Category Archives: 2007 Election

Friday Afternoon Club: Cedar Cove to Pirate’s Den, Will the Real Port Orchard Please Stand Up?

Port Orchard, which recently portrayed the fictional town of Cedar Cove, will undergo another transformation Saturday and Sunday, with its Murder Mystery Weekend.
Landlubbers and pirates alike will follow clues throughout the weekend to discover who killed Capt. Zeke Black.
The B.O.O.M. (Brotherhood of Oceanic Mercenaries) Pirates will invade the waterfront area in Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce’s fourth annual event, filling the air with sea shanties, cannon fire and the sounds of other buccaneering business.
Here’s a look at last year’s event:

Besides the questioning of suspects and hunting for clues, highlights include a “Landlubber Dinghy Derby Race,” pirate ball, Fight-A-Pirate swordplay, costume contests and Pirate Ball.
Information: (360) 876-3505,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday: Obtain clue packets (fees listed on chamber Web site).
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: Marketfaire, Fight-a-Pirate Lessons, children’s activities.
11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday: B.O.O.M. Pirates Cannon Show.
12:30 p.m. Saturday: Landlubber Dinghy Derby Race
1 p.m. Saturday: Adult costume contest.
1:30 p.m. Saturday: B.O.O.M. Pirates Stunt Show.
2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: “Goonies” at Historic Orchard Theatre, 822 Bay St.; (360) 895-0564
4 p.m. Saturday: “The Coroner’s Report”
6 p.m. Saturday: Pirate’s Ball, Moondogs, Too, 714 Bay St.; (360) 895-2300.
9 to 11 a.m. Sunday: VFW pancake breakfast, waterfront gazebo.
11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday: B.O.O.M. Pirates Cannon Show
Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday: Obtain clue packets.
Noon Sunday: Pirates Stunt Show.
12:30 p.m.: Kids and pets costume contest.
4 p.m. Sunday: The mystery is solved.

Recapping 2008 Power Struggles Over SKIA

Today’s Kitsap Sun features a recap of top stories for 2008. We reporters were assigned to write synopeses of those for our coverage area. On my to-do list, because Steve Gardner’s on a well-deserved vacation, was the tension that developed over the year between Bremerton and Port Orchard over the South Kitsap Industrial Area.
But just as I was poised over my keyboard to begin writing, I was informed that SKIA didn’t make the cut after all.
Perhaps it more appropriately belongs on our list of upcoming 2009 stories, to be published later this week. After all, the issue of whether or not Port Orchard will be the designated provider of sewer services to the South Kitsap Industrial Area is yet to be settled.
Private property owners began pushing earlier this year for the annexation of the 3,250-acre area slated for industrial development into the city of Bremerton in the belief that the city is equipped to handle permitting faster than the county — a key component, they said, to encourage development.
The Port of Bremerton, which owns more than half of SKIA, agreed in August to move ahead with the annexation petition despite concerns over an agreement with the city of Port Orchard regarding sewers.
Port Orchard maintains it has a right to provide sewer service to the area under a 2003 agreement it signed with the Port of Bremerton. Since the process began, PO city officials have been pressing the port and the city of Bremerton for assurance that the agreement would be honored.
But Bremerton officials have resisted, saying it is premature to decide who will provide infrastructure to SKIA. Bremerton also is now in a position to run sewer lines to SKIA because of the extension of its sewer service to Gorst.
Tempers flared in July at a heavily-attended public meeting of the key players in the proposed annexation, including the port, Bremerton, Port Orchard and private property owners.
Following Bremerton’s acceptance of the annexation petition, Port Orchard challenged the proposal before the county’s boundary review board, triggering a public hearing and extending what could have been a 45-day process to 120 days.
The annexation is segmented into two parts, the smaller SKIA North, on which the BRB will deliberate at their 7 p.m. Jan. 8 meeting, and SKIA South, which includes the port’s property. There will be a public hearing on SKIA South Jan. 23. The BRB’s decision on SKIA North is expected Jan. 30; SKIA South is scheduled for a decision on Feb. 25.
Most recently, Bremerton challenged portions of Port Orchard’s comprehensive plan update, including a map showing SKIA as a future sewer service area. The final plan does not include SKIA on the map, but, count on it, Port Orchard will continue to assert itself with regard to the SKIA/sewer issue. Stay tuned.

