Commissioner Ed Wolfe's Spring Newsletter

Commissioner Ed Wolfe's Spring Newsletter

Spring is in the air! Despite the snow and extended cold weather this year, Kitsap County continues to heat up with major construction projects, conversations on economic development that maintains quality of life amid major growth, and planning for a future that meets the needs of generations to come. We’re expanding our park lands and partnerships, and making substantial investments and improvements to our infrastructure. Most importantly, we’re getting more citizens actively participating in planning, stewarding our resources, and helping create a vision we can work towards and accomplish together. Stay tuned - the stars are aligned for Central Kitsap and Silverdale.

As always, it's an honor to serve as your Kitsap County Commissioner.


Appreciating Our Veterans

Military Appreciation Day 2018 took place March 10 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Active-duty military, veterans and their families were honored and celebrated. I am pictured here (in the red shirt) with members of the American Legion John D. "Bud" Hawk Post 109 of Silverdale. Thank you to all who participated, including the sponsors and local businesses, and to the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce for organizing the event.

Veterans Appreciation

Building a Better Silverdale and Kitsap County

Harrison Hospital Construction
CK School Tour

Construction is moving along on major projects in Silverdale – the Central Kitsap High and Middle schools (right and below) and Harrison Medical Center’s new hospital (above). It was exciting to take hard-hat tours of these projects last month that represent investments of over $730 million in our Central Kitsap community! 

Scheduled to open in January 2020, the new $500 million Harrison hospital expansion will have many new departments as well as hundreds of private rooms. When construction is in full swing, over 500 workers will be on the job.   

The school construction project represents a taxpayer investment of $233.8 million. The 313,000 square-foot building will contain both middle and high school facilities, with a shared cafeteria, commons area and auditorium. The new middle school is scheduled to open in spring of 2019 and the new high school will open next in fall of 2019.

CK Middle and High School

Decision-Makers Breakfast

Last month, I was privileged to join other elected officials as a board member of the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) to participated on a panel that included the mayors of Bremerton, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard. Our discussion focused on the Kitsap economy and outlook on Puget Sound-area growth and the associated impacts on our side of the water. We anticipate major growth here in the county as cost of living continues to rise in the Seattle area and drives people here to look for smaller, less crowded communities and more affordable housing.

In Kitsap County, 65 percent of our population of 264,000 resides in unincorporated areas. Since 2010, our population has grown over 5 percent and the median income is up 18 percent. 

With fast-ferry service in Bremerton, and coming soon to Kingston and Southworth, our region is preparing and responding to the anticipated growth. Kitsap County continues to invest in our infrastructure with road, stormwater management and sewer improvements. Our expanding county parks system of over 10,000 acres improves the health and well-being of our citizens and the environment.

As your county commissioner, I am committed to focusing efforts on balancing economic growth with the quality of life that we are used to here on the natural side of Puget Sound. For more information on KEDA, visit

KEDA Panel
Commissioner Ed Wolfe, Mayor Rob Putaansuu, Mayor Becky Erickson and Mayor Kol Medina on the KEDA panel

Central Kitsap Community Council

Over the last two years, we have made significant changes to the representation and structure of the Central Kitsap Community Council (CKCC) to better represent community organizations and stakeholder groups. We’ve also worked to increase attendance at monthly council meetings by coordinating special presentations on a wide array of topics specific to Central Kitsap.

The 2017-2018 chair, Stacey Saunders, is a local attorney and certified mediator. Serving as vice-chair is Brandon Myers, a deputy sheriff with our Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. To find out who else represents the community on the CKCC and learn more about upcoming meetings and opportunities to get involved, go to

CKCC meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. in the Silverdale Beach Hotel, at 3073 NW Bucklin Hill Road. The next meeting takes place April 4 and will feature the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance.

Boy Scouts Merit Badge Clinic

Boy scouts
Commissioner Wolfe participating in one of the breakout sessions at the Boy Scout Merit Badge Clinic

One of my highlights last month was meeting 275 of our future leaders at a Boy Scout Merit Badge Clinic on February 3. I spoke with the Scouts about my role as a county commissioner and issues in the county related to public health and safety. Their interest and curiosity was impressive, along with their commitment to serving as good citizens of our community. I really enjoyed our discussion!

Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Addition

Port Gamble Forest
Outlined is the segment of property purchased from Pope Resources

Thanks to a unique partnership, community fundraising events, and my fellow Commissioner Rob Gelder, Kitsap County has just added 1,500 acres of park land for residents to enjoy just outside of the historic town of Port Gamble. The Kitsap Forest & Bay Project raised $3.5 million to purchase the last segment of property from Pope Resources, bringing the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park to an area of approximately 4,000 acres. The bargain price allows Pope Resources to retain logging rights in the park for the next 25 years. After the tree farms are harvested for a last time, the county will replant the areas to restore native trees, diverse growth and vegetation, habitat and heritage.

The park is nearly five times larger than New York’s Central Park, and eight times larger than Seattle’s Discovery Park. Before the effort began to preserve the land, it was at risk of being divided into home sites. Now, it will be preserved for generations to enjoy!

Volunteers from various groups have built and maintained trails in the park, and will continue to serve as stewards in the future. I encourage all county residents to enjoy this amazing park!

Kitsap County & Kitsap County School District Collaborate

Lobe Field

In a unique partnership between the Central Kitsap School District and the Kitsap County Parks Department, two of the four athletic fields at Kitsap County's Lobe Fields are getting much-needed upgrades. This is a community win-win for Central Kitsap families.

The school district is investing $2.5 million in synthetic turf for two fields at Lobe. Other upgrades will be made to the dugouts, bull pens, accessibility, and nearby tennis courts. The school district will take over maintenance of the fields and scheduling their use for school athletic events and public use, freeing up resources of our Parks Department.

Both Central Kitsap Schools and Kitsap County serve the same taxpayers and this partnership shows that working together is cost effective and maximizes resources to provide amenities like playing fields for residents now and into the future. It's a cooperative effort that is good for the community and a win-win for Central Kitsap families.

Silverdale Chamber of Commerce Banquet

Silverdale chamber of commerce

I was honored to attend the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce 45th Annual Accolades and Installation Banquet in January to welcome the new 2018 board of directors and recognize local businesses and individuals who made significant contributions to the Chamber’s mission.

  • Non-Profit Business of the Year – Stand up for Kids
  • Business of the Year – Monica’s Waterfront Bakery
  • Paul G. Linder Service Award Member of the Year – Kristal Baker
  • Citizen of the Year – Shannon Bruce
  • Business Pioneer of the Year – Myers Inc. All-Star Lanes

Central Kitsap is fortunate to have so many great businesses and people that support them. To keep up to date with the Silverdale Chamber and all it does for the community, visit

Rotary Readers Program

I was happy to volunteer with the Rotary Readers program through the Bremerton Rotary and Bremerton School District. Now in its 11th year, Rotary Readers matches a volunteer to each of 22 kindergarten classes in the district’s six elementary schools. Rotary Readers read to about 400 children each week!

I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to visit Naval Avenue Elementary and read to energetic five- and six-year-old friends. In this photo, my class is still sitting still and paying attention five books in!

The Rotary also has a program that gifts a Scholastic Children’s Dictionary to every Bremerton third grader. The books have more information than an average dictionary, and many kids use them right up through high school. It’s a wonderful program that helps build a foundation of learning and love of reading for our young people.

For more information on the Rotary Readers program visit the Bremerton Rotary website at

Rotary Readers

Night to Shine

Night to Shine

It was truly a stellar evening and an honor to take part in and sponsor Kitsap County’s 3rd Annual Night to Shine event on February 9 at the Kitsap Pavilion. About 450 special needs VIP guests and 700 volunteers, along with dozens of community sponsors, created a night for everyone to remember. The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsors the event, with Newlife Church hosting it locally. In the photo here, I am with my friend Hanna, who had a great time at Night to Shine. For more information on this exciting event, visit 

Bremerton Youth Symphony

Bremerton Youth Symphony

My wife, Wendy, and I were delighted to attend a “Brunch with Bach” fundraising event with the Bremerton Youth Symphony. These young musicians are fantastic performers. The event supports youth scholarships, and featured terrific music by the symphony, orchestra and jazz ensemble. I encourage anyone who enjoys classical or jazz music to attend a performance. More information and a schedule can be found at

Sound-to-Olympics Trail Dedication

Sound to Olympics Trail

Commissioner Wolfe (right) and Congressman Derek Kilmer (in blue sports coat) join other dignitaries as Bainbridge Island Mayor Kol Medina cuts the ribbon on the first stretch of the Sound-to-Olympics Trail on Bainbridge Island. The 0.8 mile stretch connects Winslow Way, just north of the ferry terminal, to High School Road. The trail, which will eventually stretch from the ferry terminal to the Hood Canal Bridge, allows bicycles and pedestrians to travel safely separated from traffic on Highway 305.