Tag Archives: Port Orchard

Charged with DUI and elected mayor by one vote

That could have happened here, I know, but it didn’t. This was Fife. And the one-vote difference isn’t that big a deal, because the Fife mayor is picked by the city council. Rob Cerqui won the seat with a 4-3 vote of the council, according to the (Tacoma) News Tribune.

The weekend after the Nov. 8 election I was a guest on the Outlaw Radio Network webcast, which is generated locally.

The hosts asked me about the Port Orchard mayoral election and asked if I thought Lary Coppola was running behind because of his DUI arrest. In a race decided by five votes there is a long list of items that contributed to the loss. Do I think three people voted for Tim Matthes instead of Coppola because of the DUI? Probably. (I use “three,” because if three people had switched their votes Coppola would have won re-election.) Was it the biggest factor? I don’t think so, I said. I think the biggest issue was some people, and I said this in the kindest way possible, don’t like Coppola personally. I’m sure the ads played a factor, too.

But still, I think it was mostly a personality thing. Our editorial board, in endorsing Coppola, wrote about him, “Along the way, Coppola has stepped on a few toes — and on occasion his direct manner has rankled some people.” From this (as in me) outsider’s perspective, Matthes’ slogan for the campaign could have been “I’m not Lary.”

I would have brought this up before, but Chris Henry covered it beautifully in her story “A (too?) strong voice for Port Orchard?

Today’s headline from Fife reminded me to weigh in, not that you asked. Cerqui’s DUI came on Nov. 20, less than two weeks after he was re-elected to the council. His opponent in the race for mayor said the DUI was a personal issue and that Cerqui would do a good job as mayor.

Port Orchard local a Wall Street occupant

Shane Stoops, 23, is among those involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City. He was profiled in an MSN photoblog and describes himself as a “nomad” and “renaissance man” from Port Orchard, Wash. He is also handing out resumes while in New York.

The movement is in broad terms a criticism of corporate America and its power. Jon Stewart compares the group with the Tea Party, and some of that comparison is apt. Those joined in the effort clearly have an ideological slant, but they are reluctant to be identified with one of the major parties.

Heads up: On the agenda

Brynn writes:

Well it’s October, guess that means it’s time for fall. Here’s the meeting schedule this week.

Kitsap County Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street, Port Orchard)

Monday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m.: This is the only meeting of the board this week. They’ll do information sharing until noon. Josh Brown won’t be there because he’s out of town, so it’s just Charlotte Garrido and Robert Gelder.

2 p.m.: Canceled.

Wednesday, Oct. 5: Canceled.

City of Bremerton (meets at 345 Sixth Street, Bremerton)

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 5:30 p.m.: Items on the council’s budget include an ordinance to create Section 18.02.175 of the Bremerton Municipal Code (BMC) entitled “Specific Violations – Fines”; and a contract to purchase one metal sculpture from William M. Mueller dba Contemporary Sculpture of Sedalia, Colorado to be installed along Pacific Avenue near 9th Street.

City of Port Orchard (meets at 219 Prospect Street)

No meeting this week.

City of Poulsbo (City Hall, 200 Moe Street)

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m.: This week’s business agenda includes an agreement for donation of property, the Settle Trust; Fourth Avenue speed tables; Safeway developer’s agreement; Police radio reception project for City Hall.

Heads up: On the agenda

Brynn’s away, meaning you’re left with my version of what’s on the agenda:

Kitsap County Commissioners (meet at 619 Division Street, Port Orchard)

Monday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m.: Minutes approval and the rest for “board information sharing.”

2 p.m.: Updates on the budget, annexation and redistricting and a discussion about the trails planning scope and schedule.

7 p.m.: Employee service awards, two appointments to the Rolling Hills Golf Course Oversight Board, several contracts to provide mental health services, and a resolution issuing $21.8 million in bonds to pay off old bonds and save $1.7 million in debt service.

No work study session on Wednesday.

City of Bremerton (meets at 345 Sixth Street, Bremerton)

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 5 p.m.: Study session in the sixth-floor council conference room. Lone discussion item is the purchase of a sculpture planned for Pacific Avenue near Ninth Street.

City of Port Orchard (meets at 219 Prospect Street)

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.: Council meeting items include: DeKalb Street right-of-way request, two public works contracts and approval of a public event.

City of Poulsbo (City Hall, 200 Moe Street)

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m.: Council Workshop dedicated to proposed impact fee ordinances. Public comment is on the agenda.

Bremerton Housing Authority (4040 Wheaton Way, Suite 206)

Monday, Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m.: 2012 budget, housing management reports and Section 8 admin plan, real estate and contract reports, election of new officers.

