Central Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Commissioner Ed Wolfe's Winter Newsletter

As we wrap up 2017, I’m already looking forward to getting to work on 2018 goals that include continuing to create and strengthen public-private collaborations and investments in Silverdale and Central Kitsap on this "natural side of the Puget Sound."

Over the next year, I will continue coordinating with businesses in Old Town Silverdale and along Silverdale Way as we bring our road improvement projects to completion and then enjoy the improved traffic circulation, pedestrian access and cyclist safety. Our goal is to ensure growth in Central Kitsap is measured and brings with it amenities that improve the health and safety of all citizens.

Part of supporting both residential and commercial economic development is working with our Department of Community Development to improve the County’s permitting process so there is a clear and efficient path to getting projects approved. I will work to continue improving staff response times and customer service, and removing regulatory barriers to create jobs and affordable housing opportunities.

The Board of County Commissioners also recognizes the challenges our communities face, beyond increased development and traffic. Opioid addiction is a nationwide issue and unfortunately is present in Kitsap. It is expensive not only to treat but to absorb the increased law enforcement, jail and court costs. We’re putting more deputies on the streets and partnering with our fire districts in Central and North Kitsap to build a new precinct station for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. Our efforts to coordinate with other local agencies are beginning to have positive impacts on combating substance abuse and the often-related mental health issues and homelessness.

I’m looking forward to 2018 and hope you are, too! Here are some updates on county projects. Wishing everyone good health and best wishes in the New Year and beyond!

Veterans Drug Treatment Court Mentor

Veteran treatment court

As a veteran of the U.S. Army, I strongly support veterans and the programs that help them. Following the model of the county’s successful Drug Court, the Veterans Drug Treatment Court offers support to non-violent felony offenders who are veterans and have entered the criminal justice system. Superior Court judges select participants and those who successfully complete the program to have their charges dropped and can return to their lives. I attended the most recent Veterans Court commencement ceremony where participants were honored for graduating from the program.

When I heard that Veterans Drug Treatment Court was looking for mentors, I volunteered. I was assigned to a veteran in the program, whom I work with to ensure his success not only in staying on track with substance abuse treatment, but also to listen to his concerns and issues, provide advice, help him accomplish his goals and stay out of the court system in the future. If you are active-duty military or a veteran who received an honorable discharge, I encourage you to support your fellow veterans and volunteer for this fantastic program. More information can be found at http://www.kitsapgov.com/volunteer/current.htm.

Silverdale Way Expansion

Silverdale Way

Work continues on the Silverdale Way expansion project. Improvements include widening the roadway between NW Byron Street and Anderson Hill Road to two lanes in each direction with a center turn lane, five-foot bike lanes, six-foot planting strips and eight-foot sidewalks. Stormwater improvements are also being made as part of the project, along with enhancements to Pacific Avenue and Byron Street. Once the project is complete, traffic will flow more smoothly than before and walkers and bikers will be much safer along this route.

Kitsap County is collaborating with the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, Visit Kitsap and Sound Publishing to reach out to local businesses and their patrons on how to minimize and avoid traffic impacts. Everyone is encouraged to continue supporting local businesses during construction. We appreciate your patience!

Weekly project updates and the opportunity to sign up for regular e-mail updates are available at http://kitsap.paladinpanoramic.com/project/2232/54723.

Image: “Wall Construction Begins—west side Silverdale Way”

Veterans Administration Clinic

I am thrilled the Veterans Administration chose a site for a new outpatient clinic on Ridgetop Boulevard. The decision came after a competitive process between 10 proposed sites that were submitted. Veterans Plaza LLC had the winning proposal and will construct a single-story clinic in a space where Urban City Brew is currently located. The clinic will have 14,000 square feet of the building and be able to serve over 6,000 patients (current one serves 4,400).

An expanded veterans clinic is sorely needed in Kitsap County, especially with the high number of veterans residing here (approximately 38,000). The smaller veterans’ clinic in Bremerton, built in 1952, is over capacity and patients must find their way to VA clinics in Tacoma or Seattle for healthcare service. Not only will the new Ridgetop Blvd. location provide more space, it is also centrally located near public transportation and other services.

I continue to work collaboratively with Congressman Derek Kilmer the facility becomes a reality and stays on schedule through the site development permitting process.

Public Works Project Awards

Bucklin Hill Bridge
Clear Creek

Our Kitsap County Department of Public Works recently received regional and national recognition. The Bucklin Hill Bridge Project was awarded the 2017 Transportation Project of the Year from the American Public Works Association. This is a great honor for all of us, especially as this was the largest construction project the county had ever undertaken. The payoff for the impacts to traffic and nearby businesses and residents is a healthier natural environment for marine life, improved traffic flow and pedestrian access, and a safer throughway for cyclists.

In addition, the Stormwater Division of Public Works was honored with a Vision 2040 award by the Puget Sound Regional Council for the Clear Creek Restoration Project that involved restoring 30 acres of wetlands and floodplains in the Clear Creek watershed.

Veteran of the Year

Veteran of the Year 2018

The Northwest Justice Project, a legal aid organization with the vision of “Justice for All Low-Income People in Washington,” honored Bremerton retired Navy veteran Dan Bujok as Veteran of the Year at a Justice for Veterans event in November.

Mr. Bujok, who served in the Persian Gulf War, is very involved in the Port Orchard Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2669 and spearheaded many community service projects to help veterans. He also founded the VFW’s Young Guns Committee, which aims to get younger, post-Vietnam veterans involved in the VFW.

To learn more about the Northwest Justice Project, visit https://nwjustice.org/ .

Sherriff’s Office Emergency Vehicle Operations Training

EVOC training
Commissioners Gelder, Garrido and myself (in the middle) with Kitsap Sheriffs deputies.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office held its semi-annual Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) Training at the Bremerton Raceway. The high-speed emergency vehicle training is essential for deputies who may be forced into chases with suspects, with a primary duty to keep citizens safe.

Commissioners were invited to the fall training event, where I got an adrenaline rush as a passenger in a Sheriff’s Office vehicle while deputies practiced mock pursuits, high-speed autocross courses and navigating out of a skid. It was fantastic to ride along with such skilled drivers. It gave me even more respect for the work our law enforcement officers do every day to keep us safe.

Roadside Cleanup with Kitsap Adventist School

District 3 Newsletter

I was privileged to join Adopt-A-Road volunteers from Bremerton and Port Orchard churches to pick up litter along North Lake and Chico roads near Kitsap Lake. We collected 16 bags of litter from the roadside. Groups like this, and other Adopt-A-Road volunteers, help keep Kitsap County beautiful and contribute over 500 volunteer hours a year. To learn more about getting involved or forming your own Adopt-A-Road group, visit https://spf.kitsapgov.com/pw/Pages/adoptroad.aspx.