Changes at City Hall Continue Under Coppola’s Administration

Changes in staffing following a new administration are nothing new or surprising. Six months after taking office, Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola is still not done with what appear to be matters of housekeeping.
Coppola has accepted the resignation of the third staff member to leave the city since he assumed his post in January.
City Clerk Michelle Merlino, who had worked 24 years for the city, submitted her resignation 11 days ago. The city council met in executive session Tuesday, and in a public meeting afterward approved a “separation and release agreement” with Merlino.
Coppola had no comment. Merlino, reached by phone at her South Kitsap home, also had nothing to say about her abrupt departure.
The story appears on the Kitsap Sun Web site.
Merlino’s resignation bears similarities to those of former city engineer, Maher Abed, who resigned in April, and former city planner, JoAnne Long-Woods, who resigned shortly after Coppola took office.
In all three cases, the individuals left shortly after submitting their resignations and had no comment on the circumstances leading up to their actions.
Of Abed’s resignation, Coppola said, “We thank him for his service to the city of Port Orchard and wish him well.”
Deputy Clerk Patti Kirkpatrick, who has been with the city for a year, is serving as interim city clerk. The council will vote on a permanent replacement for Merlino July 8. Kirkpatrick is technically next in line for the job and is likely to be appointed by the council.
Abed was replaced by engineer Mark Dorsey, who has worked for Olson and Associates, and Art Anderson and Associates. Long-Woods was replaced by James Weaver, a former planner for Kitsap County.
Anyone care to venture a guess as to who might be next?

In related news: Coppola last week announced he was stepping down from the Kitsap County Planning Commission, a volunteer board related to ladn use, due to lack of time.

Clauson is the Apparent Winner in Position 4 City Council Race

Challenger says she will stay involved in city politics.
By Chris Henry
John Clauson is the apparent winner in the race for Port Orchard City Council position 4.
In unofficial results, Clauson had 51.38 percent of the vote and held a 50-vote lead over challenger Cindy Lucarelli, who had 48.17 percent, as of Tuesday. Write-ins took. 45 percent.
Clauson’s lead of 3.21 percentage points is well above the one-half-of-one percent margin that would automatically trigger a recount. The election will be certified on Nov. 27.
“I’m very excited,” said Clauson. “I’m pleased and looking forward to getting busy on the next four years.”
Clauson, a 25-year council veteran and chairman of the finance committee, was initially hesitant about running again due to what he characterized as a lack of teamwork on the council.
He faced political newcomer Cindy Lucarelli, who was a critic of the city’s downtown plan for economic revitalization because of its allowance on building heights. Clauson voted in favor of the plan when it was passed Sept. 25.
Lucarelli, a small-business owner who moved to Port Orchard in 2002, said she was pleased with the closeness of the race. She said she will continue to attend City Council meetings and will apply for the city’s newly formed design review board.
Clauson said economic revitalization will be at the top of his agenda as he enters his seventh term. He said the city’s recently passed downtown plan, along with annexation and development of the Bethel corridor, will be key to stimulating revenue streams for the city.
Clauson, commenting on the recent state Supreme Court ruling on I-747, said he and other members of the finance committee didn’t even consider raising property taxes above the 1 percent lid that has been in place since 2002. The ruling found I-747 unconstitutional and technically allows jurisdictions to revert to a 6 percent lid.
The City Council on Tuesday passed its 2008 property tax ordinance with a 1 percent lid.
Clauson said, even if the legislature allows all or part of the increased lid to stay in place, he would see a tax hike of more than 1 percent as a “last resort.”
“i think property taxes are something that could be used, but I’d really like the voters to be involved in that decision,” said Clauson.

Last Chance to Weigh in on Sewer-Water Merger

A copy of this entry appears, with a different heading, on the Kitsap Caucus blog.

An article in today’s Kitsap Sun gives details of a ballot measure regarding the proposed merger of Karcher Creek Sewer District and Annapolis Water District. Although the boards of both districts have approved he merger and the two have been under a joint operating agreement since June – sharing staff, computers and other resources – voters who live within each district must still give the final nod to the merger.

Bill Huntington and Jim Hart both serve on the boards of both Karcher Creek and Annapolis. Huntington — husband of incumbent Port of Bremerton commissioner Mary Ann Huntington — is up for re-election, facing former Annapolis commissioner Jeannie Screws. Hart is running unopposed for re-election as Karcher Creek commissioner.

I asked Larry Curles, general manager for both districts, if this represented a conflict of interest. He said no, that Huntington and Hart’s experience with both water and sewer helps them do a better job of representing the interests of rate payers in each district. He also said having two people on both boards makes this an ideal time for the merger.

