District 1 Commissioner Newsletter

District 1 Newsletter
County Leadership Institute Class of 2017
The County Leadership Institute Class of 2017 is pictured above. Commissioner Gelder is on the far right.

County Leadership Institute

Commissioner Gelder was honored to be chosen as part of a select group of 25 county leaders nationwide to attend the County Leadership Institute in Washington D.C. Other elected county officials came from across the country and were selected in a competitive application process.

The County Leadership Institute consisted of an intense four-day course, designed to develop leadership skills in elected officials. Instructors included faculty from Cambridge Leadership Associates, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. In addition to the highly credentialed instructors, attendees also learned from each other, since many counties face similar issues and challenges across the country.

Join us for a Town Hall in Kingston

Commissioner Gelder will join with Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson for a Town Hall meeting with the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 6 in the Village Green Community Center, located at 26159 Dulay Road in Kingston. Council members, as well as the public, will have an opportunity to hear about planning and services in the greater Kingston area and ask questions.

KCAC hosted a business roundtable August 2, featuring local business owners talking about the benefits and challenges of running a successful business in a small town. Over 60 people attended to hear the lively discussion that touched on downtown transportation issues, maintaining a customer base year-round and the importance of community support. Thank you to Dave Wetter of the Kingston Stakeholders and Colleen Carey of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce for moderating and all those who participated.

Save the date for the Kingston Community Open House that takes place 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, September 21 in the Village Green Community Center. Over 50 county departments, local agencies and nonprofit organizations will be on hand with information on their programs, initiatives and planning efforts. Applications are now open to reserve a table for the open house. Please fill out the online application here.

North Kitsap Fishline

North Kitsap Fishline HomeShare

North Kitsap Fishline recently initiated a new program in response to the ongoing housing crises that brings together people seeking low-cost housing options with those who have space to share. The HomeShare Program provides mutual benefits for home providers and seekers. Home providers may exchange space they have available for rental income or assistance around the home. The program also offers an option to those who don’t want to live alone, seek companionship and have extra space in their homes.

Home seekers are typically single working adults, college students, people with disabilities, and senior citizens. Program participants complete an interview process to determine their preferences and must pass a background check. Personal references are also required. A HomeShare coordinator identifies matches and connects participants who work together to enter into a HomeShare arrangement.

To get started or request more information, contact a HomeShare Program coordinator at homeshare@nkfishline.org or (360) 229-2503. Commissioner Gelder will focus his August episode of Commissioner’s Corner on North Kitsap Fishline. The program, which airs on Bremerton-Kitsap Access Television, will be posted at https://vimeo.com/bkat/videos when available.

Kingston Big Chairs

Kingston Big Chairs

A dozen giant Adirondack chairs have arrived in downtown Kingston. Part of a local branding effort, the brightly decorated chairs provide one more reason to come check out Kingston. Commissioner Gelder hopes the chairs will grab the attention of visitors passing through and encourage them to sit and stay awhile to take in all the community has to offer.

The giant chairs represent nearly a year of planning with the Port of Kingston Executive Director Jim Pivarnik, Commissioner Gelder, as well as Susan Rodgers, owner of Cleo's Landing in downtown Kingston. Cleo’s Landing has featured two big chairs which have attracted people to climb, sit, relax and take photos in front of the business for years.

Doug Woodside, the owner of Decks & Patio Covers in Kingston, constructed the chairs and funding was provided by individuals and business sponsors. Commissioner Gelder purchased four chairs using his discretionary district funds and had them placed them at Kola Kole and Arness county parks. The giant chairs can also be found at the Port of Kingston's Mike Wallace Park, Kingston Mercantile & Marine, Cup & Muffin, Ameriprise Financial Services, and Cleo's Landing.

Local Kingston businesses and organizations interested in having chairs of their own may contact the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce at (360) 297-3813.

Kitsap Forest and Bay

Final Push for Kitsap Forest and Bay

Kitsap County and its community partners are in the homestretch of the capital campaign to preserve the remainder of forestland south of Port Gamble. The goal is to raise $3.5 million to pair with state grants to acquire the remaining 1,600 acres of timberland, wildlife corridors and trail systems this year. With the necessary funding, the county will be able to pursue construction of a world-class mountain biking ride park, as well as a regional trail connection on the Sound-to-Olympics Trail between Port Gamble and Kingston. With the campaign winding down and the goal within reach, donors are needed to help cross the finish line. Please donate to these historic acquisitions that will preserve this land for future generations. For more information, please visit www.savePG.org.

