Tag Archives: Kitsap County Commissioners

Simpson waiting for final count, weighing her future plans

Linda Simpson, Republican candidate for Kitsap County Commissioner, District 2, was not available for comment last night after election results came in. The initial tally showed her trailing Democrat Charlotte Garrido by 3,753 votes. The percentage margin was 52 to 47.

Simpson called today to say she was disappointed and somewhat stunned by the results.

“I was kind of hoping it would be the other way around,” she said. “It’s not insurmountable, so there’s a little bit of hope.”

But an update posted by the Kitsap County Auditor at 5 p.m showed the margin between the two had barely budged. Garrido is now leading Simpson by 3,969 votes, with 77,245 votes counted in this race. Kitsap has 39,000 ballots in hand yet to be counted, according to the Washington State Auditor, and all are eligible to vote in the commissioner’s race.

Simpson decided to pursue the commissioner’s seat after seeing considerable success in the 2010 race for 35th District representative, position 2. In that race, she ended up losing to Democrat Fred Finn by a mere 52 votes in Kitsap County. The totals in the four counties that made up the 35th at the time (Kitsap, Grays Harbor, Mason and Thurston) gave 29,543 votes to Finn and 25,724 votes to Simpson, a difference of 3,819 votes.

Simpson today said she went into the homestretch of her campaign for county commissioner feeling optimistic. Not only was she getting support from her own party, but non-Republicans had voiced their intent to cast their ballots for her.

Simpson believes the message that resonated with voters of all political persuasions was her commitment to represent individual rights and give a transparent accounting of how taxpayers’ dollars are spent. On election night, Simpson was almost sure she would win.

“I really felt good about (the campaign),” she said. “I really felt quite surprised and dismayed that the results were the opposite.”

Simpson will wait for the final count to come in before throwing in the towel. But she’s looking ahead to the possibility of a loss. Glass-more-than-half-full type that she is, Simpson, a Navy reservist on leave, said she would take advantage of the down time if she loses the race.

Since running against Finn, Simpson has lost her leg in a motorcycle accident, won four medals in the Warrior Games for injured military members and jumped into the commissioner’s race last summer, less than a year after her injury. Simpson is training for the upcoming Warrior Games in Hawaii. She hopes some day to start a foundation to give financial assistance to military amputees who, unlike herself, lack funds to cope with their disabilities. And to be honest, she could use a little “me” time to relax and regroup, she said.

Simpson does not rule out a future run for public office. “I wouldn’t say never, but I wouldn’t say it’s a high priority on my list right now,” she said.

Last call (tonight) for comments on redistricting of commissioner boundaries

Tonight (10/24/11) at the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the board will hold a public hearing on three proposed options for redistricting commissioner boundaries. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the county administration building.

The county’s been working on this for some time. They held information workshops in late September and early October. County officials also met with both parties on the redistricting, which is intended to even out representation within North, South and Central Kitsap commissioner districts, based on 2010 Census data.

Eric Baker, the county’s special projects manager, and his staff have put forth three options, one of which is to do nothing, leave the boundaries as is. The other two options attempt to even out population discrepancies by shifting boundaries between Central (the smallest, population-wise) and North Kitsap (currently with the largest population). Option 3 also adjusts boundaries between Central Kitsap and South Kitsap in the Tiger/Panther/Mission Lake area.

According to Baker, comments on the three proposals have been pretty tame.

“Largely, there has not been a lot of public outcry about these alternatives,” Baker said Monday. “Our alternatives attempted to minimize change where possible, which was appreciated by people who made comments.”

Many people have asked if there will be changes to downtown Bremerton boundaries, which would affect residents of South Kitsap and Central Kitsap districts. The answer, said Baker, is “no.”

The commissioners may but, according to Baker, likely will not adopt one of the three options at tonight’s meeting. More likely, they will consider public input and make their decision by or before the Dec. 1 deadline.

Heads up: On the agenda

Brynn writes:

Here’s the meetings for the week:

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

Monday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m.: MEETING IS CANCELED

2 p.m.: Parks director Jim Dunwiddie will give a 25 minute parks update then the board will spend two hours discussing the budget until its 4:30 p.m. adjournment.

