Bremerton Hates Privacy, But So Does Kitsap County and Port Orchard

Comes now, a cartoon from the Sept. 20 Port Orchard Independent, er, I mean, the Bremerton Patriot, criticizing a decision by the Bremerton City Council to allow the police department to start the process of buying a license plate recognition system with $30,000 from the state.

The vote on the first step of authorizing the system’s use in Bremerton – the council will have to take another vote to finalize the deal – was 7-1, with other council members beside the dissenting vote voicing concerns about privacy, i.e., storing the data that accumulates from a digital camera system that can automatically run thousands of license plates a day.

Read the story here.

The cartoon, of course, doesn’t say “Bremerton City Council” or “Bremerton Police Department.” It just says “Bremerton.”

It also doesn’t take into account the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office received the same grant, said spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson.

Wilson also said the sheriff’s office is working with BPD to share storage for the data, for however long they will keep it (TBD) and if the Bremerton council ultimately approves the system.

It also doesn’t take into account Port Orchard applied for the same grant, but was turned down, said Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend. Townsend said the system would help recover stolen cars. He also said the city would likely apply again if given the chance.

I know it would alter the symmetry of this cartoon, but I think the next cartoon about this issue should include Abraham Lincoln riding a goat labeled “The Panama Canal” along side a greedy pig, “Bremerton,” wearing a first-place sash that reads “Mid-West Agribusiness,” eating a golden halo called “Port Orchard.”

15 thoughts on “Bremerton Hates Privacy, But So Does Kitsap County and Port Orchard

  1. Well now. The mayor of any city is hired to enhance the flavor of their city growth and in the case of Bremerton, breathe life back into a comatose body.

    Bremerton is hardly a ‘greedy pig’; and PO has never worn a halo of any kind, tarnished or ‘golden.”

    The mayor of Bremerton had/has a far more difficult job than PO’s mayor.

    PO’s mayor – if he tends to business and stops worry, fret and secretive threats to sue Bremerton – can’t help but grow PO/SK.

    PO isn’t ‘coming back’ from anything…always a Plain Jane and a nice town, she is beginning to primp herself for her own unique brand of splendor. From the sounds of it, her growth is encouraged by the citizens.

    Bremerton, on the other hand has citizens screaming NO almost before anyone says anything. I can’t remember reading a positive comment about the wonders Mayor Bozeman has performed from insight and a supportive city government but only naysayers and complainers from Bremerton’s citizens. Or so it seems.

    Maybe some of them are the old drug dealers being eased out of Bremerton’s new appearance to another dead town and drug addicts and don’t want to move. I don’t know.

    I’m a fan of Mayor Bozeman for what he has done for my hometown. I was born in Bremerton, enjoyed its ‘heyday’ and mourned its demise. I’ve been thrilled with changes every time I go downtown and note more old homes freshly painted.

    It has become clear the old timers…the type of people I knew in Bremerton are gone – ‘blue collar or not, many, if not most were visionaries too, avid readers for world news and interested in growth and improvement.

    Bremerton’s citizens took pride in their homes, yards and town. It took visionaries and strength of character to leave all they knew..home, family, country, language to come here, the land of opportunity.

    They were a proud people, paid their debts, had fun without drugs, worked hard and saved their money too.
    They took care of themselves and each other with imagination and initiative.

    Maybe because most were legal immigrants here. They gambled with their lives but the faith in their own ability to survive brought them here.

    The downtown ‘old’ building removal was never about kicking anyone out ‘taking’ someone’s business…but needed for Bremerton’s continued growth. Only three city council members ‘got it’.
    A friend used to say, “The only thing worse than an old fool is a young fool.”
    So be it.

    Thank you, Mayor Bozeman for all you have done to give my town another future.
    Sharon O’Hara

  2. Well, the FACT of the matter is, thousands of Port Orchard residents are footing the bill for Downtown Bremerton Re-Vitalization.

    Marina Fiasco – Need I say More
    Condo Fiasco – Need I say More
    Kitsap Transit – I believe the voters said no to the Foot Ferry, but we’re still spending money on pushing that rope.

    In case you didn’t know it, the entire County is on the hook for those Condo’s. The Bail out will come from county tax dollars.

    It’s not just the Bremerton Residents Screaming no. It’s Port Orchard residents as well as thousands of others who live outside Bremerton City Limits.

    I Won’t argue that Mayor Bozeman is skilled at what he does. He’s got numerous elected officials flatly ignoring the sentiment of the voters and spending Millions of dollars to boot. They are so motivated to support the guy they’ll do anything to spend the money without going to the voters.

    There doesn’t seem to be any checks and balances among all the different agencies and officials; except when it comes time to vote somebody out of office. By then the damage is done.

