Category Archives: Local

Local Pork is Popular, Too

Derek Sheppard writes:

Earmarks (Pork to some.) got a discussion below after Norm Dicks visited last week.

A Sunday piece in the Seattle Times by Andrew Garber shed some light on the earmarks process in the state Legislature, too.

In the paper and online on Sunday (I can’t find it on the Web site today) they ran a map showing the 11 legislative districts with the highest earmark spending during the 05-07 and 07-09 bienniums.

All three Kitsap/Mason districts made the list. The 35th was second, with $17.7 million. (The 37th in southeast Seattle topped the list with just under $21.4 million.)

The 23rd District was eighth, with $9.85 million, and the 26th rounded out the list in 11th with $6.5 million. (The 26th and 5th district tied with $6.5 mil.)

Here’s the gist from the story:

While many earmarked projects may be worthwhile, they often get little scrutiny. Their merits aren’t widely debated in legislative hearings. Sometimes you can’t tell which lawmaker asked for a particular project.
Earmarked spending has reached record highs since Democrats gained control of the state House, Senate and governor’s office in 2004.
Since 2005, lawmakers have spent or allocated nearly $270 million on earmarks in the capital budget, which funds construction projects. That’s more than was spent in the previous 15 years combined.
Millions more in lawmaker-requested spending is included in the state operating budget.

The 35th’s Tim Sheldon was a source in the story:

Sen. Tim Sheldon, a conservative Democrat from Potlatch, Mason County, says that when Democrats held a narrow majority in the Senate, he was able to leverage his vote to get about $100 million in transportation and capital budget projects for his district.

On Carpetbagging

Steven Gardner writes:

Over on the Speaking of South Kitsap blog Chris Henry wrote (before leaving on vacation) about the undercover work going on to determine if Port Orchard mayoral candidate Lary Coppola is actually living in the apartment he owns in city limits.

Problem is, Coppola’s finding evidence of the surveillance.

“I find little pieces of folded up paper in the door, little toothpicks broken off. I don’t know who’s doing it, and I don’t care. … With all the crap with Josh — as in Commissioner Josh Brown whose residency was challenged after his election last fall — we knew this was going to be an issue,” Coppola said.

Coppola doesn’t hide that he moved into town to run for mayor and explains other details about what’s happening with the house he still owns in Manchester.

Jerry Harless commented on the blog:

Carpetbagging has a long and honorable history in this County. Lary would not be getting this attention if he had not given Josh Brown such grief over it.

You can comment over there as well.

Protesters Gone Wild

Steven Gardner writes:

Over on The CK Beat blog Brynn Grimley goes into the account of the summering college student who tipped a few and then spent some time slashing tires at the Army Recruiting office in Silverdale.

The only thing I can fault the military spokesman for is the following:

Lt. Col. Kenneth Swanson, Seattle Army Recruiting Battalion Commander, said Monday that Chavez’s actions didn’t cost the Army, Navy or Air Force any money. Instead taxpayers will pay the burden because the cars belong to the government service agency.

Seems to me that only makes a difference to Swanson, because you’re basically picking the same pocket. But I’ll concede that it doesn’t affect his budget.

Particularly inflammatory was the Jason Chavez’s comments that if he were sent to Iraq he’d work to kill everyone on our side. At some point you have to wonder when it isn’t the beer talking.

Go to the CK blog to comment.

Port Challenge

Steven Gardner writes:

Port Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington has a challenger. Chris Henry writes that Martin Dilenno, a former live-aboard boat owner has decided to take on the incumbent.

“It’s time,” he said. “I just think the position needs a change from Mary Ann. She’s been in there long enough.”

DiIenno said he’s aware of public displeasure with the increased port tax an addition of 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value established by the port’s three commissiones last year to help pay for major improvements to the Bremerton Marina.

Saying he’s aware of the public displeasure isn’t exactly saying he agrees with the public. Dilenno does say the port commissioners should be more public about their plans. In case you don’t remember or didn’t see an increase on your tax bill this year, the port added a 45-cent-per-$1,000 assessment to pay for the Bremerton Marina upgrade project. It was done legally, but many people had no idea until the bill came.

The same could happen if Bremerton, Kitsap County or any city is quiet about its new ability to raise car tabs $20 a year to pay for road improvements. Bremerton has done a phone survey and has called for focus groups. The mayor plans to report the findings to the council sometime within the next few weeks.

Candidates File

Chris Henry writes:

Twenty-four people showed up at the Kitsap County auditor’s office bright and early Monday to file for office in upcoming 2007 elections. Another candidate filed by mail.

Lary Coppola, who has already publicized his intention to run for Mayor of Port Orchard, is so far the lone candidate for this position. Incumbent Mayor Kim Abel announced April 3 that she will not seek reelection.

Incumbent Port of Bremerton Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington, who announced last week that she will seek re-election, is also unchallenged at this time.

But the week is young, and candidates have until 4:30 p.m. Friday to file. The auditor’s office will post updates on filings twice daily on the county’s home page,

In other races, three incumbents have filed for positions on the Bremerton City Council. They are Cecil M. McConnell for District 2, Dianne P. Robinson for District 6 and Will Maupin for District 8. Trent England, a former legislative candidate, today announced his intention to run for Wendy Priest’s seat on the council. Priest has said she won’t run again.

In Port Orchard, two non-incumbents who have closely followed the City Council’s deliberations on a proposed downtown plan for economic development, have stepped up to file for seats on the council. Jerry Childs, who has headed a neighborhood association of residents concerned about future building heights that may be allowed by the plan, has filed for the at-large position currently held by Bob Geiger. Geiger has said he will not run again. Cindy Lucarelli, another neighborhood association leader, has filed for position 4, currently held by John Clauson. Clauson has not said whether he will run again.

Port Orchard City Council incumbents Robert Putaansuu, position 3, and Rick Wyatt, position 5, have filed for re-election in their respective positions. Wyatt had been considering a run for the mayor’s seat. He was not immediately available for comment.

In Poulsbo, Becky Erickson has filed for position 3 to challenge incumbent Jim Henry, who has filed to run for re-election. Incumbents Jeff McGinty and Connie Lord have filed for their current positions, 4 and 2 respectively.

Elections official Suzanne Boltz said it was a “sign of the times” that the Poulsbo candidates chose to carpool to the county administrative building in Port Orchard, apparently to save gas.

Check or the county’s Web site for updates.