Three Kitsap mayors among state’s highest paid

According to an article in the May 23 South Whidbey Record, the Langley City Council is wrestling with how much it should set as the mayor’s salary in the upcoming election.

Port Orchard has been there, done that. In a recent discussion, the city council quickly and without much controversy concluded that running the city of Port Orchard was a full-time job. The salary, as advertised in the 2011 Kitsap County candidate guidelines document, is $60,150.40 (exclusive of benefits). Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola makes $62,150 (exclusive of benefits). Coppola in 2009 convinced the council that the position was deserving of greater compensation that the roughly $20,000 it commanded when he took office in 2008.

But back to Langely. The council originally took up the issue when “controversy over vacation pay for Mayor Paul Samuelson created intense scrutiny of the size of his compensation package. Shoddy work on the ordinances that set the mayor’s salary prompted the council to rescind and rewrite the laws that gave Samuelson annual earnings that topped $53,000.”

As it turns out, they crafted an ordinance that needs some revision.

The Langley council next week will discuss “a revised ordinance that strips away a requirement that links the council’s approval of the mayor’s ‘plan of administration’ to any possible pay raise.”

If that sounds vaguely familiar, it may be because the Port Orchard City Council had hoped to tie Coppola’s salary to annual performance reviews, which the mayor was all on board with. They later found they could raise the salary during his term of office, but the only time they could lower it was at an election.

And remember, the Port Orchard council just decided that, regardless of who gets the job, it’s a full-time position.

On Monday, the Langley council was to take a big-picture look at its mayor and his compensation. The article, which was excellent on many levels, drew on data to from Washington Association of Cities to show that Samuelson’s salary ($53,532) is among the top 25 in the state. That’s significant, considering the population of the town he governs is only 1,115 (compared for example to Port Orchard, which is about 10 times that many).

In fact, Samuelson, at 24th in the state, is ranked right behind Coppola, who is the 23rd best paid mayor in the Washington. Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, paid $65,400 (pop. 8,920) ranks 21. Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, paid $117,672, (pop. 36,190) is in 6th place.

(Bainbridge Island does not have a mayor. It’s city manager is paid $94,788 in salary and benefits in 2011 to run a city that serves about 23,000 people.)

No surprise, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is the highest paid mayor in the state with $169,956.

Washington State has 281 cities and towns.

Significantly, the ranking does not correlate to population (as you can see from a quick Poulsbo-Port Orchard comparison). Certainly looking at Samuelson’s pay-to-population ratio, one would have to conclude a big-picture analysis is in order.

As the South Whidbey Record’s Brian Kelly reported, “A Record review of mayoral pay, based on the 2010 salary survey conducted by the Association of Washington Cities, shows that in the 92 cities and towns with populations between 715 and 5,000, only 17 mayors in those towns make more than $10,000. Six receive no pay at all for serving as mayor.”

“On a per-capita basis, with the cost of the mayor’s salary divided by the number of residents, Samuelson’s pay is at the very top of the 129 cities examined by the Record. …The cost of the mayor’s pay to each Langley resident is $48.01, according to an analysis conducted by the newspaper.”

“The next highest is Coupeville, with a per-capita rate of $33.73, followed by Yarrow Point, at $30.15.”

Most cities have a per capita rate of $3 to $5, the Record showed in the article, which included a list of the top 25, plus population, annual budget and number of employees. Rock on South Whidbey Record!

Ranked on a per capita, bang-for-buck basis, Kitsap’s mayors come in as follows: Bremerton $3.25 per resident to pay its mayor for a year; Port Orchard comes in at $5.69 and Poulsbo is on the high end at $7.33 per resident.

Pay: $117,672
Population: 36,190
Budget: $146 million
Employees: 367
Mayor annual per capita cost: $3.25

Pay: $62,148
Population: 10,910
Budget: $11.9 million
Employees: 70
Mayor annual per capita cost: $5.69

Pay: $65,400
Population: 8,920
Budget: $14 million
Employees: 93
Mayor annual per capita cost: $7.33

and by comparison …

Pay: $53,532
Population: 1,115
Budget: $4.3 million
Employees: 19
Mayor, annual per capita cost: $48.01

Pay: $63,756
Population: 1,890
Budget: $5.3 million
Employees: 15
Mayor annual per capital cost: $33.73

Heads Up on the Agenda

Port Orchard
7 p.m.: The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners will meet at the county administration building. Notable on the agenda: The board will honor local civil rights pioneer Lillian Walker, whose memories are featured as part of The Legacy Project, an oral history program established by the Office of Secretary of State in 2008. Also on the agenda, the board will consider resolutions:
* establishing an Energy Conservation Committee to develop and implement a comprehensive energy efficiency and conservation plan for Kitsap County.
* approving the purchase and sale agreement for the Harborside Condominium Unit T-102.
* freezing salary rates of elected officials and providing for self-pay of health care premiums.
* designating Kitsap County as a recovery zone for purposes of issuing recovery zone economic development bonds under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Port Orchard
7 p.m.: The city council will consider Ordinance No. 019-10, Approving the Annexation Request for Sidney Glen, File No. A-24-10.