7 p.m.: The regular business meeting only has one public hearing, a resolution to adopt the Kitsap County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m.: Approve Minutes; DCD director Larry Keeton and Scott Diener will go over Kitsap County Code Title 16 – for two hours; then the board will spend 30 minutes talking about the creation of a recreational water facilities advisory committee; they’ll spend another 30 minutes on PSRC Transportation Funding 2012 before exiting into an executive session from 11:30 a.m. to noon to discuss real estate. Adjournment will follow.

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

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 5 p.m.: There’s a lot on this week’s agenda for the study session: Approve payment of $75,000 to the State of Washington for modifications to the Manette Bridge replacement project to add the city-initiated sidewalk barrier – Gunnar Fridriksson, Engineering, Public Works & Utilities Department and Jim McDonald, Public Works Committee Chair; Proposed resolution to adopt the City of Bremerton’s 2012 – 2017 Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan – Alan Lobdell, Interim Director of the Public Works & Utilities Department, Thomas Knuckey, managing engineer, Public Works & Utilities Department and Jim McDonald, Public Works Committee Chair; Approve six construction contracts for the Park Avenue Plaza Project Phase II: (1) Trenching for Utilities; (2) Improvements at Intersection of Park Avenue & 4th Street; (3) Garage Steel Filter Screening; (4) Planters on Burwell; (5) Brick Veneer Installation; and (6) Sewer Main Lining – Gary Sexton, Redevelopment Projects Administrator; Proposed ordinance to amend Section 13.04.140 of the Bremerton Municipal Code (BMC) related to the sale of beer and wine at the Bremerton Ice Arena – Wyn Birkenthal, Director of Parks & Recreation Department, and Jim McDonald, Public Safety and Parks committee chairman; Amendment to Section 4.1.2 “Incidental Uses” of the Concession Agreement between the City of Bremerton and the Bremerton Ice Arena, Inc. to allow the sale of beer and wine – Wyn Birkenthal, Director of Parks & Recreation Department and Jim McDonald, Public Safety and Parks committee chair.

City of Port Orchard (meets at 219 Prospect Street)

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m.: The one public hearing item is on the annexation of McCormick West; Business items include the adoption of Ordinance No. 018-11, approving annexation of McCormick West; Approval of Contract No. 078-11, authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement with Dimensional Communications, Inc. for council chamber audio/visual upgrades.

City of Poulsbo (City Hall, 200 Moe Street)

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.: This week’s business agenda includes an application for special event: Veteran’s 5k Fun Run; a public hearing at 7:20 p.m. on proposed impact fee ordinances; setting a public hearing for final budget: November 9, 2011; a purchase and sale agreement for the Lord Property.

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.

Notes from the chamber of commerce debate

Debates are the political equivalent of speed dating. Candidates have snippets of time to define themselves, differentiate themselves from their opponents and connect with the crowd.

We at the Kitsap Sun will be doing in-depth articles articles on local races and ballot issues. Debate coverage, on the other hand, could be seen as more superficial but also more immediate.

Here’s what I took away from this morning’s debate hosted by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce. Races featured were the Port of Bremerton Commissioner, District 3, and Kitsap County Commissioner, District 1 (North Kitsap), neither of which I’m doing the in-depth coverage on.

In the commissioners’ debate, Republican Chris Tibbs took every opportunity to set himself apart from incumbent Commissioner Rob Gelder. Gelder was appointed in March to fill Steve Bauer’s position.

Interestingly enough, Tibbs considers himself an “independent moderate” and has contributed to Democratic campaigns in the past. His goal in this race seems to be to diversify the all-Democratic board of commissioners.

“We have not had an independent voice on the board since 2008 (when Republican Jan Angel’s term ended),” Tibbs said. “I think we need a voice to look at the interests of what the minority are.”

Democrat Gelder countered that he doesn’t automatically align with fellow commissioners Charlotte Garrido and Josh Brown.

“I maintain my own independent voice,” said Gelder, whose background is in nonprofit management, most recently at Martha & Mary Health Services of Poulsbo. “What I uniquely bring to the board of commissioners is the perspective of service.”

