight and lead people to feel that they are not being understood. These blogs just feed those feelings. I wish there were stronger etiquette rules, established norms for conversing, in place

    OK, here are some questions:

    Is there a reason to doubt the evidence that clean technology businesses are growing in number? Is there reason to doubt that bringing such businesses to Kitsap would help our economy? Is there reason to doubt that our economy could use help? If there are reasons, can you explain them to us?

    Have you noticed that other clean technology business parks like VITP were publicly funded at start up?

    If you doubt that this model would work in Kitsap County, can you give empirical evidence to support that view?

    By what reasoning did you come to that conclusion?

    How can we find out if it is true?

    What does your reasoning assume?

    What might be your underlying assumption?

    I gave away an underlying assumption of mine, that Kitsap Republicans, the KAPO folks, the Jack Hamiltons of the world, don’t see the value of creating jobs aside from those with DOD, but you tell me I am wrong and that I made some assumptions that aren’t true. Can you give me evidence to support that opposing view?

    If you feel the business model for SEED is faulty, (the way I believed the business model for NASCAR was), explain how you would fix it? What differences would you make? What are your underlying assumptions here?

    How’s that Dona?

    Talk to you later. I can’t make it tonight; I regret to say. I have a very important park meeting to attend. I am sandwiched between meetings with one at 5:30, one at 6:30 and one at 8:15. Ugh.

    I look forward to the conversations these questions and this info, might generate.

    Respectfully,
    Mary

  33. I realize that VC’s are not intersted in funding the construction of the SEED site but they will invest in companies with the good ideas and good management. However with VC funding companies at record levels, I find it hard to belive that the lack of incubator space is a major obsticle in developing and implementing the new techologies.

    Maybe SEED should take a page from the Vancouver Island Technology Park in Canada by reducing the riskiness of the project by diversifaction of the types of companies to lease the space. Again, it did not appear that there were that many alternative energy or fuel cell development companies in that technology park.

  34. Mary,

    Have you stopped beating your children? Could you please provide evidence that you’ve stopped beating your children?

    That is exactly the way you are treating me, the Republican Party, Jack Hamilton, and KAPO when you post unsubstantiated accusations like…

    Mary Colborn said…”I gave away an underlying assumption of mine, that….don’t see the value of creating jobs aside from those with DOD, but you tell me I am wrong and that I made some assumptions that aren’t true. Can you give me evidence to support that opposing view? ”

    Please tell me, Mary, how can I or anyone else give you evidence to support this point of view when neither I nor those others that you mentioned have asserted this point of view?

    You apologize in one paragraph and then repeat the same behavior a minute later.

    Good grief! I do not appreciate your constant slander!!!

    If you want to debate what I’ve said, please make sure that I’ve said it FIRST!

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  35. I didn’t bring up Nascar, but I would like to comment on it’s current state. TV viewing is down overall this year by 14%. It was down last year too. Races have failed to sell out for 6 of the last 10 races. These races are the hyped up, “CHAMPIONSHIP” races.
    I wanted to point this out to show how wrong headed the Nascar supporters are (were). You really need to let that fantasy go.
    PS- Last time I checked, there hasn’t been any “large economic development” near the Loudon NH, Michigan, Phoenix or Atlanta tracks. Those are the only ones I looked at.

  36. Rich, the fact that you continue to spend time researching and commenting on something that is NOT happening in your community shows how “wrong headed” you are. At least it is good for a laugh or a yawn. Try finding an issue that is POSTIVE to the development of Kitsap and amaze us with your eloquent comments on something good for our community. We have all moved on…you should try it. But you can’t and you will not be able to resist responding to this post in a nasty way. Your hatred towards a certain sport and a group of individuals who enjoy that sport is evidently (your last post proves it) just too consuming for you. Professional help is available.

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