5 p.m.: The Bremerton City Council will hold a study session and discuss a request from the city engineer to apply for an Economic Development District.

Mayors’ Forum: “No 800-Pound Gorilla in Here”

At a mayor’s forum today, featuring Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, Bremerton resident Klaus Golombek asked, “Where are the 800-pound gorillas?”

The event, at Port Orchard City Hall, was hosted by the Bremerton and Port Orchard chambers of commerce.

Before the Q&A, both mayors highlighted the positive side of their respective cities. Lent touted public and private development projects completed and in the pipeline. Coppola, whose city is still trying to get multiple major projects shovel-ready, noted that his city is financially “in much better shape than most other cities” due to conservative budgeting.

The tone of their comments was not derogatory, and neither mayor appeared to be trying to one-up the other.

Lent, in response to Golombek’s question, talked about fiscal challenges the city faces and will continue to face under the “new normal.” The city in 2010 eliminated 34 positions through layoffs, buyouts, early retirement and unfilled vacancies. A total of 17 individuals left the city. City workers in Bremerton, as elsewhere, will continue to have to do more with less for the foreseeable future, Lent said.

Councilman Jerry Childs brought up what has been an 800-pound gorilla, Bremerton’s annexation of the South Kitsap Industrial Area and Gorst sewer project, which cast uncertainty on Port Orchard’s plans to provide SKIA with sewer. But as you’ll read in the story, both mayors said they could sit down and come up with a resolution to this and other areas of conflict.

Lent, a former county commissioner who was sworn in as mayor in November, 2009, said she was against the SKIA annexation. “I never wanted that airport to be annexed by any cities,” she said. “I thought it should be a regional airport, but I was out of office.”

Lent continued, saying Bremerton has a “great relationship” with the Port of Bremerton, SKIA’s major property owner. So, basically, she’s willing to work with what she “inherited” from former Mayor Cary Bozeman, now CEO of the Port of Bremerton.

Another thing she inherited but didn’t seem too keen on was the Bremerton ferry tunnel. Phone calls to her office criticizing the tunnel have subsided, Lent said, in response to a question. The tunnel is doing its job, which is diverting traffic to make downtown more pedestrian friendly. “People seem to be used to it now,” she said.

Golombek thought the mayors, particularly Lent, side-stepped the gorilla question. He’s still smarting about the Port of Bremerton’s marina expansion. He thinks increased revenue from the marina should go toward paring down the bond. Less should go to the city’s general fund, he said. Looking ahead, Golombek’s got concerns about Bremerton’s planned Youth Wellness Center, which he thinks could become a financial burden on residents.

As for the rapport between Bremerton and Port Orchard, however, there doesn’t appear to be any gorilla in here. At least as far as the two mayors are concerned. Port Orchard Councilman Jerry Childs said the two councils may be a different matter. The only interaction they’ve had was over SKIA, and it wasn’t pretty. Competition for state and federal funds is another potential area of conflict for both cities.

“It makes it difficult for our cities to get along, because we’re both fighting for a piece of the pie,” Childs said.

The Port of Bremerton, too, should be included in talks on potential areas of collaboration and conflict, Childs said.

Deep breath. Time for Another Live Election Video

Forgotten in the hubbub of the Saturday and Monday live broadcasts of town hall meetings was any mention that our ongoing series of editorial board interviews with candidates continues this week. (The meetings were well “attended” here, by the way, with an estimate of around 400 viewers on Saturday and a few hundred more Monday.)

There won’t be as much shouting and probably no chants will break out, but maybe Gardner will still fact-check us post mortem. In any case, we will be broadcasting on Kitsapsun.com tonight at 5 p.m., beginning with Port Orchard City Council Position 2 candidates Cindy Lucarelli and Carolyn Powers. At 5:45 or so, we’ll have Fred Chang and Amy Igloi-Matsuno, candidates for position 6.

To find the live videos, head to our main page or here. That’s also where you’ll find our archives from the election season.

(Note: The schedule says we’re interviewing Bozeman, but that had to be rescheduled for later in September. Watch that page, we’ll update soon.)

— David Nelson