Category Archives: City of Port Orchard

All PO Citizens Invited to Weigh in on McCormick Woods Park

Public Invited to Comment on McCormick Woods Park

Parks planning meeting set for Wednesday at City Hall.
By Chris Henry
chenry@kitsapsun.com
PORTORCHARD
Planning for a 63.5-acre public park in the McCormick Woods-Sunnyslope area advanced Tuesday, when the Port Orchard City Council approved a contract with a Seattle architectural firm that will help citizens develop a master site plan for the park.
Money for park development, including professional consultant services, came to the city as a result of annexation of the McCormick Woods urban growth area last year. The county had collected $643,732 in development impact fees to cover the planning and creation of the park, and the money was transferred to the city under an annexation inter-local agreement. The city now is responsible for developing and maintaining the park on Old Clifton Road.
Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Consultants of Seattle will lead the planning process. A meeting with the McCormick Village Park subcommittee is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall. The city is paying the award-winning design company $40,000 for its services.
Among the questions Jones & Jones staff will ask: “What makes the acreage of the proposed park unique in terms of topography and history?” “Who will be using the park, and what uses will it serve?” “What method will the city use to create the park?”
All citizens of Port Orchard, not only those on the park committee or in the McCormick Woods area, are invited to weigh in on planning for the park, said development director James Weaver.
Park committee meetings, listed on the city’s website, www.cityofportorchard.us, are open to the public. The committee will meet through September. The city will conduct public hearings about the committee’s proposals through December and adopt the park plan before the end of the year. Construction on the park will likely begin in September 2011.
Information on the park can be found on the city’s website or call the planning department at (360) 876-4991.

McCormick Village Park (Proposed)

On Tuesday’s PO Council Agenda

Adoption of Resolution No. 020-10, Approving the Design Review Board’s Recommendation for Proposed Development at 710 Bay Street: Will the city council give the go ahead to the first development project to come through under the city’s new Downtown Overlay District plan? The plan was intended to promote tasteful development in the downtown core. The council last month got hung up on how Swenson’s plans would work with the marquee and needed a month to think about it.

Approval of Contract No. C044-10, Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Professional Services Agreement with Jones & Jones Architects and
Landscape Architects, Ltd., for the design of McCormick Village Park: Things are moving forward with planning for a planned 63.5 acre public park in the McCormick Woods/Sunnyslope area.

More on McWoods park … The McCormick Village Park Plan Subcommittee will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall

Also on the council’s agenda:
Amending Port Orchard Municipal Code Chapter 5.12 “Business Licenses” to Incorporate the Partnership with the Washington State Department of Licensing
Master License Service: By working with the state’s Department of Licensing, the city hopes to make the process of reapplying for a business license smoother and more efficient. Presumably a benefit to both the city and business owners. I will check on that.

Fund Established to Replace Children’s Books Stolen from Port Orchard Library

The Kitsap Regional Library is accepting donations to help the Port Orchard Library replace more than 1,300 children’s books that have disappeared from that branch in recent months, prompting an investigation by the Port Orchard Police Department.

The value of the books is worth an estimated $22,900, roughly 20 percent of the branch’s collection.

There are no new leads in the case, which has been assigned to a detective, Chief Al Townsend said Wednesday.

The books disappeared a few at a time over the past few months. Since circulation was up in January and February, staff did not immediately take note, said Branch Manager Kathleen Wilson.

The foundation has established a special account to benefit the Port Orchard branch, which shares its collection within the entire KRL system. Donors should designate their intention in a note or on their check, stating “Port Orchard Branch picture books” or “POB pic books,” said Foundation Director Peter Raffa.

The foundation will direct all donations over the next two months toward replacement of the collection, even without a note, Raffa said.

Donations are tax deductible. Send them to KRL Foundation, Sylvan Way Library, 1301 Sylvan Way, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Other News From PO City Hall

We have reported today on a Washington State Patrol report that Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. We will be posting an update shortly, which will include a statement from the mayor.

In part, he said, “As a person who has always accepted responsibility for my actions, I will do so in this instance as well, no matter how it turns out, and expect no special treatment.”

