A different side of a former commissioner

Patty Lent - Photo by Erin Beil
Patty Lent
— image credit: Photo by Erin Beil

Patty Lent has been out of the county commissioner spotlight for nearly a year, but she continues to play an active role in the Central Kitsap community.

Extending her services throughout the area, Lent continues to juggle multiple committees ranging from local parks to CK youth and everything in between.

“I’m really back involved in the community,” Lent said with a smile. “I love what I do ... Kitsap County is my home.”

One of the programs that Lent is working with is called Fields Today, Fit Tomorrow, a program that focuses on replacing local soccer fields with Astroturf to better the environment as well as enhance use of the fields. Lent added that these fields will not only be used by soccer players, but also rugby and football, and turf will prevent runoff that pollutes local streams.

“(We’re) trying to get financing through state and federal dollars,” she added. “(Astroturf) is environmentally safe and better for players and better for Puget Sound.”

Lent said she also is a co-chairwoman for Kitsap Cares About Kids, a campaign to acknowledge and expand the efforts of organizations, individuals and businesses that support kids in Kitsap County. Sponsored by the Kitsap County Commission on Children and Youth, Kitsap Cares About Kids creates a community where children and teens know they are valued and helps them achieve their goals.

“(The program) tells them they’re still very important and give them the direction that they need,” Lent added. “(We’re) trying to reach out to that lost youth ... I love this program.”

Lent added the Central Kitsap community is an ideal place where people and programs such as Kitsap Cares About Kids can “make a difference in the future lives of our children.”

Sustaining local parks is another committee that Lent is currently a part of, heading up a task force designed to assist the Kitsap County Department of Facilities, Parks and Recreation grow. She said that with the crunch in the budget, “we need to find a way to maintain parks in Kitsap County without using our property tax dollars.”

“(I am) familiar with the budget and very familiar with the stewardships all through the county,” Lent said. “(I) feel that’s one of the only ways to be able to maintain what we have through the stewardship program.”

Although there are some monies appropriated to the parks department, Lent said one of the focal points of the committee is trying to stretch those dollars as far as they can go.

“(We need to) think outside the box to keep our parks as nice as they can be,” she added with a smile.

As if these three committees wouldn’t take up all her time, Lent also serves as the incoming president of Peninsula Networking, she is on the board of directors for the Bremerton Central Lions and she is the vice president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Zumwalt Guild.

When the rare occasion of free time presents itself, Lent said she enjoys spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren. Just recently, Lent and her husband met in Baton Rough, La. and traveled via motorcycle through Mississippi and Florida to see all of the sites. Lent also went on a cruise up to Alaska that was sponsored by the Lions Club that had and additional 15 members on board.

“I’m enjoying the time off immensely,” Lent said with a smile. “I’ve had a blessed career.”

Leaving yesterday, Lent said she and her husband left to take another motorcycle trip to Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta, Canada on her 2000 Harley Davidson Heritage Soft Tail.

Although the people and the challenge involved in the years of being a commissioner are something that Lent said she’ll miss, she added she has no current intentions of running again in the near future.

“I had to have tough skin and a poker face,” Lent said of being a commissioner. “You can’t let emotion get in the way of making decisions.”

Although a good number of the memories that Lent has from her time has commissioner were positive, she said she will not miss the bad press that she received.

“I ended up with 11 political cartoons and not one was attractive,” she said.

With the original plan of going to college to become a teacher, Lent changed her mind to became a flight attendant instead. No stranger to working hard, Lent has a broad background in business, opening her own travel agencies in both Seattle and Fife. Upon moving to Kitsap County, Lent worked independently as a travel consultant and contractor. Other prior business experience that she has includes working as a certified mortgage banker, a director of sales for the Holiday Inn corporation and as the public relations spokeswoman for Western Airlines.

Remaining very involved in Kitsap County, Lent said she loves the area and wants to continue to find ways to maintain and improve it. With an array of plans, Lent said she is open to what comes her way.

“The future is still ahead of me,” she said with a smile.

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