July 2009


votes-womenThe League of Women Voters of Kitsap County hosted a well-attended mayoral forum at the Norm Dicks Government Center last night. I’ve got a few notes here on what each of the candidates had to say. (Also, Steve at K-Sun live blogged the whole thing.) The entire show will be broadcast on BKAT on Saturday at 3 and 7 p.m., Monday at 11 a.m., and Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. There is also another mayoral forum at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Charleston Theater, 333 N Callow. I’ll be there, beer in hand.

Here’s what they had to say last night:

Patty Lent believes that “The economic development that has started (downtown) needs to be throughout the entire city” and in “the core idea that you have to bring our tax dollars back from Olympia and Washington D.C.” On parking, Lent sad she didn’t have the answer, but wanted to find a way to “still have the revenue but not discourage people from downtown.” Lent wants to see “our gas tax money coming back to our city for street repair.”

Will Maupin believes that in the face of a $4 million budget shortfall, there is probably going to have to be “some fee increases and more user fees for things.” He floated the idea of one-way streets to improve parking downtown. He’s also interested in metered parking so people can park for a longer period of time. Maupin said he’d put the idea $20 car tabs — to pay for street and sidewalk reapair — to the voters. On the budget, Maupin said “We’re going to have some serious cuts in all departments and try and figure out some new funding sources and it’s not going to be pretty.”

Carlos Jara said “Bremerton is not known as being business friendly. I think we need to change that.” Jara later suggested creating a downtown tax abatement district (developers/businesses that meet certain criteria would be sheltered from increase in some taxes for 10 years), and raising the business and operating tax exemption to the first $250,000 of revenues, up from the current $60,000. On the topic of a small-business liason, which has been floated in this campaign: “The mayor is the liason. We shouldn’t hire someone else to do that.” He’s into metered parking, too. He wants to harvest wind and offset the city’s $140k monthly power bill, and use the leftover money to pay for street and sidewalk repair.

Mike Shepherd said that to help fill the $4 million deficit, he’d build partnerships with volunteer groups and find efficiencies, especially in places like maintaining flower pots and parks. He takes issue with the parking contract with Diamond and the animal control contract with the Humane Society. He sees bringing the animal control work back into the city, which he says could save more than $100,000 annually. Parks and user fees will have to rise, he said. Shepherd is also in favor of metered parking, and says business owners feel the same. Shepherd doesn’t think the $20 tab fee is the answer to the street and sidewalk issue.

Daryl Daugs said he’d have regularly-scheduled times for the public to come meet with him. He also would work toward having a stand-alone four-year university in Bremerton.  On the budget, Daugs was the most entertaining: “If you had to remove 20 percent of your toes … if you just removed the end 20 percent of your toes, you couldn’t walk. If you remove your little toe, it’s pretty painful, but you can walk.” On taxes and fees, he said it’s not the time for any increases. On parking, Daugs said “there is a conflict of interest, in that Joe Diamond is the one who enforces our parking and funnels people into his paid lots.” He’s not in favor of the $20 car tab tax.

Advertisements

At my beer summit with mayoral candidate Carlos Jara this week, he mentioned that his response to my comments about his IKEA remak (follow that?) didn’t appear in the comments section of the article. True enough. I looked into it and it was caught by my spam filter (take that for what you will.) My conversation with Jara will be posted later this evening, but here’s his comment in response to me calling his  idea of an IKEA in East Bremerton “delusional.”

(more…)

This man was seen taking down no less than three Paty Lent for Mayor signs near Navy Yard City. It's getting nasty and sweaty out there.

This man was seen taking down no less than three Patty Lent for Mayor signs near Navy Yard City. It's getting nasty and sweaty out there.

7-8:30 p.m., Norm Dicks Government Center

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev

“Dude,” what did I say? Let it burn.

Old Man Winslow

SInce all I'm doing today is Google Image searches ... here's what you get when you search for "Will Maupin." The one at left is running for mayor of Bremerton.

SInce all I'm doing today is Google Image searches ... here's what you get when you search for "Will Maupin." The one at left is running for mayor of Bremerton.