In other news from City Hall, Coppola recently posted his Mayor’s video report for April on the City’s Web site. His topics: Puget Sound Regional Council’s Vision 2040; the joint lease of Given’s field recently approved by the city council for South Kitsap Western Little League and South Kitsap Pee Wees; a new business opening in downtown; the opening of the Port Orchard Farmer’s Market; a recent meeting of mayors from around the state; YMCA Women of Achievement representing South Kitsap; more hints about a new grocery coming soon to downtown PO; online utility bill payment; and plans to reprise Paint the Town (according to the mayor, Delialh will again be contributing significantly toward the effort), this time with a focus on the waterside buildings.

(See the bottom of this post for links to recent city council video coverage provided by the city.)

Coppola dedicated about two-thirds of his video to Vision 2040’s transportation element, known as T2040. He explains his take on the plan’s potential impact on economic development in Kitsap County and the region. Coppola was one of only two members of the PSRC executive board to vote against T2040 on March 25, primarily because of tolls. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn was the other. Coppola said he wants Port Orchard citizens to be able to get in and out of town without having to pay tolls or a vehicle-miles-traveled tax.

“Many of the ideas advanced in the Vision 2040 plan may be acceptable and actually pragmatic for King County and the I-5 corridor, but we (not clear if he’s talking about the city of Port Orchard or mayors of the county) strongly question the validity of what amounts to a King County soluntion being forced upon the rest of us,” he said on the video.

Coppola also talks about the importance of the region investing in technological infrastructure to promote telecommuting, which would reduce impact on roads, bridges and ferries.

As an interesting little grace note at the end of the video, Coppola talks about the recent downtown spring cleaning event. “I personally spent four hours on the end of a power washer, and several people pointed out that if this whole mayor thing doesn’t work out, perhaps I should get a job in the public works department,” he said, laughing. “Hopefully it won’t come to that.”

Port Orchard City Council Videos:
April 13
April 20 work study
April 27

“Cordial” Meeting on Library Levy Follows Strained Exchange

Kitsap Regional Library’s library levy PAC announced Friday on its Facebook page that there had been a “cordial” meeting between library officials and Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola. This after Coppola criticized the library board at a PO city council meeting Tuesday, and in media comment sections after, for allocating $750,000 to Port Orchard’s library, when multimillion dollar buildings are planned for Silverdale and Kingston.

Silverdale’s new library has been in the works for many years and is planned for the Silverdale Community Center. The current library is deemed too small for the population it serves. Kingston’s library is a room in its community center, which is in severe disrepair.

Port Orchard plans to build a new library in a planned Town Center Revitalization Project, which will include a parking garage, retail spaces and a public plaza.

Library spokesman Jeff Brody agreed that Port Orchard’s library, which is 8,000 SF and serves 21,000 patrons each month, is a high priority as well. Before Friday’s meeting, he said that more money will likely be available to Port Orchard and other branches after the two new buildings are paid off in six years.

The result of Friday’s meeting is the Library board will revisit its levy proposal with Coppola’s request in mind. Vote Yes Kitsap Libraries says, “To meet the city’s request may require the levy increase to be higher than the 12.5 cent increase originally proposed.”

PO Tourism Committee Morphs Toward Economic Development

April 22: Oops sorry, wrong poll .The wrong poll was displayed with this post since yesterday. The correct poll is up now. CTH

The time has come, members of Port Orchard City Council’s tourism committee said Tuesday, for the committee to expand its duties to include economic development.

To date, the committee has focused mainly on working with the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, nonprofits and local businesses on special events that draw visitors, such as the city’s Chimes and Lights Festival, the Seagull Calling Contest and last summer’s Cedar Cove Days.

Paying more attention to economic development would be a natural progression, said committee chairman Jerry Childs. Committee members, including Childs, Jim Colebank and Fred Chang, have been looking at cities like Poulsbo and Leavenworth as models.

Childs said the committee would coordinate with Mayor Lary Coppola, who so far has been the city’s designee and spokesman in attempts to attract new business. Coppola has already hosted some focus groups with selected business owners.

One of the committee’s ideas is to host an economic development page on the city’s Web site with information on permitting and other resources related to economic development. The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce has a resource page for prospective and current businesses, but, said Chang, it’s not the committee’s intention to reinvent the wheel.

“I don’t think we intend to duplicate anything that’s already being done,” said Chang, speaking as an individual committee member and not for the committee. “If we do a website, we’d want to plug a gap where there is one. It’s certainly not intended as a slap to anyone.”

