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KAPO Rallies to Blast PSRC’s Vision 2040

December 18th, 2007 by Steven Gardner

Note 12/19, 10:30 a.m.: This entry has been changed to correct information about Kitsap representation on the PSRC. I stated there were 3 representatives on the council. Poulsbo City Councilman Dale Rudolf was speaking, however, of the PSRC’s Growth Management Policy Board on which he represents Kitsap County and “Other Cities.” Bremerton City Councilman Will Maupin represents a “Metropolitan Center,” and Port of Bremerton Commissioner Bill Mahan represents “ports.” Also on the board is Suquamish Tribe representative Rob Purser. The Growth Management Policy Board has 17 voting members, including all those named above, and 10 non-voting members.

Of the total number of votes on the PSRC’s general assembly, Kitsap County makes up 3 percent. If you include other Kitsap jurisdictions – all of its cities, the Port of Bremerton and the Suquamish tribe – the total number of votes equals 6.3 percent according to PSRC deputy executive director Mark Gulbranson, a Bainbridge Island resident. Votes are alloted based on population, Gulbranson said.

Here’s the pdf Download file“>file from the PSRC on how votes are allotted.

Here’s the corrected entry:

Alright, so not everybody at tonight’s public hearing before members of the Puget Sound Regional Coordinating Council was a card carrying member of the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners, but the overwhelming majority of those who spoke on the council’s Vision 2040 growth strategy plan were all humming the same tune, “Get us out of the PSRC.”

And a second refrain was carried through much of the meeting – Kitsap bears little resemblance to the other counties represented on the PSRC: King Pierce and Snohomish. Kitsap resident Ron Ross noted that Kitsap, although densely populated (either second or third most densely populated county in Washington depending on who’s right) is still significantly rural, is dominated by military bases, lacks other industrial enterprise, relies heavily on property versus sales tax and is geographically isolated. So why should Kitsap have to play by the general rules, Ross said.

Vivian Henderson of KAPO lambasted Vision 2040, comparing its version of Puget Sound’s future to Seahaven Island, the falsely perfect world of “The Truman Show.” Henderson called the plan’s description of a typical day in 2040, “absolutely ridiculous.”

Many who testified were wary of PSRC’s perceived power over counties and cities. Although not a government entity, the council does oversee distribution of transportation funding throughout the region. The PSRC can’t certify a county’s comprehensive plan, explained Dale Rudolf, a Poulsbo City Councilman and one of three Kitsap representatives to the PSRC’s Growth Management Policy Board, but they can comment on it, and they can certify its transportation plan for the purposes of funding qualification.

Several people, including South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, spoke on what they believe is Kitsap’s under-representation on the council. Land use planner William Palmer said the PSRC has made Kitsap County “the step-child of the Puget Sound region.”

After the meeting, Rudolf, who ran the public hearing, noted that there are three Kitsap representatives on the PSRC’s Growth Management Policy Board. Suquamish Tribe representative Rob Purser is also on the board. The Growth Management Policy Board has 17 voting members, including all those named above, and 10 non-voting members.

Of the total number of votes on the PSRC’s general assembly, Kitsap County makes up 3 percent. If you include other Kitsap jurisdictions – all of its cities, the Port of Bremerton and the Suquamish tribe – the total number of votes equals 6.3 percent according to PSRC deputy executive director Mark Gulbranson, a Bainbridge Island resident. Votes are alloted based on population, Gubranson said.

In the past year, said Rudolf, Kitsap has received 10 percent of the transportation funding funneled via the PSRC.

A handful of people bucked the anti-Vision 2040 tide and spoke out in favor of strong planning policies. One was Tom Nevins, who is on the county’s planning commission. “You might get the feeling Kitsap County residents are opposed to planning, to the Growth Management Act and that’s not true” Nevins said.

Richard Nerf, a former Houston resident, also supported deliberate planning for future growth, saying that in his former city, “If you can buy the land, you can do pretty much what you want with it. People say they don’t want the problems of the big city. The problem is, if you don’t plan, the problems of the cities will come to you.”

After the meeting, I spoke to Gulbranson about the what-if’s involved if Kitsap wanted to withdraw from the PSRC. Gulbranson declined to comment saying that’s a matter for the county commissioners.

