Kitsap Caucus

A blog about politics and government in Kitsap County as well as Washington state political news as it relates to Kitsap County.
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In Seattle to See Obama? Hear those booms?

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Anyone from Kitsap make the trek across to Seattle for a glimpse of the prez?

It’s primary day. Here in the newsroom we’re getting ready for a late night, reporting on the election.

2 p.m. : OK then, things just busted loose with reports of loud explosions about 2 p.m. Seattle news agencies are reporting it was sonic booms from military aircraft. KItsap Sun reporter Josh Farley says on Twitter, “Seattle area explosion Caused by two fighter jets that broke sound barrier, confirmed by Seattle traffic control.”

Reporter Ed Friedrich has it from the FAA, they were F-16 military jets responding to a plane in air space that was temporarily restricted due to the president’s visit.

In the meantime, back to business. So, if you were in Seattle to see Obama, share your pictures and experiences. Did you hear the booms?

Update 3:15
Make that F-15s.

And for those who are interested:


Heads Up: On The Agenda

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

You’ll notice the county commissioners don’t have much on their Monday agenda this week — in fact one of their Monday meetings was  canceled. Can’t tell you much about what they’re talking about since the agendas are vague, but I know Commissioner Steve Bauer is out this week, so that’s probably one reason why they don’t have a whole lot to go over.

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street)

Meeting dates:

Monday, Aug. 16: 9 a.m. Meeting is canceled.

2 p.m.: The board (Commissioners Josh Brown and Charlotte Garrido) will hold a discussion until 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 18: 8:30 a.m. The two commissioners will review the upcoming agenda for the Aug. 23 nightly business meeting, followed by sharing information for an hour, a five minute break and then an hour and 20 minutes of board discussion. The commissioners will head into executive session from 11:30 to noon to discuss real estate issues.

City of Bremerton (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, Aug. 18: 5 p.m. The council will hold a briefing before heading into their regular meeting in council chambers at 5:30 p.m. Agenda not online as of Friday (Aug. 13). Check the website Monday to see if it’s up.

City of Port Orchard (meet at 219 Prospect Street)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, Aug. 17: 7 p.m. The council will hold a work study session. Not sure what’s on the agenda because there wasn’t a description available online.

City of Poulsbo (meet at 19050 Jensen Way)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, Aug. 18: 7 p.m. Business agenda items include: the continuation of the public hearing on the Peterson Street latecomers agreement; an initial meeting on the Julian Annexation; information about a tenant elase of the city’s Parks and Recreation facility by the Liberty Christian Center; final acceptance of the Viking Avenue Improvements phase 2; a variance request for Fourth Avenue; a grant agreement with the Department of Ecology for the retrofit of the Anderson Parkway; and a workshop on Fjord Drive.


A Fresh Start, Politically Speaking

Friday, August 13th, 2010

With the primary nearly upon us, I’m priming the pump here on an issues-oriented discussion that hopefully will move beyond the discussion of candidates’ service records in the Richards-Seaquist race.

My questions are somewhat general and simplistic, but hopefully they’ll get the conversation going. Candidates, readers, jump in.

Questions:
Think of the state budget process as an emergency room triage situation in which certain programs and functions of the state must receive care at the expense of others. What methods do you (incumbents) or would you (challengers) employ to set priorities among the following state programs: health, human services, transportation, education, environmental preservation, law and justice, parks and recreation, and basic administrative functions (elections, treasurer, attorney general etc.).

In other words, everything’s a trade-off. What threshold or criteria make one program or expenditure something you would support at the expense of other state functions? Give specific examples.

What can be done to make more state functions self-sustaining? Give specific examples.

People frequently reference privatizing liquor sales. Do you agree? What other state functions could be jettisoned … At what cost to the public or to the state as whole? Feel free to enlighten us on your understanding of how state government is organized and what obstacles present themselves in any discussion of shrinking government.

Most candidates I’ve talked to say the key to restarting the economy is helping business (especially small business) survive and thrive. How would you do this? Give specific examples. What are the obstacles to enacting these changes?

On education, if you had to make choice between funding a certain program for Pre-K or post-secondary education, which would you choose? Alternately, if you had a certain pot of money to allocate to Pre-K or post-secondary education, what percentage would you give to each.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Chris Henry, reporter


Does Voluntary Separation Target Older Workers?

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Kitsap County is considering a voluntary separation agreement for its employees as a way to help balance the 2011 budget. The city of Poulsbo recently approved such an agreement.

According to Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, the program isn’t targeted only at employees close to retirement. But both the Kitsap County undersheriff and county clerk on Monday told the board of commissioners they would prefer to see workers close to retirement take advantage of the offer.

Maybe “targeted” is the wrong word, since both programs are strictly voluntary. Both, however, clearly offer employees who have been in their positions the longest the greatest incentive to leave.

