Opinion

Council meetings on the road

Often the criticism that individual public agencies tend to operate far too much within their own bubble is a legitimate one.

There are times where county or regional issues require a much larger stage with an increased collective number of participants who can piece together that big picture everyone is looking for.

The ability to schedule joint meetings between public entities for shared issues and mutual concerns is an important opportunity and resource that needs to be capitalized upon.

As traditional revenue sources continue to diminish, public funded staff and resources are being called upon to do more with less.

When partnerships or agreements can be formed across agency lines, efficiency can be increased while redundancy is reduced.

The ability for a united front to be formed for issues that require movement towards immediate solutions or a higher level decision can be a significant factor in the future success or the failure of those issues.

Currently the Bremerton City Charter does not allow city council meetings to be held outside of the city limits of Bremerton.

In an effort to correct that situation a charter amendment resolution has been constructed and will be put before Bremerton voters this fall.

The amendment would allow city council meetings to be held outside of Bremerton, but kept contained to Kitsap County. No meetings would be allowed outside the borders of Kitsap County. All meetings would still be subject to public notification and disclosure rules.

Joint meetings with the Port of Bremerton and Kitsap County leadership would be allowed, scheduled and encouraged. Joint meetings with the Bremerton School District have already occurred in the past.

I will be writing more about this issue as it gets closer to appearing on the ballot this fall.

I have also volunteered to be one of the committee members who will construct the written argument in favor of the resolution which will appear in the forthcoming Voters Pamphlet for 2013.

Open face-to-face communication in a public forum amongst all of the involved decision makers is a good thing when tax dollars are involved.

Hosting the occasional meeting in a different geographical venue will open a new opportunity door for public participation that might not otherwise occur.

Additional housekeeping and language corrections are also included in the overall charter changes up for a vote.

The Bremerton City Charter is an important document that guides our city and community. It is available on the City of Bremerton website for you to review.

 

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