Third pro-cityhood group joins incorporation fray

"What started out as a Chamber of Commerce research project came full circle Monday when one of the original players jumped back into the Silverdale incorporation campaign.Former Silverdale Chamber of Commerce President Bert Cole announced the creation of yet another incorporation proponent, the Silverdale 2000 Campaign, Monday. That brings the grand total of community associations buoying the cityhood drive to three: the Silverdale residents-only Citizens for Silverdale and the now-inactive Silverdale-Now are the other two.In contrast, the anti-incorporation campaign has a single voice in Save Our Silverdale. Silverdale lawyers Rick Smith and Ron Templeton head that organization, which argues for continued county governance of Silverdale.Cole and a half dozen others from the Silverdale business community formed the Silverdale 2000 Campaign to allow non-residents and residents alike involvement. “This is a group ... to provide a campaign vehicle for the entire community,” Cole said. That involvement includes purchasing advertising and forum involvement.Both Citizens for Silverdale and Silverdale 2000 are on the same page, Cole said. He needed to form a new group to allow non-residents like himself access to the airwaves. “There’s also a broader community of people who view Silverdale as a commerce and social center that have a very strong and vested interest in making sure the election for incorporation goes correctly,” he said. That broader group of people is concerned about business and quality-of-life issues in Silverdale, Cole said. In particular, he said Silverdale needs a local government to ensure that taxes and monies raised in the area are reinvested in it.“It’s about preserving the infrastructure in Silverdale right now ... so that this doesn’t become a disposable community,” Cole said. He sees risk in the county’s control of the Silverdale tax base because of the urban nature of the area. Since Silverdale is designated as an urban area already, Cole said the state Growth Management Act mandates capturing a higher percentage of the tax revenue to provide urban amenities.“Now the taxes generated in Silverdale are spread across the county. There’s not the effort to make sure the area is compensated – like with roads and crime being dealt with,” Cole said.Like Citizens for Silverdale, the Silverdale 2000 Campaign has roots in the first incorporation proponent, Silverdale-Now. Before the cityhood proposal made it through the scrutiny of the Boundary Review Board and onto the Nov. 2 ballot, Cole debated incorporation opponents for Silverdale-Now at forums around the county.Indeed, Cole is a constant figure in the history of the incorporation vote. He was president of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce when it it investigated the governance issue two years ago. That investigation eventually led to the county underwriting a study on Silverdale incorporation and other governance issues, performed by Phillip Kushlan and Associates of Bellevue. The Kushlan study itself is at the center of the ongoing incorporation debate, with both sides arguing different scenarios out of its pages. "

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