Under Poulsbo’s agreement adopted by the council, employees who take the voluntary separation would receive varying payouts based on how long they worked for the city.

Employees who have been with the city for up to five years would receive two months’ pay, those with five to 10 years of service would receive 2 1/2 months of pay and those with more than 10 years’ service would receive three months’ pay.

Under a draft proposal, Kitsap County employees who have worked fewer than 10 years would receive 10 percent of their annual rate of pay up to $10,000; 10 through 15 years, 15 percent with a maximum of $12,000; 15 to 20 years, 20 percent with a maximum of $15,000; and 20 years or more, 25 percent with a maximum of $20,000.

I asked the county’s HR director Bert Furuta how such a program would be expected to affect morale. “OK,” he said. “As long as it’s fully voluntary.”

The county has already made layoffs in addition to leaving positions unfilled. Poulsbo has not yet had to make deep budget cuts, so I’m wondering if the voluntary separation agreement isn’t making folks around city hall just a tad nervous.

I’d appreciate hearing from anyone whose employer has offered a voluntary separation. How was it for those who accepted the agreement? How was it for those left behind?

And for those of you who haven’t had to chance to consider a voluntary separation offer, what would it take to get you out of your position?

Thank you. Chris Henry, reporter


Heads Up: On the Agenda

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

Another week, another meeting….

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street)

Meeting dates:

Monday, Aug. 9: 9-11 a.m. Board information sharing (that was easy enough…)

2 p.m.: Resource conservation update; shoreline master plan update and alternative futures presentation; the county’s Human Resources director will discuss a voluntary separation program — similar to the one implemented in 2009, but with a few tweaks; the board will go into closed session from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. to discuss collective bargaining.

Regular Business Meeting: 7 p.m. The agenda’s pretty light, once the consent agenda is approved they’ll discuss the road closures for the upcoming Kitsap County Fair and Stampede, then hear two public hearing items. Those include: a hearing to consider amending an ordinance relating to emergency orders under Kitsap County Code, Chapter 2.04 – Commissioners, Emergency Powers; and then a decision only on the MOU with Pope Resources — but like last time this now says Aug. 23 (last time it said Aug. 9) so I’m guessing that means it’s being pushed.

Wednesday, Aug. 11: 8:30 a.m. The county administrator will give a sewer financing plan review that should last an hour, followed by a Kitsap 1 briefing, also to last an hour. A five minute break will be held, then board discussion from 10:40 to 11:30 a.m. From there the board will recess into executive session until noon to discuss real estate matters.

City of Bremerton (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, Aug. 4: 5 p.m. The council will have a study session. Agenda not online as of Friday evening (Aug. 6). Check the website Monday to see if it’s up.

City of Port Orchard (meet at 219 Prospect Street)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, Aug. 10: 7 p.m. Well, I’m wondering if last week’s post I put up for Chris Henry (who was running off on vacation) should have applied for this week’s meeting because the description on the city’s website is the same. Here’s what the city says about Tuesday’s meeting:

The Port Orchard City Council will hold a Public Meeting to receive input on whether City residents should annex into the Library District, on August 10, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, 216 Prospect Street, Port Orchard. The City Council invites public input on the proposed annexation to allow residents to become part of the Library District, which is scheduled for the August 17, 2010, primary election ballot.  At the conclusion of the Public Meeting the Council may take action by adopting a Resolution in support or opposition. Any person wishing to provide input may do so by submitting their comments in writing to the City Clerk’s Office no later than August 10, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. or in person during the Public Meeting.

City of Poulsbo (meet at 19050 Jensen Way)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, Aug. 11: 7 p.m. Business agenda items include: approval of an ordinance dealing with petty cash and another one dealing with the police investigation fund; a 7:15 p.m. public hearing on the Maintenance Crew Inc./Peterson Street latecomer application, which will be followed by the Maintenance Crew Inc./Peterson Street #64 latecomer agreement; there will be a presentation on Dogfish Creek restoration and then a Port of Poulsbo Agreement.


Another Month, Another Meeting

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

In preparation of this afternoon’s Housing Kitsap (aka Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority) meeting,  I read the agenda packet, including the monthly update from executive director Tony Caldwell.

Here’s what he has to say about the letter from county commissioners regarding their request the agency vacate the Silverdale office, and the move to the Norm Dicks Government Center:

The agency is in receipt of a letter from the County Commissioners giving the Board and Agency 60 days to vacate the two buildings in Silverdale. Copies of the letter have been provided to Board members and a copy of the letter has appeared in the Kitsap Sun. Staff awaits direction from the Housing Authority board on this matter.
In the meantime, the agency has met with the City of Bremerton. The City of Bremerton has expressed a strong desire to move into the first floor space at the Government Center. There is a strong desire to centralize some of the City’s departments into that space. We are working in
a cooperative manner with the city and we have scheduled several meeting to continue the discussions. All parties are very well aware of the need to expedite this matter. Additionally, the agency is continuing discussions around two potential sites that will allow for consolidation of agency resources into a single location. These locations are both located in areas of the county served by the housing authority. The cost of leasing either of these two locations would provide substantial savings in overhead to the agency.

