South Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

South Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Kitsap Homes For All

Homes for All logo

Homes for All provides “innovative leadership toward ending homelessness” in Kitsap County.  Members of the South Kitsap community have built eleven small cottages. Churches and organizations building cottages include: Ekklesia Church, First Lutheran Church, Port Orchard United Methodist, South Kitsap High School, Kitsap United Way, Grace Bible Church, Habitat for Humanity, and Kaiser Permanente with more pledged.  A site for locating these homes will be selected soon.

The Homes for All leadership group continues to discuss ways to support those who have no shelter. They learned about challenges with food preparation at their August meeting. Fran Miller, nutritionist for the Suquamish Tribe, introduced ideas regarding healthy eating and nutrition for those that rely on food pantries and limited grocery budgets. She spoke of the challenges in terms of food storage and preparation, such as having neither refrigeration nor running water to wash hands or food; and lack of a stove, pots, pans, cooking utensils and food storage containers.

After the presentation, attendees received a recipe and materials to make low-cost and nutritious menus from food items likely distributed at a food bank. None of the items required cooking. Participants made – and tasted -- dishes including Islander Tuna Salad, Light My Fire Chicken Crackers and Apple Sauce Parfaits.

More information about Homes for All may be found at

Homes for All cooking class

Neighborhood Corner: Harper

Harper Estuary
Historic Harper

The Harper area in South Kitsap was occupied seasonally by the Suquamish Tribe prior to being discovered by white settlers and the lumber companies, that began claiming land there in the 1860s. The Tribe established villages at Southworth Point and what is now Colby for access to food resources, such as fish, shellfish, and edible plants.

As with most waterfront communities in Kitsap County, timber was the first industry introduced by the settlers.  Harper was soon discovered to have large clay deposits, of the type that would make good bricks.  After the Harper Brick and Pottery Company formed in 1900, a factory was constructed where Harper Park is now.  The first kiln of bricks was burned in October 1900, and the factory operated until 1927. A tram delivered the bricks from the factory to the estuary where they were loaded onto barges for shipment – especially to Seattle, but even as far as San Francisco.  

Although the factory buildings are long gone, their impacts on the estuary remain.  The estuary had been dredged, filled and altered by construction of docks, buildings and roads to allow easy transport of their products. In addition to the countless bricks dropped into the water during that process, the estuary was also used as a dump for “clinker” bricks, which did not meet the standard to sell for building purposes.

Last year, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, in consultation with Kitsap County, sought to undo some of the early damage to the estuary from the brick factory and other projects. An undersized culvert under Southworth Drive was replaced with a larger one, as well as removing fill and bricks in the estuary. Phase 1 of the Harper Estuary project is now complete, and the search for funds to build a proposed Olympiad Drive bridge continues.

Commissioner Garrido often hosts neighborhood meetings in Harper about subjects of local interest. The estuary project, of course, remains a popular topic; and community conversations have addressed community assets such as the waterfront, the park, and the proposed passenger-only ferry service from Southworth.

The fishing pier is a big draw to Harper.  The Port of Bremerton reopened the Harper Pier in 2015 after replacing an unsafe wooden dock with a new structure.  Kitsap County had widened a portion of Southworth Drive in 2009, providing brick-colored shoulders to increase safety for walkers and bikers along the scenic roadway between the pier and Harper Park (where the brick factory used to be). Many Harper residents have lived in this unique waterfront neighborhood for decades, and value their scenic vistas and community networks.

2018 Lodging Tax

As chair of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC), Commissioner Garrido spent several days during late August reviewing applications to receive the lodging tax funds. The committee (comprised of two members representing the businesses that collect the lodging tax and two members from tourism-generating activities) recommends recipients for these funds.  The annual taxes are collected for overnight stays at facilities such as hotels, motels, rooming houses, private campgrounds and RV parks. The Board of County Commissioners approved the resolution distributing lodging tax revenue on September 25, 2017 to be used for marketing and operations of:

  • Tourism;
  • Special events and festivals designed to attract tourists; and
  • Tourism-related facilities that are owned or operated by a) municipality or public facilities district or b) nonprofit organizations.

The LTAC members interviewed fourteen organizations.  While $474,344 lodging tax funds were available, the applicant requests totaled $995,600! The representatives listened to the presentations, then deliberated and made recommendations for programs that attract visitors who will spend the night in Kitsap County, as follows. At a September public meeting the Board of County Commissioners adopted these recommendations. 

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art - $2,000
Bremerton Symphony - $7,500
Fathoms O’ Fun - $2,000
Kingston Chamber of Commerce - $31,750
Kitsap Historical Society & Museum - $36,000
North Kitsap Tourism Coalition - $10,000
Pacific NW Golf Association - $15,000
Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce - $7,500
Silverdale Chamber of Commerce - $25,700
Visit Kitsap - $305,000
Washington State Science & Engineering Fair - $15,000
WayzGoose Kitsap - $2,500

For more information on the lodging tax or the advisory committee, contact Lee Reyes at or (360)337-4471.

Fun at the Fair

Commissioners award

Each of the commissioners awards a “Commissioners Choice” ribbon for their favorite exhibit at the Kitsap County Fair every year. Commissioner Garrido enjoyed exploring the 2017 fair, and gave her ribbon to the Master Gardeners’ Heritage Garden. This beautiful and educational exhibit demonstrates horticultural practices that visitors can take home to their own gardens. For more information on the Master Gardeners, visit their website at

Wastewater Treatment Plants Receive Outstanding Performance Award

Manchester treatment plant

The Washington State Department of Ecology recognized two of Kitsap County’s wastewater treatment plants for outstanding performance in 2016. The Manchester Treatment Plant and the Central Kitsap plant in Brownsville both received the award this year. Manchester has received the award for 22 consecutive years! It is the only facility in Washington State to receive the award since the award's inception in 1995. 

The Department of Ecology evaluates all state treatment plants for:

  • Compliance with monitoring and reporting water quality,
  • Amount of wastewater discharged,
  • Spill prevention,
  • Other permit requirements

A huge congratulations to all Public Works Sewer Utility employees, whose efforts earn these awards!  Thank you each for the extremely valuable service contributed to our communities and for helping protect the water quality in Puget Sound.

WWT Award
County Commissioner Rob Gelder, sewer utility employee Ken Young, Commissioner Ed Wolfe, Commissioner Charlotte Garrido and Utility Operations Supervisor Patrick Kongslie (left to right) accept the Outstanding Performance Award for the Manchester and Central Kitsap treatment plants.

Changes for Sustainable Cinema

Commissioner Garrido sponsors a “Sustainable Cinema” movie every month, giving County residents an opportunity to discuss contemporary issues. Port Orchard’s Dragonfly Theater features these documentary movies on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

The West Sound for Social Justice (WSSJ) began partnering with Commissioner Garrido in August.  They now help advertise the Sustainable Cinema movies, and coordinate post-movie discussions. This month, on October 26th at 6:30pm, Commissioner Garrido and WSSJ will be showing The If Project. For more information on upcoming screenings, visit or

The If Project