I also spoke to Jim Bolger of the Kitsap County Department of Community Development’s planning division to get his reaction on the evening.
“I wasn’t surprised by the comments,” Bolger said. “I knew they (KAPO) were organized on this. When you get the public out and engaged and involved, I think that’s a good thing.”

The PSRC general assembly will discuss Vision 2040 at its April 24 meeting. For more information, visit www.psrc.org.

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5 Responses to “KAPO Rallies to Blast PSRC’s Vision 2040”

  1. Dan Goebel Says:

    The federal money coming from the Federal Transportation Bill that PSRC hands out may not be there for long. The federal debt will soon be over 10 trillion dollars and major cut backs need to be make in federal spending.
    Depending on these federal funds is a step toward creating a welfare state. Once dependent, we are forced to jump though every hoop in order to get the money we need. Then, after we have complied and spend millions of local tax dollars with the expectation that federal money will be coming, they will likely cut us off, because the feds have over spent. The writing is on the wall, you can not get money from a bankrupt federal government.
    The USSR collapsed as a result of it’s over spending on a War in Afghanistan during the Reagan administration. The United States is headed down the same road, and the only way to save it is to drastically cut federal spending. The PSRC is a dream who’s bubble will soon pop, and the less Kitsap County relies on it, the better it be to weather the coming storm.

  2. Gail Says:

    How short sighted can we get here in Kitsap? Gee, the ferry terminal lands in King County and Snohomish County, the bridge that connects us connects to Pierce County. I guess it doesn’t matter to us if they transportation and land use plan those important connections without us. And – if we act like they don’t exist, we won’t have any of our elected officials around to stick up for our needs.

    Do you think Hwy 305 needs to be widened? Do you remember a two land Hwy 3 between Silverdale and Poulsbo? Do you like covered ferry terminals and covered walkways? How about the traffic signals around the county – most would not happen without federal transportation dollars.

  3. James Sommerhauser Says:

    It is ironic that KAPO representative Vivian Henderson was the person who took the County Commissioners to task because there was no PSRC hearing scheduled for Kitsap County.

    The Commissioners then went to bat and got an additional hearing scheduled for Kitsap.

    Then Vivian and her KAPO friends come to the hearing they requested, and call PSRC names and cast comments on their honesty, politics and general lack of desirability.

    If I was PSRC I might be a little confused. You (KAPO) invite us hear so you can tell us to go home and leave you alone.

    I hope the citizens and representatives of King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties do not judge all of Kitsap County based on the example of KAPO.

    Kitsap County Commissioner Jan Angel was quoted in another paper saying, “I don’t understand this kind of a system that brings a plan to the people that doesn’t make a difference,” Angel said. She walked away from the microphone and then returned, saying “I’m elected to represent the people and I don’t know how to do it.”

    “Angel said she would vote to resign from the PSRC and affiliate planning strategies with other counties that have more in common with Kitsap.”

    I guess Commissioner Angel has missed the number of folks who commute to Seattle by ferry and by car across the Narrows bridge every day.

    But then I must admit that I do not always understand some of the statements from Commissioner Angel.

    Jim Sommerhauser

  4. Blue Light Says:

    “I hope the citizens and representatives of King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties do not judge all of Kitsap County based on the example of KAPO.”

    Rather than fret over how they will “judge” us ask whether they should be in a position to “judge” us, at all.

    Let the citizens and representatives of King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties worry about the citizens and representatives of King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

  5. Monty Mahan Says:

    Leaving the PSRC would be a very bad idea indeed. So long as there is funding to be gained by our participation we’d be foolish to withdraw, regardless of how we feel about the urbanites on the other side of the Sound. Be clear about one thing, our portion of federal dollars would *not* increase if we allied ourselves with Mason, Jefferson and Clallam Counties rather than Pierce, King and Snohomish. The PSRC also has no authority to *make* us do anything. They can’t take any authority over our future, unless we give it to them. It may be more a case of ineffective negotiations with the big boys than being bossed around, from what I’ve seen. To reiterate, I believe that leaving the PSRC would be a bad decision. Monty Mahan

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