Not sure how much of this will be talked about in an open meeting, because the board does have an executive session listed again on its agenda. The move was not discussed at all in the last meeting during open session.

Also listed in Caldwell’s report is a little more information about the rebranding of the agency. As you may have notice, we’ve started using the new name “Housing Kitsap”, and they now have a new logo to go with it. I can’t copy and past the logo here, but it’s green colored (to signify the sustainable, green building techniques they use when building new homes) and includes a tree shape, and nice-looking home with the body shapes of a family of four holding hands out front. If we get a pdf I’ll post it.

Here’s the details from Caldwell’s report on the rebranding:

We are moving forward with the re-branding of the organization. Application has been made to the state for Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority dba Housing Kitsap. The state has notified us that additional information is required to complete this process. Staff is working to gather that information so that Housing Kitsap can be registered. We have received several proposed logos and I have requested and received feedback from staff and commissioners. This is the logo that has been selected by those who have responded to the email. It will also be available in a black and white format. We believe it embodies our focus on housing, families and sustainability. We will begin using the logo once it is approved by the board.
We are also working on a new website for the agency. The new website will further the rebranding of the agency’s image. The new website will be easier to navigate and provide a better interface for clients and users. We expect to launch our new website later this year.


Heads Up: On The Agenda

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Brynn Grimely writes:

Here’s what’s going on this week.

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street)

Meeting dates:

Monday, Aug. 2: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The board is in an all day meeting looking at their work priorities for 2011. This includes: the Kingston Master Plan; Kingston Village Green; SK Regional Parks (phase 1 and citizen engagement); Village Green Golf (business plan); Howe Farm; CK Community Campus (parking structure); Parks: Implementation in 2011 of 2010 Parks business plan; NK Legacy Project; Trails Planning; Road Standards; Water as a Resource; Sustainability in county operations; Regional Energy Planning; Annexation Policies & Direction/work plan; and Fiscal Stability. (And that’s all before lunch!) After lunch the commissioners will review each departments’ initial draft work plans and other ongoing projects and work, then discuss program budgeting by priorities before wrapping up the afternoon.

Wednesday, Aug. 3: 8:30 a.m. The board will review its agenda for the Aug. 9 meeting, then have 45 minutes of information sharing. There will be a five minute break, followed by a 30 minute presentation on the Hood Canal Coordinating Council stormwater plan. An hour of “board discussion” will follow before commissioners recess into executive session for 30 minutes to discuss real estate issues.

City of Bremerton (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, Aug. 4: 5 p.m. The council will hold a briefing upstairs before going down to the council chambers for the 5:30 p.m. meeting. The agenda for that meeting includes the first of two public hearings on the surplus and transfer of park property to right-of-way for Eleventh Street and Warren Avenue street improvements. (No action will be taken at this meeting, they’re just hearing from the public. The second hearing, Aug. 18 will be when the council votes). The council will also approve the downtown Bremerton traffic circulation enhancements project summary report — adopting the purple option.

City of Port Orchard (meet at 219 Prospect Street)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, Aug. 3: 7 p.m. From Chris Henry: City of Port Orchard residents on Aug. 17 will be asked whether the city should annex in to the Kitsap County Rural Library District. Doing so would allow them to vote on a proposed library levy lid lift in November. The city council will hold a public meeting to gauge support for the measure, and based on what they hear, they may adopt a resolution in support or opposition of it. Citizens who can’t give testimony at the meeting Tuesday night may submit comments to the city clerk’s office at city hall no later than 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

City of Poulsbo (meet at 19050 Jensen Way)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, Aug. 4: 7 p.m. Business agenda items include a 7:15 p.m. public hearing on the six-year transportation improvement plan, a resolution about a voluntary separation agreement between the city and staff, and a legislative workshop with the 23rd District Legislators and the council.

Housing Kitsap (aka Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority) (meet at 345 Sixth Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, Aug. 3: 1 to 3 p.m. The agenda includes a couple of items on the consent agenda that caught my eye. They included: a resolution approving public records request policy and a resolution approving policy to submit budget prior to fiscal year start. Because they are on the consent agenda, unless a housing authority commissioner pulls them for discussion, these will be approved altogether, without discussion. Following the consent agenda adoption the board will recess into executive session to discuss real estate and potential litigation, then will reopen the meeting to hear the directors’ reports and an update on the financials. There will be work plan updates and then an update on the sale of any KCCHA properties since the last meeting. The board of commissioners will discuss a retreat they have planned for Aug. 24 and then will discuss other business.

