In our opinion: Under the walnut

This week we asked the City of Bremerton to let us see under the three walnuts that constantly sit upon their budget table. Again, they refused to lift shells.

We sought to know how much money the city has spent on police overtime for the investigation into the murders of Sarah Burke and Melody Brannon and the attack on the one known survivor.

The city finance director said it would be May before they would be able to say how much overtime has gone into the homicide investigations and at what cost to the city’s budget.

We believe that the city should be as quick reporting to the community the actual costs of the investigation as Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent was to proclaim the city would do “whatever it takes” to a room full of scared and concerned Union Hill residents (potential voters) seeking answers and information on the Bremerton Police investigation into the three violent crimes haunting their neighborhood and that police say they think are connected. One citizen, that night, asked what the effect of the promised increased police presence was. “Whatever it takes,” Lent quipped to a growing applause.

What it takes is accountability of action. With no word from police in recent weeks regarding the investigation, a simple accounting of overtime hours worked, or not worked, would give the community a base of knowledge from which to gauge how well their city is serving them in regards to their safety. Knowing how much actual work has gone into the investigation, that has pushed aside other major crime investigations for nearly a year, is essential to that understanding.

Given the mayor’s promise of all resources to the police department and the fact that every Bremerton City councilmember, that expressed an opinion on the 2012 budget they passed, said that they had little faith the money would cover the year, it is paramount the city know now what the investigation cost is and what citizens are getting in return.

Let us see under the shell.

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