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. Bremerton is still going to be Bremerton when the waterfront is done, and for one simple reason which you so eloquently stated…..the residents don’t want it………’s too expensive for these times and risks that were taken to get this far will not pay off.

    By the way, the year is 2008, but my guess is our ancestors from 6 generations ago would be absolutely livid at what is going on.

    County Government speculating in the High End Condo Market! Give me a break!

  3. Bremerton was never a ‘pig’ with or without lipstick.

    And the people who came to the west by wagon train had no guarantee that life would be better for them in the west – the vast unknown – but they risked their lives to find out.

    Was the ‘risk’ of life and limb too expensive you say?

    The wagon trail visionaries traveled west on faith and hope of a good life. Some of us are the beneficiaries of their ancestors faith and hope.

    Nothing will ever ‘pay off’ for those convinced it won’t.

    I don’t like the location of the condos either – a couple are downright ugly…but Bremerton has a good future and I’ve never believed that tossing the baby out with the bathwater is beneficial.
    Additionally, finding a ‘good time’ to do something never comes for some folks.

    …”…too expensive for these times and risks that were taken to get this far will not pay off….”…

    Sharon O’Hara

  4. Sorry, you lost me there. My gripe is how the Tax base Outside of Bremerton is being used to pay for the new Downtown.

    Although I can appreciate what the settlers did in the 1800’s, I don’t see how it applies to Downtown Bremerton today. And if it did, then the same argument would apply to all our other communities.

    You and I seem to be on very different planets………

    “Earth to Sharon”

  5. Well now John…your comment of ancestors six generations ago opened the door….you make comments about pigs and lipstick…how are your pigs relevant?

    How is the marina connected to Bremerton? Check your FACTS….the port commission has the marina.

    …”…it’s too expensive for these times and risks that were taken to get this far will not pay off. …”

    Here you claim to be a mystic. able to predict the future……and expect that you find many days inexpensive enough to ‘these times’.
    Sharon O’Hara

  6. Sharon’s right, Mayor Bozeman and the elected officials who have been part of the revitalization of Bremerton have been very good stewards for their community. They are looking to the future for the citizens of Bremerton and surrounding areas and being proactive about it. You are lucky you have a team of leaders that are willing to lead.

    I agree with John about the confusing government agencies. There does seem to be layers of bureaucracy. I don’t know if more checks and balances are needed, maybe respect and communication. There were two commissioners representing parts of South Kitsap when the marina tax levy was imposed. Would it have been out of line for one of them to say, “South Kitsap School District has an important bond vote coming up, maybe we should wait with this tax assessment until we see how that turns out.” Perhaps saying that is not even legal, but you get the picture. Is it whoever gets to the trough first? Cutthroat competition for our rapidly shrinking tax dollars?

    I don’t know if the marina tax cost South Kitsap the new high school. It probably added to it, along with the supermajority rules and the local obstructionists. It certainly didn’t help. That’s just my perception, it’s not a fact.

  7. A massive amount of tax dollars from Non-Bremerton Residents has been used to pay for what’s been done to date in downtown Bremerton.

    Every tax paying resident in Kitsap County is on the hook for the projects in Downtown Bremerton.

  8. Tell me which taxpayers pay for the PO/SK two dog parks? PO/SK taxpayers?

    The County Commissioners urged by Angel approved turning the Howe Farm prime cropland into a 11 acre dog park, then allowed $328,000 tax dollars to fence five acres of the designated off lead dog park. $328,000 seems like a lot of money.

    Which tax payers are trapped into paying for them?

    Do you mean John, that the entire tax paying property owner base in Kitsap County paid for Bremerton’s improvements and no other area is given tax dollars, only Bremerton?

    Does every Kitsap area contribute to Bremerton improvements only and nowhere else?
    Hard to believe such a thing could be true.

    How much money is a ‘massive amount’?

  9. Binion here:

    I want to say I am very happy for all these comments, John and Sharon. I think you guys are great.

    It doesn’t bother me that we have strayed from the post’s intent, which was to point out that the KNG newspapers’ editorial cartoonist has a bone to pick with “Bremerton.”

    However, let’s try to be a little more nice. I know these things get us hot under the collar, and I don’t mean to limit the discussion, I just would like, at the end, if everybody could shake hands and maybe understand a little more about our community.

    I understand, for instance, that people who live in Port Orchard would see that kind of investment in downtown Bremerton and wonder how that benefits them. Maybe feel resentful that their money isn’t going to help repair and build things that benefit their community.

    I also understand that Bremerton sees itself as needing the kind of financial help that it is not capable of doing for itself. For that help, the city has leaned on its neighbors, including the port district, which encompasses both cities, hoping that all will benefit.

    I would also like to say that I like Port Orchard’s downtown very much. It actually has stuff to do, something Bremerton’s downtown is sorely lacking.