Kistap County Planning Commission (meet at 619 Division Street, County Admin Building in Port Orchard)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, Aug. 3: 9 a.m. The planning commission will hold a work study on the rural element. No public testimony will be taken at this meeting, but it is a great opportunity for the public to learn about the county’s planning for the “Year of the Rural” and the Rural Element document.


Heads Up: On The Agenda

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

Sorry I’m late on getting this out this morning. I meant to do it this weekend, but then it was sunny and I have to admit, I became mesmerized by the sunshine. Please accept my apologies. Here’s what we’ve got for the week.

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street)

Meeting dates:

Monday, July 26: 9-10 a.m. Board information sharing. (Sorry this already happened, but you can still make the afternoon meeting if you want!)

2-3:30 p.m.: Budget update; then a closed session from 3:30 to 4 p.m. to discuss collective bargaining.

7 p.m.: Here’s the public hearing items for Monday’s regular business meeting: A public hearing about a request from Pope Resources for the vacation of a portion of Donohoe Hwy No. 2 in North Kitsap. There’s a decision only item about the MOU between the county and Pope/OPG on the North Kitsap Legacy Partnership, but it then says Aug. 9 so I’m not clear if that means the decision only will happen Aug. 9 but the item will be discussed in public hearing tonight…(and it had been on the July 12 agenda too). The next public hearing item is to considering enacting an ordinance to amend county code (Title 17.381) regarding allowed uses — it’s a program to approve existing accessory dwelling units in possession of “innocent” purchasers.

Wednesday, July 28: 8:30-11 a.m. The board will hold a workshop on Parks with parks director Jim Dunwiddie. From 11 to 11:30 a.m. they’ll hold an executive session to discuss potential litigation, and then recess into another one from 11:30 a.m. to non to discuss real estate issues. Adjournment will follow.

City of Bremerton (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, July 28: 5 p.m. The council will hold its study session upstairs. To see a complete list of items on the agenda for discussion, click here.

City of Port Orchard (meet at 219 Prospect Street)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, July 20: 7 p.m. From Chris Henry: The Port Orchard City Council will hold a public hearing on the city’s Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) for Years 2011-2016 and later vote on its approval; the council also (and, folks, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried) will authorize the mayor to approve a contract for “sewer TV” (and lining maintenance) with C-More Pipe Services. The council also will approve a public event, Celebrate Life Walk for Life and 5K. C-More Pipe Services! It’s for real.

City of Poulsbo (meet at 19050 Jensen Way)

Meeting dates:

No meeting this week because the council doesn’t meet this week.


Seaquist and Richards’ Service Records

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Later this evening, the Kitsap Sun will post a story about 26th Legislative District candidate Doug Richards’ rebuttal to critics of his campaign materials. As you may have already noticed, Richards is heading ‘em off at the pass by having posted on July 14 disclosure of a domestic violence charge he incurred in 1989 in an incident involving his wife, Whitney. The charge was dismissed.

Richards’ service record has also come under question from another quarter. As part of my research, I asked him for a copy of his Navy discharge papers, which he willingly provided to me. I gave his opponent Larry Seaquist, a Navy veteran with a 32-year career, the same opportunity.

***The service documents have been removed temporarily to remove personal information that should not have been made public. They will be reposted Monday Aug. 9. ***

Aug. 12: The documents have been reposted below. Apologies for my tardiness. Chris Henry, reporter

richardsDD214

Seaquist DD214


Did You Catch That?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

In case you missed it, the story I wrote for Sunday’s paper on the Norm Dicks Government Center included some new information regarding the move of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority (now known as Housing Kitsap).

I called Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent to ask her about the government center and before I even got the chance to ask if the city had any plans to expand within the building, she let me know that since becoming mayor seven months ago she’s been eying the vacant KCCHA space on the ground floor.

Lent does not believe that KCCHA should be located in the building. It’s not that she doesn’t want them as a neighbor, but she believes based on the agency’s mission to serve families in Kitsap (except for in the city of Bremerton), they don’t need a presence in a city where they don’t have any clients.

“It’s inappropriate,” she said. “This is not the location for the consolidated housing authority.”

Lent believes the city could save money by consolidating services — including moving some into the government center. Fire and police services would remain in their respective locations, she said. Specifically for the KCCHA space within the building, Lent thinks the city could look to move its utility billing department from its current location into the 4,389 square foot ground floor space.

The move would place the city’s billing departments under one roof, making it more efficient for city taxpayers to “pay for everything in one place,” Lent said.

The city could also potentially merge its engineers at its Olympus Drive building with Public Works staff into one building to save money, she said.

But of course, it all comes down to money. And no one has it right now.

Negotiations are ongoing between KCCHA and the city — but Lent said the economy limits the city’s ability to finance a move right now. But, if a deal is reached the city could take the space off the books for KCCHA, freeing them up to move into a location that would house all their services at a cheaper price than what they’d pay to be in the government center.

