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New official report exposes

PORT ORCHARD — For the first time, the Kitsap County Government is publishing a comprehensive annual report to inform residents about all available county services and guide them through the process of interacting with the various agencies.

“This is a good way to let people know all of the things we do,” said North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen. “With this, people will know who to call about what issues.”

County communications director PJ Ramos, who edited the report, said it shows what resources are available and how to use them.

104,000 copies of the 24-page booklet will be distributed in local newspapers next week. It will also be viewable on the county’s Web site, www.kitsapgov.org.

Many departments, such as the Sheriff and the prosecuting attorney, put out their own annual reports and will continue to do so. Endresen said she hopes the countywide reports will be published annually from now on.

Ramos could not estimate how many hours she spent editing the report, but it has been her first priority for several weeks.

Each of 22 departments has its own section; a page, half-page or two pages depending on the content. Each departmental profile includes a main story and several connected short items. While the main items pertain specifically to the department’s function, each contains a box outlining what the department does and its accomplishments for 2005. (For instance, the treasurer processed $423,000 in taxpayer refunds and the Department of Community Development fielded 114,762 phone calls.) A second box includes individual budget numbers along with the number of employees in the department.

In addition to the profiles, the report contains one-page summaries of reports presented by Administrative Services director Ben Holland. Both “The Money Map:Kitsap County’s Financial Model” and “Property Tax 101: Demystifying Your Property Tax Bill” are designed to explain the intricacies of the county financial system.

“This lets people know where the money comes from and where it goes,” Ramos said.

Many of the services explained in the report have to do with county services that are now available on the Internet.

“A lot of people don’t know what you can do online,” Ramos said.

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