Central Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

June Header

After two and a half years as your County Commissioner, my time and energy continues to be dedicated to ensuring citizens have a voice in local government services and programs.  As you’ll read in this newsletter, change is happening rapidly and on a grand scale in Central Kitsap. As growth continues, it is extremely important to maintain the beauty of our shorelines and natural spaces, while balancing growth and property rights. I’m working with the Central Kitsap Community Council (CKCC) to rebrand Silverdale and we’re actively surveying residents on topics they would like discussed at future meetings. We want to hear from you, so please read on to learn more, attend a Council meeting or contact me at ewolfe@co.kitsap.wa.us directly.



When it comes to the retail hub of Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties, what happens in Silverdale does not stay in Silverdale. It affects everyone who lives, works or shops in the region. Major construction projects for Harrison Medical Center and the Central Kitsap School District will change the view of Silverdale beyond just a retail center. To balance growth with expansion of healthcare and educational opportunities, I am taking the lead on a strategic transportation effort to improve transportation connections throughout the Silverdale core.

Harrison Hospital Garage

Harrison Medical Center Harrison recently got an important green light from the state Department of Health for its new $550 million primary acute-care facility in Silverdale. This hospital project will bring hundreds of jobs to Silverdale, both during and after construction, as well as more convenient access to services and emergency care for Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson residents. As part of the first stage of construction, a parking garage is being built now and a ground-breaking on the hospital will likely occur in September.

Klahowya Construction

Central Kitsap Schools The design has been finalized and permitting through Kitsap County is underway now for the CK High School and Middle School campus. The new schools are going to be amazing for Silverdale and Central Kitsap students, and serve as centers for the community at large.  Construction began in April for a 45,000+ square-foot addition to Klahowya Secondary School. Site preparation is happening now (pictured), with major construction starting this summer. The Central Kitsap Community Council and I hosted a discussion with CK School Superintendent David McVickers and Business & Operations Director Doug Newell at the June 7 CKCC meeting. We talked about the new construction projects at various schools and how they will impact education, traffic and the community. More information will follow in the next newsletter.

Bike Path

Silverdale Connections There is currently an effort underway to create more connections in Silverdale. currently, the wide busy streets are intimidating to bicyclists and pedestrians. My goal for the future Silverdale is to create safe connections, including walking and biking trails, that can help residents, business owners and visitors move within the downtown core of Silverdale quickly, conveniently and safely. As part of this effort, the Kitsap County Public Works Department will also be looking ahead to the next 20 years – anticipating development patterns and traffic issues before they cause traffic jams.  More information about the project can be found at http://bit.ly/silverdaletis

Festivals Create Community Cohesion in Silverdale The 3rd Annual Water Trails Festival is planned for June 24-25 at the Silverdale waterfront. My wife and I have attended the past two years, and always have a great time with friends. There are a variety of events for the whole family to celebrate the importance of water trails on the Kitsap Peninsula. In addition to the traditional “Ride the Tide” paddle from Evergreen Park in Bremerton to Silverdale’s waterfront, this year there will also be a family paddle to Anna Smith Park, the “Without a Paddle 5K,” Dyes Inlet loop bike rides, and the Turf-to-Surf 50K Triathlon, which starts on the trails of Port Gamble and ends with a paddle in Dyes Inlet.

There will also be classes, games, boat races and vendors, entertainment, education and more on the Silverdale Waterfront. I hope you can join me at this fun event (and that the weather cooperates)! I will be participating in the Dyes Inlet bike ride. I have paddled in the Ride the Tide, but no one told me about the strong headwind! For more event information, please visit the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails Festival FaceBook page or http://www.watertrailsfestival.com/ 

Last but not least, we can’t forget about Silverdale’s signature event – Whaling Days! It is coming up July 28-30 and features the Whale of a Run, the famous Rotary Duck Race, an outrigger canoe race, the Rotary Pancake Breakfast and, of course, the grand parade! For more information, please visit http://whalingdays.com/festival.

The volunteers for both the Water Trails Festival and Whaling Days deserve a HUGE thank you for all their time and energy to make these events happen. Without them, a weekend with our families and friends coming together with the community would never happen.


Strong communities are not created by government. While government agencies certainly have an important role to fill, it takes dedicated individuals, schools, faith-based groups, service clubs, youth organizations and other non-profit groups with various missions working together to find ways to make our communities stronger, safer and healthier now and well into the future. As your County Commissioner, I’m committed to working with the many great organizations in Kitsap County that are dedicated to supporting those among us that need assistance, teaching kids how to be responsible adults, and serving the community and beyond.

Below are some events and organizations I support:

Boy Scout Logo

Friends of Scouting Breakfast - As a former Boy Scout and big believer in the mission of the Boy Scouts, I was proud to be a part of the program and host a table of elected officials at the 36th Annual Kitsap County Friends of Scouting Leadership Breakfast on May 9. The event raised $30,000 for the Sinclair District of the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The guest speaker was Navy Commander Kelly Laing of the USS Maine. Even though it was early (it started at 6:30 a.m.!), the program was engaging and the attendees were generous! The Boy Scouts program is designed to develop character, citizenship and fitness for young men to help them develop into well-rounded adults.