A week ago county commissioners voted to request KCCHA vacate its Silverdale location in 60 days. But the building is owned by KCCHA, not the county, according to KCCHA executive director Tony Caldwell. So, does the county have legal authority to force the move into the government center?

Caldwell doesn’t know, and says it’s not up to him to make a decision — that falls under the direction of KCCHA’s board of commissioners. Caldwell will present the housing commissioners with the letter at their next meeting. KCCHA’s board will then decide how to respond to the county commissioners. (My question: Will the county commissioners abstain from this discussion because they sent the letter?)

Now we’re back where we started. Four KCCHA commissioners who support keeping the agency out of Bremerton, and three commissioners who want to see the move take place to reduce overhead costs.

And now a possible twist. I received a copy of the letter the county sent to Caldwell. One line caught my eye: “Under Section 4.1(10) of the (tri-party) Agreement, the County also has the right to take fee title to any of the Authority’s property pledged as real property collateral.”

If I am reading this correctly, I believe the county is saying while KCCHA owns the building now, the county can take over its title, become owner and force KCCHA out if the agency’s board votes to ignore the county’s request.

The letter also asks for a public discussion of any alternative locations, or tenants for the building. I’ve posted the letter below so you can read it, and make a determination about what you think it’s saying.
County Letter to KCCHA


Take A Listen: Candidates Debate

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

Last week we had the candidates vying for the Kitsap County Commissioner District No. 3 (otherwise known as the Central Kitsap Commissioner) seat at the Sun to talk with the editorial board. Normally we would have a video posted to our website so you could watch the debate, but there were some technical problems this time, so all we have is the audio.

I’m posting it here for you to listen to — look at it this way, you can listen to the debate and multitask by doing something else while you listen.

The three participants were Republican Abby Burlingame, Conservative Democrat Wally Carlson, and incumbent Democrat Josh Brown. Republican David Corley was not able to attend. I think when you listen you’ll be able to decipher who is speaking — Abby’s the female voice obviously — but if you have any questions over who said what, let me know.

The audio starts out with the editorial board introducing themselves (you’ll hear me there too, but I was just there to listen and run the video camera, I am in no way involved with the editorial board, their decisions or endorsements.) There is one point where Josh Brown is talking and it cuts him off, that’s because we had an issue with the video. Part of his introduction about why he is running for reelection is cut off. Otherwise the bulk of the debate is there for a listen.

Without further ado, here it is:


Heads Up: On The Agenda

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

Here’s what’s on tap for this week.

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street)

Meeting dates:

Monday, July 19: 10 a.m. Board Information Sharing will happen for an hour and a half, followed by 30 minutes of calendar and agenda reviews.

2 p.m.: There will be an hour update on the Surface and Stormwater Management Program, followed by 20 minutes to discuss a $120,000 grant that would allow the county to handle stormwater runoff at three car wash sites where fundraiser car washing events happen regularly. A retrofit, paid for with the grant money, will allow the sites to provide an environmentally safe alternative to what happens now — 1,000 gallons of “soapy, grimy”water per car wash fundraiser event, that flows into local surface waters. Next the board will receive a resource conservation update for 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for a sheriff grant approval. There will be a Veterans Fund policy update from 4:10 to 4:25 p.m., followed by adjournment.

Wednesday, July 21: 8:30 a.m. To start the meeting there will be a 45 minute agenda review of the 7/26/10 nightly meeting, 45 minutes of information sharing will follow, a fire and building code update will take 30 minutes and then the meeting will recess into executive session for 30 minutes to discuss existing litigatin, followed by another 30 minute executive session to discuss real estate. The board will adjourn likely around noon.

City of Bremerton (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, July 21: 5 p.m. The council will hold a briefing for 30 minutes before heading down to the council chambers. The agenda isn’t online yet (as of Saturday night) so I can’t tell you what they’re going to be discussing. The website is here, in case you want to check it out.

City of Port Orchard (meet at 219 Prospect Street)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, July 20: 7 p.m. The council will hold a work study session. Not sure what will be discussed because it wasn’t listed online, so you’ll just have to show up to find out.

City of Poulsbo (meet at 19050 Jensen Way)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, July 21: 7 p.m. Business agenda items include reviewing a special event application for the street dance and fair, a resolution adopting the city’s purchasing manual, an ordinance regarding the second quarter budget amendments and a budget presentation by the city’s budget director.

Bremerton Housing Authority (meet at 4040 Wheaton Way, Bremerton)

Meeting dates:

Monday, July 19: 5:30 p.m. Usually BHA meets the fourth Monday of the month at the Norm Dicks Government Center, but this month they’re holding the meeting a week earlier at their offices at 4040 Wheaton Way because of a scheduling conflict with the building’s space.


