Category Archives: South Kitsap Parks

SK Parks: Now What?

After more than a year of formal — sometimes testy — negotiations, the South Kitsap Parks & Recreation Board of Commissioners on April 12 agreed to turn South Kitsap Community Park over the Kitsap County. The agreement is to be finalized within the next month.
Now what?
The county’s first order of business, according to South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, will be a little housekeeping. The four-member parks board, which has struggled with financing, was unable to keep up with routine maintenance.
“We can get in there and clean up the park, and clean up some of the fields so they can be used by summer,” Angel said.
Beyond that, there will be a “public process” to determine what citizens want. Angel will meet with Chip Faver, the county’s director of Facilities, Parks & Recreation, to establish the process for making sure everyone has their say.
The park has its impassioned advocates, including a group called Supporters of the Chuck F. Jeu Family Recreation Center, some members of whom had hoped to see the park stay independent. They will be welcome to the table, said Angel, but she also wants to hear from other citizens, and she has a few ideas of her own, such as an environmental learning center.
Angel said is pleased with the parks board’s decision.
“I’m very happy with this,” she said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Larry Walker, chairman of the parks board, is satisfied, too.
“I feel a lot better,” he said. “I’m glad we’re finally moving forward with this.
“What I’d like to see now is we’re moving the confrontational viewpoints aside. Everyone will be in the same traces, and we’ll move forward to build this park.”

SK Park Turned Over to County

Commissioners cite lacks of funds in decision to relinquish ownership.

It was just another piece of unfinished business, sandwiched in between a report from the horseshoe pitching club and talk of tractor maintenance. The South Kitsap Parks & Recreation District Board of Commissioners voted tonight to dissolve and turn the park over to the county.
The process began more than a year ago, when the county filed a lawsuit against the park over past due fees for elections held on the parks district’s behalf. The county told the parks district to pay up or turn the park over.
After months of negotiations, proposals, counterproposals and plenty of acrimony from citizens both for and against the county takeover of South Kitsap Community Park, it was over.
The vote, taken after less than 15 minutes of discussion, was two to one, with Warren Colver and Rob Flerx voting for the proposal, and Margie Rees voting against it.

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Heated Debate: Missing Entries

You may notice a few of your entries haven’t been posted. Things started to get kind rough and pointless. In one case I declined a posting that seemed overly self-serving.

I have posted entries that came later in the day and seemed to get back on topic, although many of their points have been made before.
I did want to add some follow up to Mary Colborn’s posting on the interlocal agreement between the parks district and the county. I contacted Kitsap County Commissioner Jan Angel for her take on Mary’s position that the agreement sets ground rules for how the two entities can and should interact with regards to the park.
Angel had a copy of the document, that dates to 1992, and she faxed me a copy. The agreement pertains to a grant the parks district had the chance to get from the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation, which required 50 percent local matching funds. At that time, since the parks district lacked the funds, the county agreed to pony up $335,000 that, with the state’s grant money, were to be used for improvements at the park.

The document would seem to set the stage for ongoing cooperation between the county and the park. But that was then, this is now. The parks district has been unable to secure a steady funding stream, and the county now has its own budget woes.

Of a mandate for cooperation, Angel said in an e-mail to me, “These are comments are Marys opinion -the facts remain the Parks Dist. has wanted to do their own thing,- –
they have- – but they do not have the means to continue.”

Don’t shoot me. I’m just the messenger.

Heated Debate Part II

Today I’m getting back to you on your responses to “SK Parks Sparks Heated Debate.” Thanks to all bloggers for your comments.

After a brief lull, the debate is heating up again, now that the prosecuting attorney has decided not to press charges in the investigation of the South Kitsap Parks & Recreation Board of Commissioners for alleged fraud. The board will meet Thursday to discuss the proposed county take-over of the park.

So I thought I’d better clarify my thoughts on where we go from here.