One business owner willing to take a gamble on Port Orchard is Melinda Brown and her partner Shane Makoviney, who will open Melinda Lee’s at 810 Bay Street on May 1. Shane is a clock repairman; Melinda is an artist and gardener. Their store will offer a potpourri of artwork, garden starts, gifts and sundry supplies that would be useful to boaters.

Lee is bullish on Port Orchard. She sees a positive momentum in the downtown mix of stores despite the economy. “We love Bay Street and believe in it and believe in what it could be,” she said.

Of course Port Orchard business extends outside the downtown district, and the committee will pay attention to those folks as well, Chang said.

Colebank said, “it’s not as important to draw new business as it is to keep our current businesses happy.”

So what should city government do to make the city a business friendly place? Parking you say? Right, it’s on their to-do list. What are your other beefs, worries or needs? Take the survey on the homepage.

Joint Pee Wees/Little League Lease Likely to Be Extended

Parents and players with South Kitsap Pee Wees turned out in force Tuesday before the Port Orchard City Council. Members of the youth football club were anxious about the upcoming renewal of a Givens Center ball field lease they hold jointly with South Kitsap Western Little League.

The lease expires at the end of April. The council will discuss renewal of the joint lease at a work study meeting April 20th. They’ll vote on the lease April 27.

The council on March 9 allowed the Little League club to assume the lease from South Kitsap Babe Ruth, which folded early in March after 50 years in operation.

According to an e-mail distributed to Pee Wee members and local media on March 29, some Pee Wees were worried the city intended to boot them off the field, which they have shared with Babe Ruth for a number of years.

Cindie Morrill, a Pee Wee parent, in the e-mail urged other parents, coaches and players to show their support for the football program. “SK Pee Wees has been informed by the City of Port Orchard that if the community does not show support for Pee Wees, we may not be allowed to share with Western Little League as we had done in the past with Babe Ruth.”

The e-mail was forwarded by another Pee Wee supporter, hotrod366@peoplepc.com, with the comment, “Our mayor, Mr (Lary) Coppola does not like football and does not want to renew the lease. He wants to change the community play field “TO BASEBALL ONLY” Someone please help pull this guys head and the city councils out of their ?”

Apparently it was like that game of telephone we used to play as kids, where players sit in a circle and whisper a message in the ear of the person next to them. By the time the message goes full circle, it’s usually pretty well mangled.

The flames may have been fanned by a dropped word typo (since corrected online) in a weekly publication’s article on the shared lease.

What the mayor did say at the March 9 meeting, in his characteristically blunt style, is that if the two clubs can’t get along, they’d both lose the lease. The city has had to referee conflict between Babe Ruth and the Pee Wees in the past, and Coppola was having none of it from the new arrangement.

“What I told them then and what I’m telling you now is, you will make this work and you will get along with Pee Wees or you’ll both be gone,” he told Bob Showers of Western Little League.

The one council member who on March 9 voted against transferring the lease to Western Little League was Fred Olin, chairman of the city’s public property committee. Olin at the time said he thought the two uses were not compatible. But by Tuesday’s meeting, he said the committee was satisfied that the joint lease would be workable after all. “We felt we had a resolution worked out pretty well with Western Little League and Pee Wees,” Olin said. “I don’t see any problem.”

On Tuesday, officials from both organizations vowed to cooperate with each other as they share the field, even though their respective needs may sometimes conflict. Pee Wees reseeds the field after their season, for example, but the grass may not be far enough along to play on by the time Little League holds tryouts in early spring. All part of the details they’ll have to work out.

“I don’t think you have to worry about us not working together again. We’re all here for the kids,” said Pee Wees President Chuck Burns.

Alas, much ado about nothing.

The Pee Wees’ passion for their program (which includes basketball and cheer) was clear from comments made by parents and coaches on Tuesday.

Single parent Dorothy Williams said Pee Wee football was a godsend to her and her sons, one of whom landed a full-ride scholarship to play football for Eastern Washington University. “I don’t know what we would have done without it,” Williams said.

Basketball coach Ron Smith said Pee Wee programs give kids who may not make the cut on school teams a chance to get in on the action.

“I think everyone’s missing the point here. This is for the kids,” Smith said. “I think everyone’s getting lost in this battle.”

To which Coppola replied, “I’d like to say I couldn’t agree with you more.”