Former Commish Endresen Makes New Career Move

Friday, July 16th, 2010

You’ll read about this in our Monday edition, but now you can say you heard it here first.

Former North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen has left U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office to join the Puget Sound Regional Council. Friday was her first day as director of economic development for the agency, which oversees transportation, growth management and economic development in Kitsap, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

“This is a great opportunity for me to work regionally with a diverse group of people,” Endresen said. “I absolutely love the organization and its mission.”

Endresen served as Kitsap County commissioner from January, 1997 until June, 2007, when, part-way through her third term, she announced that she was to head up Cantwell’s Washington State office.

During her term on the county’s board of commissioners, Endresen served on PSRC’s executive board and transportation policy board. The state of the economy puts the Puget Sound region at a pivotal point, she said.
“The challenges of economic development in the state present really great opportunities for us as a region and statewide,” Endresen said.

I stand corrected. If you read the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, you heard it there first. Chris Henry, reporter


CK Commissioner Candidates and Where They Stand

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

I was up bright and early Wednesday morning to attend the Port Orchard/Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce candidate forum where the four Central Kitsap Commissioner candidates were set to square off on the issues.

Three of the four were able to attend, David Corley, and East Bremerton Republican, was there initially but had to leave because of a family emergency, according to Patti Kirkpatrick, vice president of the Port Orchard Chamber.

The candidates are Republican Abby Burlingame, of East Bremerton; self-proclaimed “old school” Democrat Wally Carlson, of the Fairgrounds area; and incumbent Democrat Josh Brown.

Here’s why each candidate said they chose to run:

Brown: He is running for three reasons:

1. Fiscal responsibility. Since being elected four years ago Brown says he’s seen the county cut its general fund by $14 million and go from relying heavily on reserves to balance the budget to not using the reserve fund at all. Commissioners also implemented financial policies that prohibit the county from guaranteeing outside loans, like what was done with the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority.

2. To get things done. He cited cutting through the red tape that almost prevented the Seabeck marina from happening and getting the ball rolling on developing the Central Kitsap Community Campus through the courtship of the YMCA. He called the YMCA a “phenomenal project” for the community, and believes the county’s $1 million investment from its capital projects fund will be returned to the community the minute the facility opens.

3. Balanced growth. Brown cited endorsements by the home builders association and Kitsap conservation voters.

Burlingame: She is running because she believes the county lacks accountability and needs to create a sustainable budget that focuses on core services. Those are:

1. Law and justice

2. Roads (maintenance and construction)

3. Keeping facilities like the courthouse open for business five days a week

Burlingame believes the county has fallen short in those areas and needs to get back on track without increasing taxes. She believes the removal of the county commissioners from the land use appeals process was not smart and says the county is anti-growth and anti-job. She is also concerned about the county’s participation in the Puget Sound Regional Council, saying she feels Kitsap is not comparable to urbanized King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Trying to place Seattle-size growth on Kitsap just won’t work, she said.

Carlson: Calling himself a “regular renaissance man” compared to Burlingame and Brown, Carlson said he is running because over the last 40 years “I haven’t seen a government that’s so dysfunctional.” The current government has excessive regulations and rules that are stagnating job creation, he said. He has suggested a “Wally Vision 2010″ that would streamline county government and “control our own destiny.”

The owner of a custom built homes business, Carlson has first-hand experience of the dysfunction in the county’s Department of Community Development, he said. He cited the trouble he had getting a permit to remodel an elderly Tracyton couple’s home — he was asked to build a bedroom on the couple’s ground floor so they don’t have to walk upstairs. Carlson said it took him three years and three months to get the permit. He believes an overhaul of DCD is necessary, and that the department should establish a “people’s advocate” to make sure permits don’t get “lost” on the desks of planning staff, resulting in the delay in permit processing.


Heads Up: On The Agenda

Monday, July 12th, 2010

*** NOTE, THE COUNTY COMMISSIONER WEDNESDAY WORK STUDY IS NOW STARTING AT 9 AM ***

Brynn Grimley writes:

Here’s what we’re looking at for the week starting July 12. (Can you believe we’re already into the second week of July. I wish our summer lasted as long as our “non summer,” and our “non summer” lasted as short as our summer).

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street)

Meeting dates:

Monday, July 12: 2 p.m. Only two items on this meeting’s agenda. A Surface and Stormwater Management program update by Chris May and Dave Tucker for an hour, followed by 30 minutes of discussion on the budget call letter, lead by county administrator Nancy Buonanno Grennan. The board will recess into executive session to discuss potential litigation and personnel matters from 3:35 to 5:05 p.m.