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No Charges in SK Parks Investigation

No charges will be filed in an investigation of the South Kitsap Parks & Recreation Board of Commissioners for alleged fraud, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jim Mitchell announced today.
The prosecuting attorney’s office found “insufficient evidence of intent to defraud,” said Mitchell in a press release.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, acting on a citizen-submitted report filed Feb. 13, initiated the investigation into whether or not the parks board committed fraud in settling a claim for losses incurred in a trailer fire at the park on Aug. 8, 2006. The report named as the victim Washington Government Entity Pool, which insures the parks district. The fire is separately being investigated by the sheriff’s department as a possible arson.

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SK Parks Spark Heated Debate

Today, I’m debating with myself my role as host of this blog. The reason: the increasingly hostile tone of comments on this topic (SK Parks).

I have in the queue several comments I haven’t posted yet, and I’m considering imposing a moratorium on entries that include verbage like “scathingly nasty,” “vicious,” and sarcastic comments implying the other party is sick en la cabeza. My Web editor, no doubt, will be unhappy with me. After all, this kind of stuff is highly entertaining, but so is Jerry Springer.

I defend each blogger’s right to assert her (or his) opinion and back it up with facts, well- or ill-founded. I invite you to take each other (and me) to task over facts well- or ill-founded. I welcome sharp criticism and passionate posts. But I wonder if the cat fight we’ve got going here really advances constructive discussion of an issue that is already so divisive. I knew Chuck Jeu, not as well as some of you, but my bet is he’d take a dim view of the escalating invective. My opinion — and my editors may disagree — is it ultimately reflects poorly on the Kitsap Sun as the host of this platform for civil (?!?!) discourse.

Of course if I were to start taking a heavier hand in monitoring the blog, I would run the risk of people saying, “Why did you post her’s and not mine?” People might start to feel they’re walking on egg shells. We could lose a lot of the honesty and immediacy that makes this blog so vibrant. The question of where (and if) to draw the line on a blog is food for thought, and something we as a blogging community must define as we continue to engage each other over issues that we care about deeply.

So I ask you, what do you want to see? What’s the purpose of this blog, and what, if any, guidelines would you like to see about postings that smack of personal attacks?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Take care, Chris

SK Park One Step Closer to County Ownership

The ball is back in the parks board’s court.
The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners today gave the nod to a legal agreement with the South Kitsap Parks & Recreation District Board of Commissioners that would transfer ownership of South Kitsap Community Park to the county.
The commissioners, following an executive session, authorized the prosecuting attorney’s office to forward the settlement agreement to the parks board’s attorney, Tony Otto. The development is a major step in a roughly two-year process of haggling between the county and the parks district over the fate of the 200-acre park at the corner of Jackson Street and Lund Avenue in South Kitsap.

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SK Parks Meeting and Investigation Update

The South Kitsap Parks & Recreation Board of Commissioners will hold its administrative meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Park Vista Retirement & Assisted Living, 2944 Lund Ave. On the agenda is discussion of the South Kitsap Girls Softball Association, a park tenant, and a proposal by Supporters of the Chuck F. Jeu Family Recreation Center for a “green” community center at the park.

On Friday I spoke to Sgt. Eric Bockelie of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, who said he had completed his investigation of the South Kitsap Parks board in connection with an allegation of insurance fraud. Sgt. Bockelie would not comment on the case, and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jim Mitchell, to whom the case has been referred, said today he hasn’t had a chance to review it, so also could not comment on whether charges would be filed. Recall, however, that Mitchell has already said, based on what he knows of the case, it is likely no charges will be filed.

SK Parks Alleged Fraud a “Non-issue”

I spoke with Deputy Sgt. Eric Bockelie of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department this afternoon. He was dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s on a report to the prosecutor’s office regarding an investigation of alleged “insurance fraud” on the part of South Kitsap Parks & Recreation District Board of Directors. Sgt. Bockelie was unwilling to give details of the report, but Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jim Mitchell expects no charges will result from findings of the investigation. In fact, said Mitchell, “It’s really a non-issue.”
I’ll write a complete story when the report is filed. Here’s what I know so far.

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