A similar situation could evolve in Manchester, where, if Steve Pedersen beats opponent Mark Rebelowski for position 3 of the Port of Manchester race, there would be two people on the boards of the port and the Manchester Water District. Pedersen serves on the water district board. Jim Strode currently serves on both boards. Rebelowski, being careful to say he has nothing against Strode or Pedersen, raised the issue of conflict of interest. Pedersen has said he could see how people might see that as a concern, but he promises a squeaky clean approach if he wins. Strode has said the two districts already share office staff and may consider sharing more to save money.

As the cost for local government entities to do business goes up and up, mergers may become more and more popular. South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel has said the county may in the future consider going regional with some of its functions to share costs with other counties, that are also experiencing tight budgets.

As development proceeds throughout the county, sewer, water and ports (with their power to raise taxes for economic development) will play a larger role in local politics. The law currently allows people to sit on the board of more than one local entity. Should we be taking a second look at this? Playing devil’s advocate here, what’s the worst that could happen?

Coppola Critical of Manchester Plan Process

Correction, noon Oct. 25: This posting has been corrected due to a wrongly attributed quote. Bill Bellman did not make the statement that the proposed plan had been “rammed through “ by a small group of people. The quote should have been attributed to Linda Jacobs.
Mr. Bellman did make a comment about the process by which property owners were notified via post card about meetings of the design standards committee. He said, “You might have gotten two postcards, but you were limited in what you could talk about at the meeting.”

Note: Maps of Manchester’s commercial core and view protection overlay zone are pasted at the bottom of this entry.

At last night’s planning commission meeting, people who testified about the proposed update of the 2002 Manchester Plan had almost more to say about the way it was drafted than about the plan itself.
On the one hand were people like Linda Jacobs, who felt the process was dominated by a small group of people on the citizens’ committee.
“I don’t think that the community has been informed,” he said. “I think a small group made the decisions. … I just think this has been rammed through.”
On the other hand, were people like Ray Pardo, who said, “I’d say overall the process has been fantastic,” said Ray Pardo.
The discussion was set off by a comment made at a Sept. 11 planning commission meeting by Lary Coppola, who is on the commission and also owns property in Manchester. Coppola has moved to Port Orchard to establish residency for a run for PO mayor. He complained on Sept. 11 and last night that he didn’t get any notification of meetings of the design review committee, which examined the controversial issue of building height. He called the process “bogus and fraudulent,” and said,
“I don’t question the outcome, but as someone who owns two properties in Manchester, I can say I never received any notification. If I had not served on this commission, I would not have heard of it.”
To which Pardo replied, “If you didn’t know what was going on in Manchester for the past nine months, Lary, you weren’t living in Manchester.”
And Lary shot back, “In case you haven’t read the papers, I haven’t been living in Manchester.”

One last note, at the Sept. 11 planning commission meeting, several of the commissioners, including Coppola, grilled planner Philip Fletcher to about medium rare. One could see Fletcher’s blood pressure rising.
At last night’s meeting, Fletcher, appearing quite upbeat, announced his resignation from the DCD. He said he’ll be moving to Montana soon (apologies to Frank Zappa, this is true.) Fletcher, addressing the board, said, “It’s actually been fun coming before you. I like eccentrics.”

I’ve pasted the story below, as it won’t be posted on the Web site until later. CTH

Continue reading

PO Council Could be in for Big Changes

A story on the Port Orchard City Council ran Oct. 7 in the Kitsap Sun.

With five seats out of seven open on the Port Orchard City Council, three out of four incumbents facing challengers and longtime council member Bob Geiger stepping down at the end of the year, the council could be in for a make-over with this year’s election.

Political longevity runs on the council. Four of its members are veterans of service to the City of Port Orchard, with a total of 102 years among them.

Rick Wyatt, the junior member of this group, has 12 years on the council and is facing Fred Olin for position 5. Carolyn Powers, in position 2, has two years left to serve in what she has said will be her final term. John Clauson, with 25 years on the council, is being challenged for position 4 by political newcomer Cindy Lucarelli.

Geiger has served on the council bench for a butt-numbing 45 years, leaving Jerry Childs and Dick Fitzwater to square off for his at-large seat.

Other incumbents running for reelection are Rita DiIenno, facing Jim Colebank for position 1, and Robert Putaansuu is running unopposed for position 3.