7 p.m. public meeting: The board has a number of items not on their consent agenda that include big sums of money, and for once the sums aren’t in the red. The board is set to approve an amendment that extends a contract date it has with WA State Department of Social & Health Services and increases the contract amount by $2,813,992 to provide support services to individuals with developmental disabilities. This is 100 percent grant funded by DSHS. They also plan to issue and sell limited tax general obligation and refunding bonds that the county holds (not to exceed $9.9 million) to help with the finance, refinance and reimbursement of costs associated with the construction and improvements to the coroner’s office building and the Central Kitsap Community Campus project. This is being done to save the county money, and relates to the work commissioners did earlier this year to plan for the possibility the county real estate excise tax fund could go in the red in another few years. By refinancing these bonds, the county is taking advantage of low interest rates. (The stories I wrote on the REET fund are HERE and HERE).

The public hearing items include the adoption of a memorandum of understanding between the county and Pope Resources for the North Kitsap Legacy Partnership (the document has changed little since Chris Dunagan wrote about it HERE) and a public hearing on a resolution to amend the 2010 annual budget.

Wednesday, July 14: 8:30 a.m. 9 a.m. Nancy Buonanno Grennan will kick off the meeting with 30 minutes of debt policy talk, Bud Harris will spend 20 minutes Situs Addressing (What is this you ask? It relates to addresses in the county that cause problems for first responders, elections officials, etc. The county is looking at a study as to what to do about it.); next the discussion shifts to redistricting the county commissioner boundaries — don’t worry nothing will be approved until 2011, so it won’t affect the current election. This is being done in accordance with the recent Census 2010; Jim Dunwiddie will give an hour-long workshop on Parks. A five minute break will follow then the meeting will end with a 40 minute “board discussion.” At 11:30 the board will recess into executive session to discuss existing litigation, lasting 20 minutes. Then at 11:50 they’ll recess into another executive session to discuss real estate issues for 10 minutes. Adjournment will follow.

City of Bremerton (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, July 14: 5 p.m. The Bremerton City Council will meet, but the agenda wasn’t available on the website Friday night when I wrote this.

City of Port Orchard (meet at 219 Prospect Street)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, July 13: 7 p.m. There will be a public hearing on International Building and Fire Codes, and flood damage prevention; a presentation by Olympic Bird Fanciers; contract agreements related to the Tremont Street widening project; and a vote on the city’s official newspaper of record.

City of Poulsbo (meet at 19050 Jensen Way)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, July 14: 7 p.m. Business agenda items include special event approval for a community concert; a budget amendment relating to the Viking Avenue improvements (3A); a budget amendment relating to the Fjord slide permitting (this is the part of Fjord Drive that washed out last November); the establishment of a public and agency participating plan for the 2010 comprehensive plan amendments and the establishment of a docket for the proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan.

That’s all I got — if I forgot someone, throw up the meeting dates/content in the comments section. Enjoy the sunshine!


Heads Up: On The Agenda

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

Sorry this is coming out a little late. I blame a spotty Internet connection and the three-day weekend.

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, July 7: 8:30 a.m. The board will review its agenda for the July 12 meeting, they’ll share some information for about 30 minutes and then spend four hours doing their budget process and call letter. The board will go into executive session from 11:30 to noon to discuss real estate.

City of Bremerton (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, July 7: 5 p.m. The council will hold a briefing for 30 minutes before heading down to the council chambers. This week’s meeting will include business items that look to reorganize the city’s safety and health committee, amend a city ordinance regarding the gambling tax (read Gardner’s story on that here) and amending and modifying the annual budget.

City of Port Orchard (meet at 219 Prospect Street)

Meeting dates:

No meeting this week.

City of Poulsbo (meet at 19050 Jensen Way)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, July 7: 7 p.m. Business agenda items include setting the public hearing date for the 2011-2016 six year transportation improvement plan, selecting a project for federal enhancement funding, debt policy, and a proposed revision for one-way traffic on Fjord Drive.

Kitsap County Consolidating Housing Authority (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, July 6: 1 p.m. The housing authority’s board will meet to discuss the move to Norm Dicks, a possible renaming/rebranding effort, and director’s reports. They’ll also recess into executive session during the meeting to hear about real estate and potential litigation.


Drinking to Income Tax, Workers’ Comp and Candy and Soda Taxes

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The Secretary of State’s office says backers of an initiative that would implement an income tax in Washington have scheduled an appointment to drop off signatures. So have those who would allow private insurers to compete with state workers’ comp insurance program and others would roll back taxes on candy and soda. The press release follows.

(more…)


Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

It seems after Memorial Day things have been a little sluggish by way of news. It’s not that news isn’t happening, but in this business it seems when it rains it pours, and when it’s dry it’s like you’re in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Every year around this time we expect the political life to slow down a little — school’s out, city councils often have lighter agendas because people are taking vacations with families. I’m not complaining, it’s great to have things slow down every now and then, but I also feel like I’m not doing my job unless I’m slammed with stories and working 12-hour days.

