The Mayor Writes . . .March 3rd, 2008 by Steven Gardner
Please divert your attention to a couple of blog entries by local fixture and recently elected Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola.
We speculated on Bremerton’s interest in SKIA, but Port Orchard’s possible role received little more than passing interest. Coppola’s got an idea that, especially given his position, port and Bremerton officials will give consideration.
The mayor might (I said “might”) be overstating what Botkin was obligated contractually to provide for the money he was being paid, but spoke what is for many the absolute truth when you separate what’s in the contract from what are reasonable expectations. I only hedge on “might,” because I know what was in the most recent contract, and based on what I’ve seen that was about to come to pass.
Where Coppola cites examples, though, his commentary is pretty telling.
He couldn’t even put together a coherent grant application. Instead of spending a couple of thousand dollars on a professional grant writer, in one instance, he kept the money in his own pocket and did it himself. He scored 345 points out of a possible 1,000 — nearly at the very bottom of the list.
Kathleen Byrne-Barrantes is among those who are specifically proficient at writing grants and getting funding. She has helped the City of Bremerton score tons of grant money for park and other programs. The city pays her to write the grant and provide the supplementary material and so far the investment has paid off. I don’t know if Byrne-Barrantes is the grant writer Coppola’s referring to, but she’s an example.
In October we wrote about SEED getting passed over for a grant. At the time we wrote:
Tim Thomson, the port’s chief operating officer, said the fact that nothing has yet been built on the SEED site was likely one of the port’s weaknesses in its application.
“Since ours is more conceptual than physical, we were probably at a disadvantage,” he said. “Our weakness is we are just beginning the site. We’re competing with zones that were defined around infrastructure that already existed.”
I tried to find out if this is the grant Coppola was referring to, but it’s late Monday and I’m tired of trying to negotiate around the CTED Web site tonight. It’s one we know about, though.
You may be most surprised at Coppola’s ending. He thinks the port did the right thing by dumping Botkin, but he isn’t opposed to SEED.