Manchester is no Bremerton, Port Candidates Agree

Updated 11 a.m. Oct. 16 to make the link to the story. CTH

A copy of this posting appears on the Kitsap Caucus blog.

It’s amazing how many stories have become tied up in the Port of Bremerton’s new tax to build a $34 million marina.
As a story in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun pointed out, the port’s decision to form an industrial development district, caught many people unaware and has had far reaching repercussions.

South Kitsap School District’s bond measure and the Kitsap Regional Library bond were cited as casualties of the 45 cents per $1,000 tax port district residents will pay (on top of what they have been paying) for the next six years.

Port of Manchester candidates were quick to distance themselves from the Port of Bremerton at an informal meet-and-greet Saturday at the Manchester Library. Port districts are charged by state law with promoting economic development, and the candidates all have slightly different ideas on what that role should be. But when it comes to raising money a la Port of Bremerton, they were all singing the same tune.

Here’s the link to the story.

Rada Files as Write-in for Manchester Port Position

Rada Files as Write-in for Manchester Port
Ron Rada, current chairman of the Manchester Community Council, has filed with the county auditor’s office as a write-in candidate for the Port of Manchester position 2.
Up until now, incumbent Dan Fallstrom was running for the position unopposed. Rada has owned property in Manchester for eight years. He would have filed earlier, he said, but wasn’t eleigible, because he and his wife Joyce just moved into their home in July.
Rada said, if elected, he would exercise the port’s capacity to promote economic development by buying land for an expansion of the Manchester Library and for a community center. Manchester Library is owned by Friends of the Manchester Library and sits on port land. The Manchester Community Council, of which Rada is chairman, has been trying to get a community center going, and land is the missing ingredient, Rada said.
Rada would also address Manchester’s lack of parking, especially during boating season. He would like to see the port buy land for that purpose, but, he said, a balance has to be struck so the area doesn’t end up looking like “one big parking lot.” Also there are limited parcels available for that purpose.
Rada said the port needs to begin asking for voluntary fees from non-resident boaters who use Manchester’s dock.
“We’re not talking megabucks, but it really would help offset some of the maintenance costs,” Rada said.
Rada, 60, is a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments of Port Orchard and a retired Army lieutenant colonel. He is a past president of the Port Orchard and South Kitsap Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard.
Rada will hold weekly meetings for campaign supporters at 3 p.m. Thursdays in the Manchester Library.

South Kitsap’s Primary Election Trifecta

Three primary races with bearing on South Kitsap – the Port Orchard mayoral race, the Port Orchard City Council at-large race and the Port of Bremerton race, district 2. Would you have bet good money on the outcomes?

To summarize:
Port Orchard Mayoral Candidate Lary Coppola easily locked in a slot in the general election, earning just over 58 percent of votes (591 out of a total of 1,016) in today’s primary election. Tom Saunders will also move on, with 271 votes, nearly 27 percent of ballots cast.
Out of the running is candidate Kathleen Dolan-Bowes, who earned just over 13 percent of the vote with 136 of the ballots cast. Write-in candidates earned 18 votes or 1.77 percent.
Coppola said he was “humbled.” Saunders said he was “pleased.” And Dolan-Bowes submitted the following statement to the Kitsap Sun, “I just read the PO Mayoral election results: I respect the decision of the voters and wish both Tom and Lary the best of luck in the November 2007 General Election.”

In the City Council race for the seat to be vacated by Bob Geiger, Jerry Childs and Dick Fitzwater moving on to the November general election. Childs earned nearly 50 percent (49.69) and Fitzwater got nearly 31 percent (30.55) of the vote, with a total of 982 ballots cast. The third candidate, attorney Dennis Xavier Goss, earned nearly 19 percent (18.64), and write-in candidates earned 1.12 percent of the vote.

And in the Port of Bremerton Race, driven by the looming elephant in the living room that is the tax levy for a Bremerton Marina overhaul … “Port of Bremerton Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington will make it to the November general election, but Tuesday returns show she’s paying a price for a tax increase to help build the new Bremerton Marina” wrote reporter Steve Gardner. “Former port commissioner Larry Stokes emerged from Tuesday’s primary with 56 percent of the 4,400 votes cast in the District 2 race for port commissioner. Huntington came in second with 27 percent, while Martin DiIenno, a retired carpenter and former live-aboard boat owner was a distant third place with 15 percent.”

So, blog readers, how many of you were clarvoyant enough to accurately predict the results in all three races? Anything in the results surprise you? Anyone want to venture predictions on the November election?