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.

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.

daryl-daugs-downloadThis is the first in a series of interviews with the men and woman who want to be Bremerton’s next mayor. I’ll have my conversation with Will Maupin up soon. Promise.

In my takeaway remarks from last week’s Eggs & Issues breakfast with the mayoral candidates I noted that “Daryl Daugs sounds almost as anti-Bozeman as Shepherd.” The first thing he did when we sat down to eggs and issues at the Coffee Club, recently, was inform me that he was nothing like Councilman Mike Shepherd. “My campaign is not that everything that’s happened over the last eight years is crap.”

Among the topics discussed, Daugs had the following to say over a taco omelet and more cups of coffee than I can count:

On the notion that the Bozeman administration focused on downtown at the expense of neighborhood streets and sidewalks:

We have (some) original pavement and original sidewalks. The idea that we haven’t been maintaining and replacing sidewalks and the streets in the neighborhoods suddenly in the last eight years is not true. It’s been like that for a long time. As far as the stuff that’s gone on downtown. I haven’t liked how everything’s been accomplished downtown, but I like the flavor.

On neighborhoods other than downtown:

If you look at cities like Seattle and Bellevue … they used to have neighborhoods with distinct flavor and they become very homogenized. Take for example the community of Ballard. Ballard used to be the great little quirky little Norwegian fisherman community to go to. It’s completely lost that flavor. Everything in Seattle kind of looks the same no matter where you go to.

The people that have brought houses in Manette want to focus in Manette and the unique flavor of Manette. Same with the newer people who are moving into the downtown corridor. We really need to focus on that. (more…)

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev

Dear The Bremelogger: Not that I expect you to know the answer to this. From the look of your “news” blog, it appears that you were completely oblivious to the fact that there was a fire downtown. So you’re probably hearing about this for the first time now. Not that it’s any surprise, you being oblivious to local happenings and all. Nobody’s ever accused your bile to be “comprehensive,” “useful,” “or “informative.”

But I must tell you, Logger, that my heart skipped a beat when I saw that pillow of inevitability rise from your city. Bremerton, I thought, has finally burned itself to the ground.

You were too consumed with your bottle of purple stuff to report on the events, so I was forced to look to the Bremerton Sun for the news that “Bremerton Crews Snuff Stubborn Waterfront Brush Fire.” Why? It is you city’s destiny. And it’s what everybody wants. Your slumlords will get checks from their insurance companies, your political leaders will have a beautiful city, and I will sleep better than I have since you clearcut the Island.
Sincerely,

Old Man Winslow

Mike Shepherd:

“It is a serious job, a very serious job.”

Patty Lent:

“Now that we have a pedestrian friendly downtown, we need pedestrians.”

Will Maupin

“Let’s continue to move Bremerton forward and maintain the momentum.”

Daryl Daugs:

“This is not Seattle or San Francisco.”

Carlos Jara:

“The parks are great.”

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