Rotary Logos

Port Orchard  & Silverdale Rotary Clubs  In May, the Port Orchard and Silverdale Rotary Clubs invited me to speak at their monthly meetings to share information on the state of the county. I focused on some of the large projects happening in Silverdale since what happens in Silverdale affects the entire county. In addition, I talked about the passenger-only ferry service coming this summer to Bremerton, which will greatly improve the quality of life for many commuters, as well as lead to economic development, tourism and many other access opportunities for Kitsap residents. These clubs are doing great work around the world, as well as closer to home in Kitsap. They are truly living Rotary’s motto: Service Above Self. For more information, visit their websites at http://www.portorchardrotary.org/ or https://portal.clubrunner.ca/730. Be sure to adopt-a-duck for the Silverdale Rotary Duck Race coming up on July 30!

Central Kitsap Food Bank Auction  A great night was had by all at the 10th Annual Central Kitsap Food Bank Dinner and Auction on May 6. This year’s theme was “Night of Aloha,” and the venue (Kitsap Golf & Country Club), food and auction items were all top notch. The event raised $120,000 to support food bank operations, food purchases for clients, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, as well as staff salaries and building and truck maintenance. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event – Cinco de Mayo! For more information on the food bank’s important work, visit http://ckfoodbank.org/.

CK Food Bank Auction
My wife, Wendy Miles, and I at the Central Kitsap Food Bank auction.
PW Water Festival

Water Festival The Kitsap Water Festival is a fun annual event put on for over 1,200 4th graders from around the county to help them learn about and celebrate water. Experts from various fields contribute their knowledge and talents. Kitsap County Public Works, Kitsap Public Health District, Silverdale Water District, Kitsap Public Utility District, the City of Bremerton, the City of Bainbridge Island and Parametrix joined forces to make this year’s event a great day for all involved. As Commissioner, I am especially proud of the work that Kitsap County Public Works does. The men and women in Public Works manage award-winning projects that keep our waters clean and our road system working smoothly, among many other responsibilities. For more information on what they do for county residents, visit https://spf.kitsapgov.com/pw/Pages/default.aspx.
Picture -  Fourth-graders anxiously awaiting the magic show during the Water Festival.

GPC Spring Dinner

Great Peninsula Conservancy Spring Dinner  As an avid outdoor enthusiast, I know the importance of having natural areas for recreation and wildlife habitat. I also believe in preserving these areas so that future generations can enjoy them. That is why I support the mission of the Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC). GPC is a private non-profit land trust dedicated to protecting the rural landscapes, natural habitats and open spaces of the Great Peninsula (which includes Kitsap, Key and Gig Harbor peninsulas). GPC has different methods of conserving land, including purchase, easements and project partnerships. So far, they have conserved over 5,764 acres of land! I was glad to be a part of their annual spring dinner on April 27. We were served fresh local shellfish and salmon – whose habitat the GPC is working to preserve. The dinner raised $124,000 for GPC’s conservation efforts! To learn more about the great work GPC is doing on the Kitsap Peninsula, visit http://greatpeninsula.org/.
Picture from left: Doug Lent, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, myself, and my wife Wendy


As a military veteran, I’m proud of the men and women who have served in the armed forces and as law enforcement officers. I was humbled to attend recent events that honor those who gave their lives in service to our country, and that support veterans in our community who are struggling.

Law Enforcement Memorial I was honored to be asked to speak at the annual Kitsap County Law Enforcement Memorial Service at Miller Woodlawn Memorial Park. Every 53 hours, a law enforcement officer is killed on duty in the United States. Kitsap County has not been spared, having lost seven officers in the last 86 years. The first was a federal officer in the Bureau of Prohibition who was killed in 1931. The most recent was Trooper Tony Radulescu, who was tragically killed in 2012. The service was a very solemn event, attended by the families of the fallen officers, who live with the loss of these brave public servants every day. I urge citizens to seek opportunities to thank those that are serving and are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect us.

The Honor Guard at the Law Enforcement Memorial at Miller Woodlawn Memorial Park
The Honor Guard at the Law Enforcement Memorial at Miller Woodlawn Memorial Park
Mobile Dental Clinic

Veterans Stand Down  Another way to honor the veterans among us is the annual Veterans Stand Down. This year’s event was held April 29 at the Sheridan Park Community Center in Bremerton, and hosted by the Kitsap Area Veterans Alliance, led by dedicated volunteer Dean Hearing, and the Kitsap County Veterans Advisor Board. We had 134 veterans register and 247 meals were served to them and their families.  Two hundred bags of groceries were distributed to low-income veterans and ORCA cards (transit passes) were given to homeless veterans.  There were two dentists providing free dental care and cleanings in the dental van. The free haircut area was busy all day with three volunteer stylists working the entire time. Abraham’s House provided free clothing for the veterans, and a Woman's Circle of volunteer veterans provided services for female veterans. If you know a veteran that could use some assistance, please direct them to our Kitsap County Veterans Assistance Program at http://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/veterans/VA.htm.
Picture:  The mobile dental clinic that served veterans at the Stand Down.

Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma  On May 27, I attended the 8th somber celebration of the lives of veterans whose remains were unclaimed at the County Coroner’s office. There was a brief ceremony in front of the County Administration Building in Port Orchard as the remains were received, then transported to Tahoma National Cemetery, with hundreds of veterans and other motorcycle groups escorting them. Another ceremony followed at Tahoma Cemetery, where they were interred with full military honors. The Run to Tahoma is a really poignant way to show respect for veterans. 

Unforgotten Run to Tahoma