Central Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

from Commissioner Ed Wolfe

In life, the road often takes us on many paths. Throughout our experiences, we rarely have an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been but more importantly, the present moment and where we’re heading in the future.  When I came across this old photo of me in my 20s, it caused me to contemplate on the aspirations I had back then and those I have now, especially for Kitsap County.

During my three years in office, the change in Central Kitsap, and in particular Silverdale, is apparent. Once known for eggs and chicken farms, Silverdale is now the retail and medical center of the Kitsap Peninsula. This economic engine, a major contributor to the $1 billion in 2016 sales revenue generated in unincorporated areas of the county, supports community improvements but also regional law and justice services. Public-private partnerships are needed to ensure our economic prosperity for years to come, and will require balance, regulatory reforms and a willingness to work together across party lines.  

In this issue of my newsletter, I’ll share a few updates on road improvements, planning for a new Silverdale sheriff’s office precinct and shed light on some of the great people in our community. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email me at ewolfe@co.kitsap.wa.us

Expanding Connections in Central Kitsap

CKSD Groundbreaking

Central Kitsap

School construction is well underway at multiple sites around Central Kitsap. I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Central Kitsap High School and Middle School campus in September with over 2,000 students, school district officials and community leaders. Kids are our future. I believe investing in much needed educational facilities will strengthen their contributions in the future.


Microsoft Sign

New Microsoft Office

Microsoft recognizes the value of the investment that’s gone into Central Kitsap.  It was recently reported that a small satellite office will open in the Creekside Office Park on Levin Road in Silverdale – possibly the first in the state to be located outside of the Redmond headquarters. This will be more than an office of a global tech giant. It is a symbol that companies from outside the county are recognizing that balancing the quality of life with corporate growth is important. Stay tuned for an update on this new office in my next newsletter.


Silverdale Way Expansion

Silverdale Way Rendering

Investments in much-needed road improvements continue in Silverdale with the start of an $11 million project on Silverdale Way. This has been in the planning stages for a long time and is finally breaking ground. Within a year, the roadway between NW Byron Street and Anderson Hill Road will be widened to two lanes in each direction with a center turn lane, five-foot-wide bike lanes, six-foot planting strips and eight-foot-wide sidewalks. I’m aware it’s been a difficult project for local businesses, residents and traffic near the construction zone. But I’m committed to continuing to meet with business owners and make sure our Public Works team and contractors minimize impacts to every extent possible. Please remember: all businesses are open and need community support during construction. We can all help keep traffic moving in the area by planning ahead and taking alternate routes. Sign up for weekly project updates here or go to http://kitsap.paladinpanoramic.com/project/2232/54723.


Transportation picture

Silverdale Transportation Connections

The network of roads in Silverdale is built on ideas from our past. What was appropriate and adequate for vehicle traffic in the past needs to be updated and reconfigured for needs today and in the future. Our Public Works team continues to evaluate strategies for a better-connected Silverdale. Our goal is to make it safer, easier and more efficient to traverse the downtown area not only for cars but also for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit. A third public open house is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Jackson Boy Scout Hall, 9161 Washington Ave. NW, Silverdale. We value your input and hope to see you there! Check the project website for updates at http://bit.ly/silverdaletis.

Local law enforcement and fire agencies committed to our safety

It’s my privilege as your Commissioner to continue working closely with local law enforcement and fire departments – our first responders during a crisis. I’m committed to doing what I can to make their lives easier, safer and healthier. I’m proud to share details on some of their recent activities.

Current Sheriffs Precinct

Sheriff’s Precinct Office

Until recently, Kitsap County hasn’t actively planned nor strategized about law enforcement facilities. Our current facilities were not designed for law enforcement activities and programs. With over 80,000 calls for service each year – 48 percent of those generated in Central Kitsap – planning for upgraded buildings is a priority. The Board of County Commissioners and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office are collaborating on a strategic assessment of the North and Central Kitsap Sheriff’s precinct offices. After many months of study, we now have data on population growth trends and facility needs. I fully support a new and relocated Central Kitsap precinct office. But we will use your tax dollars wisely by exploring public-private partnerships to reduce costs. We’ll keep you informed as planning progresses.


Water Safety

Commissioner Wolfe being rescued

This summer was amazing and I often found myself, like so many other Kitsap residents, hitting the water to stay cool and soak up our beautiful scenery. After reading several reports about kayaker and boater rescues, all within a couple of weeks, I felt compelled to do a public service announcement about small watercraft safety on my Bremerton-Kitsap Access Television show, “Commissioners Corner.”  Sheriff Gary Simpson, Deputy Sergeant Ken Dickinson and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief John Oliver joined me to talk about how to stay safe when on the water. I enjoyed having the the opportunity to experience a water safety rescue first hand. I participated in a drill and fell out of my kayak into Dyes Inlet, which was a chilly 47.5 degrees, to be rescued by the Sheriff's Office Marine Unit (pictured). To view the episode, go to https://vimeo.com/224640733 .


Sherriff’s Office and Fire Demonstrations

Commissioner Wolfe with SWAT

No one works harder than our first responders. The complex situations in the high-pressure environments they respond to is mind boggling. My respect and admiration of them has grown after I had the opportunity last month to participate in several events hosted by the local fire agencies and their unions. Emergency scenarios were created for training purposes and I had the privilege of participating. The demonstrations included K9 officers in action, a look at how mental health factors into responding, the use of force, and crime scene investigations. But that’s not all! During a Fire Ops 101 event in Bremerton at the Regional Fire Training Center, I was outfitted in a full protective suit and assisted in responding to a simulated residential house fire, search and rescue in a smoky apartment building, a vehicle extrication, cardiac arrest with CPR, and a rooftop ventilation exercise. I was impressed with the professionalism and integrity of our emergency responders, and the level of training necessary to do their jobs.

Commissioner Wolfe at Fire Ops

Fun at the Fair

Commissioners fair award

This year at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede, I awarded my special Commissioner’s Ribbon to the Kitsap & Olympic Peninsula Clothing & Textile Advisors, a nonprofit organization that engages people to learn more about sewing, clothing and textiles. At the fair, their volunteers helped kids make 1,500 stuffed animals to take home. It was heartwarming to see the joy that filled them all and captured the community spirit of the fair. For more information on this unique and creative organization, visit www.kop-cta.org/.