Kitsap Forest and Bay
Commissioner Gelder (above, second from left) toured Port Gamble and the forest with Forest and Bay supporter and former Governor Dan Evans (above center), Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido (above left) and other Kitsap Forest and Bay supporters.

Business Spotlight:  Almost Candid Frame & Fine Art – Kingston

For nearly six years, Almost Candid Frame & Fine Art has supported the Kingston community, local artists, and athletic, band and cheer groups at Kingston High School. Local resident Johnny Walker founded the business as Almost Candid Photography. When the Kingston Frame Shop vacated its location in 2012 at the Food Mart complex next door to Pizza Factory on Highway 104, Johnny acquired the space and moved in his business.

Almost Candid Frame and Fine Art offers custom picture framing, and professional photography, printing and restoration services. Almost Candid also sells frames, mirrors, photos, artwork and gift items. The gallery features local and regional artists such as Max Hayslette, Cindy Duvall, and Gail Hornsby, among others.

Additionally, the community frame shop and art gallery hosts photography competitions and special exhibits. On July 8, an awards reception was held for the Washington Landscapes Competition 2017 finalists competing from Marysville, Bellevue, Seattle, Puyallup, Bainbridge Island, Bremerton and elsewhere. In October, the Haunted Images 2 photo and graphic arts contest will be showcased. Details will be available soon on the website. In August, a limited display and sale of historic Edward S. Curtis originals from his North American Indian Project will be featured.

As an accomplished photographer, Johnny has turned his lens on the Kingston High School Buccaneers sports teams, band and cheer programs. His action shots are very popular with students and their families. He is a long-time supporter of these KHS groups and often photographs local events to share with the community. He offers his photography services commercially. For more information on this unique local business, visit www.almostcandid.net or look for Almost Candid Photo & Frame on Facebook.

Almost Candid

Highway 104 Working Group

The Washington State Department of Transportation budget was approved with $500,000 earmarked for Kingston. With the newly available funds, Commissioner Gelder has reconvened key stakeholders to move forward realignment plans. Representatives from Kitsap County Public Works, the Washington State Department of Transportation and its Ferries division, Washington State Patrol, Kitsap Transit, the Kingston Chamber of Commerce, the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council and other interested parties met in June to revive the realignment effort.  

Several years ago, stakeholders met with Washington State Ferries and Washington State Patrol to discuss a preferred alternative to the current route where vehicles go down Street in downtown Kingston to toll booths and the ferry holding lot. Many local merchants complain the ferry traffic blocks access to their businesses and tends to make locals avoid the area during peak ferry traffic. It was agreed that rerouting all ferry traffic to First Street, where ferry traffic currently offloads, was the preferred alternative. Due to a lack of funds from any of the agencies involved, talks stalled. A previous traffic study also looked at other alternatives, including a roundabout, but moving the ferry ingress and egress over to First Avenue was the preferred option. The picture above shows how two lanes of incoming vehicles (green lines) will enter the ferry holding lot with the ticket booths relocated, and offloading vehicles will maintain the current path (red arrows).

Stay tuned for new developments on this project!

Olympic View

Olympic View Property

After years of collaboration with the nearby community and Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Kitsap County has secured a key piece of open space in the Olympic View neighborhood, near Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Previously owned by the state, this 47-acre property has been an asset to the community for decades under DNR stewardship.

Several years ago, DNR proposed logging second-growth timber off the property. The community asked the county to find an alternative where Kitsap County would own the property and provide long-term stewardship without logging. After several funding sources for the transfer were considered, the state, with the support of the community and local legislators, found funding in the State Trust Land Transfer program. This program formally transferred the property to Kitsap County in June, preserving this land for future generations. In the coming months, Kitsap County and the community will develop stewardship plans for the property addressing invasive plants, timber health and recreational trail construction and maintenance.

A community meeting to discuss the property will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 15 at the Olympic View Community Club, 13931 Lester Road NW in Silverdale. The public is welcome to attend to learn more about the property and getting involved in the stewardship group.