The restructuring of the Kitsap County government as reported in the Central Kitsap Reporter on April 26 amounts to reinventing the wheel.
Each form of government has a particular way of doing things and when a region like Kitsap County has grown and developed to a point where the commission form of government, as Kitsap County is, becomes obsolete, you have the kinds of problems the commissioners are now wrestling with.
A commission form of government has the commissioners performing dual functions by legislating and executing policies, which is self-serving in terms of evaluating their performance.
Commissioners are politicians and may not have the qualification to manage. Department directors possess the necessary education, training and experience to run their departments.
The problem arises where in order to keep their jobs, they are compelled to sacrifice sound judgement developed through education and experience to please their political bosses. This results in short-changing taxpayers the quality of services they deserve and have paid for.
The solution is not to change the job description of these departments to achieve better coordination among directors and efficiency but to change the form of government to something that approximates the council/manager form patterned after the corporation with a board that formulates policies and a CEO that implements those policies. A corporation is a model whose existence hinges on efficiency and cost-effective operations.
Until then, all the tweaking and attempts to restructure Kitsap County’s government is an exercise in futility.
Noel C. Sim, PE -- Bremerton