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Josh Brown, Lary Coppola trade accusations.

August 8th, 2011 by Steven Gardner

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola takes the county to task for its dealings with Juel Lange in Poulsbo and Marcus Carter in Central Kitsap. Carter has a gun range. It’s Coppola’s arguments about Lange that got County Commissioner Josh Brown upset. Lange had an outdoor swimming pool he operated for customers for 35 years in North Kitsap. He closed it in 2004 but had hoped to reopen it this year. That won’t happen. From Coppola’s column in the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, which he publishes:

Lange won’t be able to open this season after being a victim of what can only be called a classic flim-flam by county regulators.

and

Meanwhile the Kitsap County Health District is requiring Lange to have a lifeguard at the pool, something he claims has never worked because parents would dump off their kids for long periods, with a lifeguard, while they always stayed and watched without one — and according to Lange, the kids behave better.

The Health District also required Lange to install a second pool drain to supposedly prevent sucking swimmers down the drain, or some such nonsense, while an alternative solution he proposed was not acceptable.

Brown points out in his response that Coppola actually sits on the Kitsap County Health District’s board of directors. Here’s the two of them together on the district’s website.

Coppola never raised this issue in his position on the board, Brown’s chief contention in the response to Coppola Brown wrote and shared with us:

Lary,

I read your recent editorial in your newspaper blasting the Kitsap Health District policies over Lange’s Ranch. Your article attacks Kitsap County and our DCD. What you never clear up for your reader is that the regulations that Lange’s Ranch must clear are Health District policies—a board on which you sit! You have never brought this up to the Health District Board at a meeting, nor do I recall ever seeing any correspondence from you asking Health District staff to report back to you and the Board on this matter. This article continues your pattern of misrepresenting facts, attacking others when you take no responsibility, and just plain lying. I believe you owe the employees and Board of the Health District an apology.

Josh Brown

Also worth reading are some of the comments on the stories referenced earlier, the ones from our paper. The first story, the one warning of a “showdown,” begins mostly with those complaining along the same lines Coppola does in his piece, with some counterarguments from those saying government should regulate as it has here. After the second story, however, there appear to be a lot of folks who know Lange weighing in.

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2 Responses to “Josh Brown, Lary Coppola trade accusations.”

  1. Lary Coppola Says:

    Steve,

    I was disappointed you didn’t contact me for a response before posting this, but I did email you a copy of it. However, it came back with a note saying you’re out of the office until the 15th. With that in mind, since Josh sent you his original email to me, here is my response back to him.

    Josh,

    We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. And please, remember that this wasn’t written by Lary the Mayor, but Lary the Editor, so please don’t confuse the two. I have taken a much softer editorial approach to dealing with other electeds in the time I’ve been Mayor since we all have to work together. However, I didn’t abdicate my right to express an opinion or an observation either, and in my view the two issues brought up in the Business Journal were so blatantly wrong, they deserved to be brought to the attention of the business community in general.

    What happened both at Lange’s Ranch and at KRRC follows a long-established pattern by Kitsap County, and especially DCD, of working against the local business community and treating it as an adversary rather than the asset it is. The KRRC issue is such a blatant waste of taxpayer dollars — 12 years and 3 losses in court against a non-lawyer — that it openly defies what otherwise would be considered responsible stewardship of the taxpayer’s money. It has become a clear case of using the massive power of government against the little guy. As a county commissioner you should be ashamed to even be a party to this, much less doing absolutely nothing to prevent this ongoing miscarriage of justice and blatant waste of limited resources.

    As for Lange’s Ranch, this issue never came before the Health District board — and why would it — so how could it be commented upon in that setting? The DCD issues speak for themselves.

    There is no misrepresentation of facts here, and certainly no lies have been told. Did you chastise the Kitsap Sun as you have me? They broke these stories — I simply offered personal observations on them — nothing more. So with that in mind, I believe you owe me an apology for making such a statement — especially on the public record. I would expect that in the future, if you have an issue like this, that you will bring it to me directly for gentlemanly discussion.

    LFC

  2. Lary Coppola Says:

    By the way, here is the link to the original editorial that JOsh got upset about.

    http://kpbj.com/opinions/the_last_word

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