Gelder said his goal is to “re-size government to a more sustainable level,” while advocating for “the most vulnerable.”

Tibbs, director of sales and operations for Ootopia coffee roasters, touted his business experience and said he would run the county with a more stringent eye to the bottom line, fully funding justice, roads and land use, and cutting as needed in other departments. Tibbs would be looking to “shed layers of employees” but also wants to restore the county to 5-day per week service versus the current 4.

Tibbs blasted the county’s “lack of transparency,” citing the Shoreline Master Plan Update process and the county’s legal tangle with Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club as examples.

Gelder, now on the defensive, said the county has come a long way in increasing transparency, especially in the budget process. (Both Gelder and Tibbs served on the county’s budget advisory committee). Concerns that the Shoreline Master Plan will decimate individual property rights are not justified, Gelder said. The public has and will continue to be involved in the planning process.

Gelder said the county has made strides toward a sustainable budget and the board is on track to rebuild the general fund reserve account. He cited recent refinancing of bonds that will save an estimated $1.7 million over time as an example of the county’s more proactive approach to balancing the budget.

Gelder also defended his background in nonprofits as valid experience for the job of commissioner. “Running a not-for-profit requires you to be even more creative to make payroll,” he said.

The two candidates hold 180-out positions on Kitsap County’s membership in the Puget Sound Regional Council. The council, which also includes King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, oversees distribution of state and federal transportation funding.

Tibbs says Kitsap’s interests are not being represented in the PSRC. He advocates the county withdraw and establish its own stand-alone entity. “We have no reason to be with this organization,” Tibbs said. “We could be a stand-alone and receive the same or more monies.”

Gelder said the county can’t afford to distance itself from the PSRC. “It’s the reality we’re operating in,” he said. “We need to be a player around the table. If we’re not there, they basically will roll right over us.”

In the nonpartisan Port of Bremerton debate, candidates Axel Strakeljahn and Shawn Cucciardi had a harder time setting themsleves apart from one another.

Both said the port has not yet fully recovered the public’s trust since 2007 when it passed a poorly publicized tax increase of 45 cents per $1,000 for the Bremerton Marina. Cucciardi called it a “stealth tax.” Strakeljahn dubbed it the “midnight tax.”

Both candidates talked of the port’s need for a solid short- and long-range business plan to promote economic development. Both touted their business experience as credentials for the job. Strakeljahn manages the Port Orchard Fred Meyer. Cucciardi manages McCormick Woods Golf Course & Clubhouse.

Cucciardi said he’d pump up marketing of the port. Strakeljahn said he’d make sure any business decision made by the port commission pencils out. He would “hold the line on taxes” he said.

Cucciardi said his style is to take “positive approach” to problem solving. Strakeljahn spoke of his immigrant parents, who taught him the value of hard work and “attention to detail.”

So there you have it, just a few notes from the debate, for what it’s worth.

Heads up: On the agenda

Brynn writes:

Happy August — maybe this month we’ll see more days of sun than rain….come on August, don’t let us down!

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

Monday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m.: Board information sharing until Noon.

2 p.m.: This meeting is a 45 minute discussion about facilities maintenance building repair and replacement with Bud Harris and Bev Reeves. Adjournment is at 2:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 8:30 a.m.: Meeting starts with a review of what will be on the board’s Aug. 8 business meeting. Information sharing follows from 9:15 to 10 a.m. then commissioners will talk with Jeff Rowe about the proposed gun range operation permit ordinance for 45 minutes. An executive session will follow regarding real estate from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. Adjournment to follow.

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

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 5 p.m.: The Bremerton City Council will meet upstairs for a study session, then head downstairs for a regular meeting. The one public hearing item is to terminate a developers agreement with Port Blakely Tree Farms. Business items include an amendment to city code on temporary merchants, peddlers and mobile food vendors and an agreement with Prothman, Co. for interim Public Works director.

City of Port Orchard (meets at 219 Prospect Street)

No meeting.

City of Poulsbo (City Hall, 200 Moe Street)

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 7 p.m.: Business agenda items include a fire department update by Chief Olson; a Fjord Drive slide repair project budget amendment; a design contract for Lincoln Road improvements; a design contract for Third Avenue improvements; and a board discussion on broadband utility.