So instead of using my weekly Tuesday blog post to blab about whatever I’ve been covering on my various “political” beats, I thought I’d try to find out from readers what they’d like to see us cover. (I realize I may be opening a can of worms here, but I think it’s always good to check in from time to time with our loyal Kitsap Caucus followers).

What do you want to see us cover when it comes to government? I specifically cover Central and North Kitsap, so anything you can think of for those areas would be great, but feel free to suggest ideas for other areas in Kitsap, as well as state agencies.

Are we missing something? Is there an expose you’ve been mulling over that you’d like to see someone dig into? Or do you have something good (gasp) that you want to share about government? (Or anything else good for that matter, heck I’m not picky!)

Now some parameters: No conspiracy theories please; no personal attacks against people; no claims that you can’t prove are true; since it’s election season I will not be writing any stories that appear to be major cheerleading for one candidate over the other — or that go out of their way to make one candidate look bad, that’s for the opinion page and its Letters to the Editor section.

Lastly, my disclaimer: I can’t promise I’ll write everything suggested, or that I’ll even write anything (I need, legitimate, good suggestions here people). If you’re serious about a story leave contact information so I can follow up (you can email me at bgrimley@kitsapsun.com if you don’t want your information posted on the blog).

Like I said, I probably just opened a can of worms, but I’m also excited to hear from you all about what you’d like to see us do a better job of covering, or to see what stories you all have mulling through your heads at one time or another.


Heads Up: On The Agenda

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Brynn Grimley writes:

Happy Summer Solstice! You can tell summer’s here (well maybe not temperature wise quite yet) because there’s not a whole lot going on this week by way of government meetings. Here’s what’s on the docket for the week:

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street)

Meeting dates:

Monday, June 21: 10 a.m. The commissioners are replacing their regular Monday morning and afternoon briefings with a 5-hour board retreat that starts at 10 a.m. And for all of you who are ready to complain about them “retreating” to somewhere other than Kitsap, you can save your breath because the meeting will be held in the Port Blakely conference room, in the admin building, in Port Orchard. The topic of discussion is the 2010-2011 work plan.

Wednesday, June 16: 8:30 a.m. The board will spend 45 minutes sharing information, they’ll hear a resource conservation update, take a 5-minute break and then spend 15 minutes hearing about grant approval requests followed by a presentation on the Newberry Hill Heritage Park master planning process (if the board likes the resolution it will be up for approval at their June 28 regular business meeting). The board will recess into executive session from 11:30 to noon to discuss real estate issues.

City of Bremerton (meet at 345 6th Street, Norm Dicks Government Center)

Meeting dates:

Wednesday, June 23: The City Council meeting has been canceled due to lack of agenda items.

City of Port Orchard (meet at 219 Prospect Street)

Meeting dates:

Tuesday, June 22: 7 p.m. The city council will be hearing a number of items. Highlights include two annexation issues: Annexation of South Sedgewick and hearing from people interested in annexing Sidney Glen — they’re submitting their notice of intent to petition for the annexation. The city will also review an ordinance that would impose a 180-day moratorium on the acceptance of applications for “certain signs” under the city’s code, also with this they’ll review changing the chapters and definitions in the city’s code on sign regulations. The city will also adopt a resolution that modifies parking restrictions on Advantage Avenue and authorize the mayor to execute a change order with BHC Consultants for the Tremont Street sewer pre-design report and PS&E.

City of Poulsbo (meet at 19050 Jensen Way)

Meeting dates:

No meeting until July 7

And that’s all I have…


The Political Stereotype Game

Friday, June 18th, 2010

I’m going to take a calculated risk here and wade into the shark-infested waters of political stereotypes.

I wouldn’t be the first on this blog to do so.

On Tuesday, I Interviewed twin brothers Patrick and Nathan Griffin-Hall from Port Orchard, 27, who both filed as candidates for precinct committee officer. Since they live together, they both filed for the same precinct, but they won’t be facing each other in the primary because Patrick’s a Republican, Nathan’s a Democrat.

Just for fun, let’s see how your expectations play out, as you try to guess which brother is which from the set of attributes and characteristics below. Just answer Republican or Democrat after the question.

Of course if you’ve read the story, you’ll have most of the answers.

OK, here we go.

Has a beard.

Clean-shaven.

Works as a psychiatric aide for Kitsap Mental Health.

Is an animal control officer for the Kitsap Humane Society.

Loves rock music of all eras.

Runs marathons.

Put a 10-foot diameter red rug with an official looking star in the middle of their living room (it was a cast-off from a department store jewelry department).

Has backpacked through at least a dozen foreign countries.

Has an “active social life with friends and family.”

Graduated from South Kitsap High School.

Attended military school.

Thinks Sarah Palin was unqualified for the office of president.

Is a proponent of individual property rights.

Rescued an obese black cat from the humane society.

Works swing shift.

Works days.

How did you do? To find out, look for the answers later today on this post.


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