Letters to the Editor

From Jan. 28

School levy

Clarifying myths

There seem to be two prevailing “myths” about the current school support levy votes. The first “myth” is that this is a new tax. Not true. These votes are four-year renewals of our current school levies adjusted for inflation. In Central Kitsap, it represents about 23 percent of its budget including millions in matching state and federal dollars that will be lost if the levy fails. These levy and matching dollars are critical to maintaining current programs in all school districts asking us to renew their school support levies.

The second “myth” is that as property values go up, schools districts gain a windfall of additional tax money. Not true. Voters approve set amounts for four years at an approximate rate per thousand to collect those amounts. As our tax base and property values grow, the rate per $1,000 goes down since only the set amount voters approve can be collected. The rates per $1,000 stated on the ballots are only estimates and, as in the past, will be lower each year of the approved levy.

Please vote yes and mail your ballot before Tuesday, Feb. 7. These local school support levies are critical to maintaining quality schools for our children, sustaining our property values, and providing vibrant communities in which to live and do business.

JEANIE SCHULZE

Silverdale

Old Town

Pure pork project

As reported in the roadwork projects article on the front page of the CK Reporter on Jan. 21, a group of Old Town merchants have petitioned Commissioner Patty Lent to have county Public Works install 27 crosswalks and 13 stop signs at various intersections in Old Town. According to Ms. Lent’s statement at the Jan. 18 CKCC meeting, this project “is a done deal” and has been “moved to the top” of the county Public Works’ project priority list. The purported reason for the project is to make Old Town more pedestrian friendly, slow traffic — and the hidden agenda, reduce the number of cars that cut through to avoid traffic on Silverdale Way.

However, there has not only been very little, if any public, notification or input on this project, but also the county Public Works Dept. has not done any traffic volume and speed studies or gathered any accident information to determine if it meets even the minimal requirements to be put on the transportation priority list, much less the top of the list, as directed by Commissioner Lent. This is not the way our government is supposed to implement transportation projects as if it were, the county would be deluged with similar petitions.

This “method” is completely contrary to county policy and harkens back to the days of Ms. Lent’s predecessor who unilaterally canceled the Bucklin Hill widening project, and tried to narrow portions of Silverdale Way. I believe this project is totally unnecessary, will take scarce funds and engineering personnel time away from other higher priority transportation projects and as an added bonus will eliminate approximately 10 parking places in Old Town. Since one of the main backers of this project just happens to be Ms. Lent’s re-election campaign treasurer, I wonder if there is some element of public “pork” involved here while trying to ingratiate voters for her upcoming re-election.

BOB HOAG

Silverdale

Election 2006

Far too many broken promises

Central Kitsap appears doomed to have another one-term county commissioner.

Tim Botkin’s election defeat happened because he arrogantly forgot that the people elected him to represent them, not to serve his own agenda.

This year, Commissioner Lent will run for re-election. I worked very hard for Ms. Lent, because I believed her campaign promises. More important, I thought that she believed them! Commissioner Lent has broken the promises she made to the voters of Kitsap County. Why would we want to re-elect her?

Commissioner Lent should step aside to let someone who will follow through on campaign promises hold that office.

JOAN W. GORNER

Poulsbo

Where’s the sheriff?

The sheriff’s comments in the CK Reporter’s January 25 article of Deputy Jim Rye running for sheriff are a bit misleading and need to be clarified. The sheriff said, “It’s illegal for the sheriff to bargain directly with the guild, it has to go through a formalized process.” Sheriff Steve Boyer is correct in that he cannot “bargain” with the Guild outside of the bargaining sessions. He cannot make any deals outside of bargaining but he can certainly talk with us about the issues. He did that before when he was first elected; he has not done that during this negotiations period.

He can also come to the bargaining sessions to hear what the differences are between the two sides. He has not done that. The sheriff not only has a right, but an obligation to be involved in the negotiations process, especially when the process comes to impasse as it is now. As I mentioned before, the sheriff has been absent when it comes to negotiations with his employees. If his absence is due to his belief that it is illegal for him to participate, then he is wrong as that is not the position of the Public Employee Relations Commission which is the ruling agency on this. As for the dual responsibility to also take care of the citizens, the previous bargaining session resulted in an expired

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