Opinion

Josh Brown: Full steam ahead on Waaga Way project, open government

DISH FROM THE COMMISH

Waaga Way extension gets green light

Kitsap County will officially break ground on the Waaga Way extension at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 24. The ceremony will be held near the intersection of Clear Creek Road and the Highway 3/303 interchange.

The Waaga Way extension is the first new road built in Central Kitsap since 1994 with the construction of Myhre Road. Currently, motorists driving into Silverdale on Anderson Hill Road are often forced to drive through downtown Silverdale in order to reach Waaga Way and access East Bremerton. The Waaga Way extension road will serve as a bypass, providing a new link between Clear Creek and Old Frontier roads located north of Silverdale.

The $13 million infrastructure project will be a limited access roadway approximately 3/4 of a mile in length. It will consist of four vehicle lanes, a 14-foot median strip, bike lanes and sidewalks separated from the roadway with a planter strip. In conjunction with connector roads currently being planned, the Waaga Way extension will provide a catalyst to Central Kitsap’s economic development goals by providing access to 450 acres of commercial, office and industrial zoned lands. Moreover, this roadway is one more step toward encouraging public and private partnerships that will ensure Central Kitsap’s economic independence in the future.

Kitsap County is proud of this achievement and we look forward to celebrating the ground breaking with the community on July 24. Please visit www.kitsapgov.com/boc/brown/brown.htm for more details.

Kitsap County recognized for open government

Our Board of County Commissioners has worked together to successfully balance our budget and invest in critical infrastructure such as roads and parks, while maintaining strong support for criminal justice programs to protect our community. We also have strongly expressed our combined commitment to open and make government accessible to all citizens.

One measure of how well a local government meets its commitment to open government is its ability to respond to public records requests. Thirty-five years ago, voters approved Initiative 276 which requires that most government records and communications be open and available to the public. Recently, the State Auditor released the findings of a public records access audit of 10 counties, 10 cities and 10 state agencies. The audit gave Kitsap County high marks in its performance and commitment to open government.

Among counties, Kitsap County responded to public records requests on average seven times faster than comparable jurisdictions. Our response time was better than that of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. In addition, Kitsap also was one of only two counties cited for providing a “customer-friendly atmosphere” and a “culture of openness” in offering public records assistance.

We are proud of Kitsap County’s record in providing open and accessible records. Our commitment to open government is our paramount responsibility as public servants.

Get ready for Whaling Days

The 36th annual Whaling Days celebration is coming to Silverdale July 25– 27. The event includes live entertainment and a street fair, plus many special events. Thank you to the Silverdale Dandy Lions and the countless volunteers for ensuring Whaling Days is a success. For more information, please visit www.whalingdays.com.

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown appears the second Saturday of the month in the CK Reporter.

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