Housing Kitsap (meets at 345 Sixth Street, Bremerton)

Tuesday, Aug. 2, 1 p.m.: The housing board of commissioners usually meet the first Tuesday of the month in the fifth floor conference room of the Norm Dicks Government Center. I didn’t receive an agenda this week, so I’m not certain if they’re meeting or what they’ll be discussing.

Heads up: On the agenda

Brynn writes:

What a weekend — man it’s hard to think about heading back to work with the beautiful weekend we just had. But you have to work hard to play hard, so here’s what everyone is doing this week.

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

Monday, July 25, 10 a.m.: Board information sharing until Noon.

2 p.m.: This meeting kicks off with a 25 minute budget update by Amber D’Amato followed by a 45 minute annexation update with Eric Baker and Angie Silva and finishes with a 5 minute grant approval request DOJ JAG grant with Dave White. Adjournment will come at 3:20 p.m.

7 p.m.: Business agenda items not on the public hearing schedule include: a revenue contract with Washington State Department of Commerce to provide funding for approximately 400 welfare recipients from Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap Counties in the WorkFirst program. Fiscal Impact: $1,443,810 – 100% grant funded by Temporary Assistance to Needy Families; a revenue contract amendment with State of Washington, Department of Social and Health Services, Mental Health Division to provide public mental health services to citizens not eligible for Medicaid services within Jefferson, Kitsap and Clallam Counties. Fiscal Impact: $1,559,193 – 100% grant funded by State of Washington, Department of Social and Health Services, Mental Health Division; PUBLIC HEARING ITEMS: a resolution amending the 2011 Annual Budget. Fiscal Impact: $113,507 – Various General Funds; an ordinance dissolving West Hills Water District. Fiscal Impact: N/A; a resolution calling for a special election for Port of Bainbridge Island Formation Proposition. Fiscal Impact: $20,000 – Elections General Fund; an ordinance providing resolution of appeal of 2010 Comprehensive Plan amendments. Fiscal Impact: N/A; resolution calling for an election to authorize a property tax levy for the purpose of providing necessary funds for capital facilities and services that reduce medical costs, homelessness, and criminal justice system involvement with the proceeds supporting veterans and their families and other families in need. Fiscal Impact: $75,000 – Elections General Fund, $1.4 million – Revenue for six years.

Wednesday, July 27, 8:30 a.m.: Meeting starts with a Water Policy Plan Review for 25 minutes followed by a 15 minute beach watcher presentation then the commissioners will recess into two executive sessions, first for 2 hours to discuss an update on all litigation and second from 11:15 to 11:45 for real estate. Adjournment will follow.

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

Monday, July 25, 4 p.m.: City representatives will be meeting with the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial Committee members to talk about the memorial at the Sheridan Park Community Center, 680 Lebo Boulevard.

Wednesday, July 27, 5 p.m.: The Bremerton City Council will meet upstairs for a study session. Discussion items include council redistricting and amending the city’s code that deals with mobile food vendors and temporary merchants.

City of Port Orchard (meets at 219 Prospect Street)

Tuesday, July 26, 7 p.m.: The council will hear a presentation on the 2011 water rate increase then hold its first public hearing on the proposed water rate increase. Business agenda items include: first reading of ordinance No. 011-11, amending the 2011 budget; adoption of a resolution authorizing the Mayor Pro Tem to execute the possession and use agreement with Lawrence and Dolores Coppola regarding 321 Tremont Street; adoption of a resolution authorizing the Mayor Pro Tem to execute the commercial displacee lease No. 064-11, with Lawrence and Dolores Coppola regarding 321 Tremont Street and a resolution authorizing the Mayor Pro Tem to execute an interlocal agreement with the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney for legal services related to the Tremont Street widening project.

City of Poulsbo (City Hall, 200 Moe Street)

No meeting.

Bremerton Housing Authority (4040 Wheaton Way, Suite 206)
Bremerton, WA 98310

Monday, July 25, 5:30 p.m.: The board will meet at the BHA offices.