County Approves SK Park Transfer

It’s official. The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners has accepted South Kitsap Parks District Board of Commissioners’ counter-proposal, which cements the transfer of South Kitsap Community Park to the county.
According to Commissioner Jan Angel, the park’s future is a blank slate. All we know is that the county has committed $2.19 milllion for improvements to the park ever the next six years. The next step is a “public process,” said Angel, in which all comers are welcome. In an upcoming article, I will report on what stakeholders in the park’s future have to say. I’m also hoping to hear from others who may have ideas about what they’d like to see at South Kitsap Community Park. It will be interesting to see how those in opposing camps work to bury the hatchet as they move forward toward what seems to be everybody’s goal: a viable, vibrant park (see parks commissioner Margie Rees’ comments below).

So blog on or e-mail me at Thanks.

Here’s how one chapter in the parks 30+ year history ended.

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners has given official approval to an agreement that will transfer ownership of South Kitsap Community Park from the South Kitsap Parks District Board of Directors to the county.
The agreement, signed with little fanfare by commissioners Jan Angel, Josh Brown and Chris Endresen on Monday, represents the settlement of a lawsuit by the county against the parks district for unpaid election debt. The settlement excuses the debt, which at one time was more than $30,000. The parks district had been paying it off over time and made a $20,000 payment on the debt in February, using money from an insurance claim settlement resulting from a mobile home fire at the park in August.
The agreement ensures the preservation of the 200-acre park as a park. Any other use for the land would have to be approved by voters.
Before Angel signed the document, she spoke directly to parks commissioner Margie Rees, who attended the commissioners’ meeting. Rees strongly opposed the turnover during the year of negotiations with the county. She was the lone “no” vote on the settlement, but she was overridden by commissioners Ron Flerx and Warren Collver.
“I was happy to see Margie Rees in the audience,” Angel said, citing the agreement’s wording as proof of the county’s good will. “I want to reassure especially Margie that ‘the county will restrict the use of said land to parkland and recreation in perpetuity.’”
After the meeting, Rees, asked whether she had confidence in Angel’s pledge, said, “Who knows. I hope I can work with the county to make it a better place.”
Rees has served on the board for four years. She and others in a group called Supporters of the Chuck F. Jeu Family Recreation Center hope to create a community-supported, nonprofit recreation center at the park.
At the meeting, Jan Angel floated her own idea for an environmental learning center at the park in cooperation with Karcher Creek Sewer District and the Annapolis Water District.

One thought on “County Approves SK Park Transfer

  1. The parks board made their decision based upon what they understood to be the best option for the community. The County has a lot people looking to see if they have the same concern in mind, especially in the face of the new budget cuts and downsizing mandates that they face.

    I think this is the most opportune time for the residents of South Kitsap to step up and support the park in a fashion much greater than they have previously. Now is the time for all interested groups and organizations to put together volunteer groups to help the County restore and maintain the park as we work with committees to the County for future park use. Rather than expending energy on bashing one another on blogs, arguments and forums we should be out side by side with rake, shovel and garbage bag in hand taking care of what is all of ours.

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