    That is all.

    Thanks for reading/writing,


  10. Perceptions can be changed.

    I don’t know if the Port Orchard Mayor or the County Commissioner representing South Kitsap attend Port of Bremerton meetings, but they should, if they have the time. We support your project, you support our project. Is that some kind of slippery slope?

    If you don’t consider the voter’s or the voter’s representatives’ views, and continue to exclude them from the discussion, you can’t really blame people for thinking the Port Commissioners just want our tax dollars, not our opinion or our input or to hear about our wish list. If you continue to exclude part of your base from the discussion on the next big project, SKIA, for example, what are we left to think?

    That’s all. I’m done. I didn’t get the revised cartoon, I guess I’m obtuse. I think it was too elitist.

  11. Andy, I try never to stray except with my dogs. Sorry.

    That said, “…which was to point out that the KNG newspapers’ editorial cartoonist has a bone to pick with “Bremerton.”

    I stopped looking at editorial cartoons years ago ..but did peer at this one. Its too small to see without a magnifying glass.

    No slippery slope to towns helping each other, getting informed and educated…and someone -Karen?- spoke of ‘layers’ of government between the voter and decision makers….WE vote into office.

    It seems to me government operates (school boards too) under the cloak of what the voters don’t know can’t hurt US.

    Keeping tax payers ignorant breeds discontent,distrust and bitterness towards the very people we put into office.

    They are elected to speak/work for us and our community, now and future.
    RE: Port Commissioners/Marina completely forgot the taxpayer has the right to be informed.

    Complete disclosure should be the right of the taxpayer .

    ‘Elitist’ is a thought I had when I watched (TV) and heard a member of a Federal governing body tell a gaggle of media people that their decision was “None of your business!” “WE will decide’…”

    Media folks are tax payers too and had every right to be spoken to with respect. That didn’t happen. Unnecessary rude and arrogant disregard to the people they’re supposed to be working for doesn’t seem like that person will or should be re-elected.

    I would like to know how the County Commisioners were able to contract for the dog parks (any special interest project) without a vote?
    Who is accountable for such decisions?..

    .Not much different than the taxpayers desire to understand the Port Commissioners idea of governing without voter input.
    Sharon O’Hara

  12. I don’t think a vote is necessary for every expenditure, but in this area, when you get up in the 30 million dollar range, a vote is appropriate.

    Exactly where the line is drawn, it depends on many factors, but is ultimately something that gets worked out over time between elected officials and voters. Competent officials know where the line is.

    But, if they’re not sure, they can always ask. There’s plenty of ways to check the temperature of the voters.

    Putting a dog park on an equal level with the Marina project is absurd. No discussion required there.

  13. I didn’t put the dog park on a equal footing with the marina since they are obviously a few dollars apart in tax payer commitment.

    I did and do suggest the act of a governing body to ignore the taxpayer and commit large funds for any special interest is wrong.

    I don’t know how much total taxpayer money the County Commissioners committed to the dog park and we’re still paying for…but I want to know.

    You may consider paying $328,000 for the dog fence around five acres insignificant…but I don’t. It is a lot of money….to a lot of taxpayers. Few taxpayers make that much money in a year yet we’re forced to pay without recourse by our County Commissioners.

    I’ve had many chain link fences/cross fences/gates installed on different properties and KNOW $328,000 is a bit over the top.

    Did the taxpayer funds come from all of us in KC?

    What fence company got the job?
    Are the owner/s related to a commissioner?

    Is a commissioner related to the dog company that manages both parks in SK/PO – maybe more in Kitsap County?

    As a taxpayer and voter, I should have the right to full disclosure where our tax dollars go and the ongoing costs of such special interest projects.

    $328,000 is insignificant in comparison to the marina – yes.

    The main difference is business.
    The marina is a business and in time will make money.

    What does the dog park bring in? Nothing? The dog park is an ongoing expense for the taxpayer…
    Where can I get the answers?
    Sharon O’Hara

  14. Some Great points there Sharon. Bob Meadows appears to have some some data mining skills. Perhaps he’ll weight in here.

    My guess is all of it is Public Record, the challenge is probablly knowing what to request and from whom.

    Now I don’t consider the Dog Park insignificant, but now you’ve got me wondering, How was that money really spent?

    For crying out loud, it’s a dog park.

    Maybe I’ll take on the challenge of digging out this data

  15. Other than voting, I haven’t known much about our government but learning about the $328,000 fence and dog park in PO/SK woke me up.

    I’ve believed that our local officials and local government worked toward the betterment of our area and citizens. looked out after the interests of the community – not special interests – now and for the future… what they were voted in to do.

    I hope you do take on the challenge, John… and Bob Meadows is clearly a fact finder…a Buck Stops Here kind of guy.
    Sharon O’Hara

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