A friend asked me the other day if Bremelog.com is going to do endorsements for mayor. No, Maureen, please tell the candidates that while I’m conducting interviews with all the mayoral candidates (you’ve seen my conversation with Daryl Daugs and my breakfast with Mike Shepherd), I’m gonna let readers make up their own minds, which they’d do anyway. Maybe if I advertised that I were doing endorsements — and that said endorsement would be worth the “paper” it was printed on — my street in West Bremerton would get more visits from the five people who want to Bremerton’s next mayor. And while I’m sure at least a couple would-be office-dwellers have been down my street, I hadn’t been home to greet a single candidate until Will Maupin walked up my driveway this afternoon. And while I felt more than a little sheepish for not having posted the contents of our discussion two weeks ago, I did learn from our front-porch meeting that his daughter (Denise Burnside at Seattle’s KEXP 90.3) and I have mutual friends. And while a couple other candidates may claim to be courting the young vote, I think I’m safe in saying that Maupin is the only candidate who knows that Hannah Levin’s show is on KEXP every Saturday night.

(Note: Questions and answers are edited and condensed for your pleasure.)

You have Former Mayor Cary Bozeman’s endorsement. Are you running to continue the Bozeman agenda?

Basically yes. I want to continue to work on projects to improve Bremerton, yes. I agree with his philosophy that you figure out exactly what’s the best thing to do for the city, and then figure out a way to do it. And work with people at the state level and national level and everything to try and figure out a way to get the money to do what’s right. We went through a lot of years in this city with people saying, “We can’t do anything because we can’t afford it.”

The reason I’m running is because I think I can carry on that tradition of making significant progress in Bremerton and making it a better place.

You seem to be of the opinion that building the downtown core is going to be good for everybody.

Absolutely. There is no doubt about that. Until the city of Bremerton becomes a vibrant urban center, Bremerton is always going to be seen as second class. And it will extend out to help everybody in the city. It will bring in more revenue, allow the city to provide more services, provide more money to do things outside the downtown core. But I would definitely not be as focused on just the downtown core as Bozeman has been.

When I talk to people and we talk about doing things outside the dowotnwon core, they say “yeah, how about fixing my street.” And so we need to figure out a solution to that street-funding issue. (more…)

This is what you get when you do a Google Image search for "Albertsons Fried Chicken."

This is what you get when you do a Google Image search for "Albertsons Fried Chicken."

It’s a little event at Albertsons called Cheap Chicken Monday. Their curiously delicious fried chicken is just $5 for eight pieces of dark (which is what you want anyway). I’ll be there tomorrow evening picking up a bag, dropping off a DVD (Last Chance Harvey isn’t worth $1 and 90 minutes of your life) in the Red Box AND! probably grabbing another bottle of Golden Gate Vintners’ California Merlot. Never heard of it? Well … if you’d shop the discount cart at Albertons, you would have. A bottle’s only $2.97. And while it’s a step above bum wine, at least one of the two people who live in this house couldn’t stomach it. Godspeed.

Nice overview of the situation in today’s Kitsap Sun by Steve Gardner in “Options, Challenges Aplenty in Bremerton Mayor Race,” almost as many options and challenges as you’ll find in Tuesday’s mayoral forum at AA China Buffet (7 p.m.).

Daryl Daugs once again calls his campaign “personal.”

Carlos Jara says an Ikea in West Bremerton isn’t an nonnegotiable element of his vision for Bremerton, as long as the city gets something big and unique to Bremerton in Kitsap, something the city’s been without since the closing of Angel’s Homestyle Buffet.

Patty Lent again said that priority number 1 is balancing the budget, and priority number 2 is getting something from the D.C. numbers in her rolodex.

Will Maupin gave Grumpy Gary Sexton credit for the design of the Harborside Fountain Park, but said his leadership at PSNS literally paved the way for the space to be available for beautification by the city.

Mike Shepherd inferred*: “Suuuuuuuuure, now that Cary Bozeman’s not running for mayor everyone’s interested and qualified. Where were you six months ago when I was the only person saying that downtown isn’t everything and wouldn’t those of you who live on streets are that only visited by people who live on those streets like shiny new sidewalks?”

*Note: Some exageration on the part of the editor, who has been consuming >$3 wine since 5:30.

Next Page »