Look … Over There

Those of you with property in downtown Port Orchard may want to mosey over to the Kitsap Caucus for a look at a map of FEMA’s designated flood zones, downloaded from the City of Port Orchard’s Web site.

The map relates to a post I made about business owner Rudy Swensen and his plans to renovate his building at 710 Bay Street with a New Orleans theme. Swensen has to pay a hefty premium on a small business loan he secured because the building is in a flood zone. Flooding in 2007 is part of the reason for the renovation, he said.

Name that Blog

With the addition of new voices from North Kitsap, Central Kitsap and Bremerton, Speaking of South Kitsap is evolving. Since Bremerton reporter Steve Gardener and Central/North Kitsap reporter Brynn Grimley hopped on board, you’ve heard about a noted civic leader, a transformational moment or two, one town’s no so little victory and more.

On Grimley’s entry about Hank Mann-Sykes, one commenter mistakenly thought I had written the story and the post. It was an understandable error There’s my mug shot, as we call it, tacked on the home page of the blog. It’s probably time to change that, as well as the name of the blog. We’ll be mulling that over for a couple weeks while Grimley’s on vacation, and some time after that likely make the switch.

We’d like your help in re-branding the blog. While the Kitsap Caucus focuses on politics and government, Speaking of South Kitsap has, for the most part, focused on people, events and life in general in Port Orchard and surrounding communities, like Manchester, Olalla, South Colby and Gorst (Gardner and I both claim a stake in that one). Each has its own unique character … and characters. Now we add to that mix Seabeck, Lomolo, Hansville, Rocky Point, and other areas as well as the cities of Poulsbo and Bremerton and unicorporated yet urban Silverdale.

First we need a name. We’ve kicked around a few ideas and will mine our fellow staff members for others. So far we have Kitsap Klatsch and Speaking of Kitsap Communities. I suggested “That’s Kitsap with a ‘K'” but nobody got it. Excuse me while I stop by the store for some krab. … Oh, never mind.

OK, obviously we need a little help here.

We also need to replace my mug with something iconic, representing all that makes Kitsap Kitsapy. We got into a discussion of that over on the post about Hank Mann-Sykes. I asked for scenes that come to mind that represent your community. Kathryn Simpson, of South Kitsap, suggested: a picture taken from the center of the crosswalk at the end of Bay Street in Port Orchard, a picture of the scoreboard at Joe Knowles Stadium at the high school, a picture of the entrance to the older Kitsap County Admin building (the one the courts are still in), a picture of the foot ferry reaching the Port Orchard dock, a picture of the Stokes Auction windmill. If you live in Bremerton, Central or North Kitsap, you can probably think of scenes that conjure up the essence of a place. Maybe for Bremerton, we should have a chicken.

I was hoping we could have a rotating picture box with scenes from all over the county. But our Web editor says even our tech guru isn’t up to that one.

Our fall back idea is a group picture of Gardner, Grimley and me, as they have on the Wild World of Kitsap Sports blog. Not that we aren’t an attractive bunch, but I think we could do better.

So put on your thinking caps and sing out. This is a brainstorming session. Nothing is off the table, as they say. Again we need a new name and iconic picture or graphic for the blog soon to be known as The Blog Formerly Known as Speaking of South Kitsap.

Thank you.

Chris Henry, South Kitsap/government reporter

Port Orchard Videos: The Mayor Speaks and More

Looking back on this era in “Newspaper” Web site development, we will no doubt see it as a time where experiments were undertaken, certain noble ideas stuck to the wall … and others didn’t.

Alas, our hopes of being able to host videos of Port Orchard City Council meetings have been dashed, because of our respective technological support systems’ inability to communicate. We recently underwent an upgrade in our video uploader, so it no longer accepts the format in which Port Orchard produces its videos.

Henceforth, I’ll be posting links to the City’s Web site as a reminder that the videos are available. Here’s the link to the March 23 council meeting (my apologies for the delay). Among business at the meeting, the council approved new rules for use of the Active Club. Animals are no longer allowed in the building.

And now, “A Moment with the Mayor.” It’s kind of like FDRs fireside chats … with a neon flamingo. Topics this month include:

Honored employees

Planning for McCormick Woods Village Regional Park

Plans for a meeting with the Port of Bremerton and discussion of South Kitsap Industrial Area

An update on an interlocal agreement on annexation between the county and local cities

and more … see next post