Silverdale incorporation vote put on hold
By PATRICK MCDONOUGH
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff Writer
July 17, 2012 · Updated 9:09 AM
Plans to hold an August vote on the incorporation of Silverdale will now have wait until spring of 2013 or later. Citizens United for Silverdale hoped to hold the vote during the Aug. 7 primary, but the group has had to delay their plans until county officials identify new Urban Growth Area boundaries for the county.
The county is revising UGAs as required by the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board. The UGAs concern eight of the county's Urban Growth Areas including Silverdale and the county has been ordered to increase the density of housing in the areas to accommodate projected population.
Eric Baker, project manager for Kitsap County, said the boundary revisions could affect those sent boundaries proposed by the Citizens United group and the group had decided to wait until the revision was complete.
“The county is required to revisit urban growth areas to reduce them in size,” he said. “and the group has held off on their efforts because they are very interested that their boundaries meet our boundaries.”
Baker said the county must submit its revision to the hearing board by Aug. 31. He said once the revision had been submitted the board would be required to review the county's findings and make a decision on the revised boundaries which Baker said he anticipated would occur in October.
Baker said if the incorporation vote passed it would make an impact on revenue to the county and change services but could not say what those changes might entail until the revision is complete.
“The county would obviously have a substantial revenue hit from lost sales tax revenue,” he said “But it would be premature to say how that would affect county operations until the revision is complete.”
County Commissioner Josh Brown said he wanted Silverdale residents to be aware of the pros and cons of the incorporation. Brown said if the incorporation were to pass a vote it would remove $7 million in funding from the county and would affect services to newly incorporated residents.
He said one example would be road management.
“In the event of a snowstorm, we would place a priority on serving unincorporated residents first,” Brown said.
Marcus Hoffman, spokesperson for Citizens United for Silverdale, said the group would wait until the findings were complete, and despite possible setbacks the effort to incorporate would continue.
Hoffman is also a Wilverdale Water District commissioner.
“We were trying to get it on the ballot for the spring, but because of the UGA we are waiting for that to be complete before we go through with the process,” Hoffman said.
Hofman said the group is seeking cityhood for Silverdale on the basis of more localized control for the city and to have local taxes stay in the proposed Silverdale Boundaries.
“Everyone in the county gets to vote on what happens in Silverdale,” he said. “We want Silverdale to have control over what happens in Silverdale.”
Hoffman said he spent 6 months going door to door in the area and found that 75% of the people he spoke with supported incorporation for Silverdale.
Jerry VanFossen is a longtime Silverdale resident who is against the incorporation of the city. VanFossen said incorporation of the city would raise taxes in the area as well as add unwanted government to the area.
“I don't think we need another layer of government,” he said. “We would need a city manager, a city council and a place to house them as well as the infrastructure and technology to support them,and that would cost money.”
Van Fossen said he is happy with the level of support the county offers Silverdale and incorporating Silverdale would affect those services also.
Hoffman said Silverdale residents could decide for themselves how money and services were handled if the incorporation vote were to pass. He added that incorporation would not raise taxes for residents and he said he had data that supported his claim. “That is just not true,” he said. “The more taxes argument is just false.
Contact Central Kitsap Reporter Staff Writer Patrick McDonough at email@example.com.