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Town meeting light on attendees

While attendance from the general public wasn’t as high as hoped, the first Open House/Town Meeting was successful in helping organizations network with each other.

The event, sponsored by the Central Kitsap Community Council and county commissioners took place Wednesday evening at the Pavilion.

“I’ve seen a lot of people come by here. A lot have stopped to talk to us,” said Jeff Iller, former president for the Kitsap Woodcarvers Club. The club promotes wood carving as a fine art and meets the first Saturday of the month in Port Orchard.

Iller and members of the group manned a table at the event to let people know they exist.

Getting their message out was also the mission of the Puget Sound Communicators, a group that hones people’s public speaking skills.

They attended the open house “so people would know we’re in the area and take advantage of what we have to offer,” said Joyce Noonan. She’s been a member of the group for about three years.

Although the group is similar to Toastmasters, its training is much more in depth and is free, said charter Puget Sound Communicators member Ed Evans.

More than 100 governmental groups, non-profits and service organizations had information tables at the event.

“It’s a great concept. We’re hoping to get some more people out here,” said Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Chief Ken Burdette. The booth provided information on car seat safety, smoke detectors and the up coming EMS levy election.

“I don’t want to say I’m disappointed tonight, I am pleased with the response,” said Hank Mann-Sykes, CK Community Council president. The event was modeled after one held in Kingston. In its first year Kingston had about 30 people attend its first town meeting five years ago, Mann-Sykes said. Now it has hundreds of people attending.

Patti Shattuck, husband Rick and their two daughters were stopped at the Kitsap Humane Society table.

“It’s a great way to pull together the community,” Shattuck said.

She credits Rick for motivating the family to attend the event. It also provided a learning experience for their daughters ages 13 and 16.

“They can see what the community has to offer, how the future of the community might be and how they might be a part of it,” Shattuck said.

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