Central Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Central Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Thank you, Kitsap voters, for selecting me as your Kitsap County Commissioner for another four years! I am honored and humbled to represent you. After some research with the State Archivist and the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office, I learned that over the past 86 years, there have only been two other uncontested District 3 county commissioner races.

Though we look to the past to guide us into the future, it is vital that we keep the positive momentum going. As I enter my second term, my goal is to continue championing community investment projects in Silverdale and Central Kitsap. These include the new Veterans Affairs clinic, the Harrison Medical Center expansion, Central Kitsap School District capital projects, and several County infrastructure improvements.

Silverdale is Kitsap County’s economic engine that supports many regional programs. I will continue to support and encourage private and public investment Central Kitsap. That includes advocating for improved infrastructure for transportation services and connectivity – not only for vehicles but also pedestrians and cyclists.

I pledge to continue working with county staff to eliminate red tape in the county’s building, fire and permitting processes, along with streamlining and simplifying development code. I will also continue to focus on finding creative solutions to fund much needed law-and-justice facilities, including a Silverdale precinct for our Sheriff’s Office and a regional law-and-justice center.

Remember, I work for you so if there is anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me at ewolfe@co.kitsap.wa.us or (360) 337-7080.

Ed Wolfe

Meeting with Congressman Kilmer

Last month, Congressman Derek Kilmer and I sat down to discuss important topics impacting Kitsap County. Congressman Kilmer and I regularly find common ground to better serve citizens on issues such as the environmental health of the Puget Sound region, veteran services, employment and workforce development, transportation and infrastructure.

Congressman Kilmer is on the House Appropriations Committee, which has an important role in allocating project funds – including those benefitting Kitsap County. He is also a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Bipartisan Working Group, which seek to solve problems and work across the aisle to serve citizens, instead of political interests. He is an important ally for our work here in Kitsap County and in the 6th Congressional District.

Commissioner Wolfe with Derek Kilmer

Historic mail truck receives Commissioner’s Award at fair

Commissioner Ribbon

Each year at the Kitsap County Fair, I have the privilege of awarding my Commissioner’s Award ribbon to an exhibit. This year, it was hard to resist choosing the Kitsap County Historical Society’s refurbished 1929 U.S. Postal Service mail truck. The truck was used in the Kingston area in the 1930s. It was fascinating to see such a vintage vehicle in its fully restored condition. Volunteers from the Olympic Vintage Auto Club dedicated over 2,000 hours to the restoration project. Plenty of local auto parts, auto repair and tire shops donated to the cause as well. Congratulations to the Historical Society and all the businesses and volunteers that contributed to the project!

Silverdale construction updates

Whether you visit Silverdale every day or just every once in a while, you’ve probably noticed there is a lot of construction going on. Here are some project updates. If you’d like to stay informed of all major construction and maintenance activities impacting traffic in our area, be sure to sign up for the Road Report here to receive weekly updates via e-mail or text.


Central Kitsap High and Middle School campus

Construction is moving along rapidly, and the middle school is on track to open in spring 2019. The high school building will open in time for the 2019-2020 school year. I am a huge supporter of this project, and it has been wonderful working with Superintendent David McVicker and the CK School Board who are important assets for our community. The Superintendent has recently announced his plans to retire next year and we wish him well in his new life adventures.
(picture courtesy of CKSD)

Harrison 10.29.18


Harrison Medical Center

With 100 years of serving the Kitsap Peninsula, CHI Franciscan's new Harrison Medical Center is taking shape and dominating the skyline above Silverdale. The steel framing is up, and crews are installing plumbing, fire suppression and other mechanical systems. The new state-of-the-art $500 million regional hospital is on track to open in spring 2020.

VA Groundbreaking

Veterans Affairs clinic

After some delays, construction of the new VA clinic on Ridgetop Boulevard in Silverdale is underway with the new opening expected in fall 2019. Kitsap County’s 37,000 veterans will have access to local health services, rather than having to travel to Tacoma or Seattle or face long waits at the undersized Bremerton clinic. I know of the sacrifices many of these men and women made to serve and protect our country and they deserve this clinic. I’ll be thrilled when it opens. (At right, Commissioners Gelder, Garrido and Wolfe at the ground breaking of the VA clinic last spring.)


Silverdale Way

After a two-week work stoppage this summer when the construction workers’ union went on strike, the Silverdale Way transportation project is back on track. The sidewalks are almost done, landscaping is underway, retaining walls are getting finishing touches so the artwork can be installed, weather depending. To check on progress, visit the project page. When complete, there will be five lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the street, new and improved lighting and landscaping. I'll go out on a limb and predict the final completion of this $ 11.1 million project by year end, weather permitting.

Silverdale Way Update

Kitsap Humane Society groundbreaking

KHS Groungbreaking group

I was happy attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a new animal shelter at the Kitsap Humane Society. A 9,000-square-foot adoption center is the first phase of construction. When complete, the current building will be remodeled to improve medical and surgical facilities for sick and injured animals. I’m proud to be able to work closely with the humane society. Generous donors in the community helped make them a success story, with over 7,000 animals taken in every year and a 96 percent lifesaving rate – one of the highest in the nation. The humane society still needs to raise $2.5 million to finish the project. To find out more or to donate, visit their website.

KHS Groundbreaking

Balancing the 2019 county budget

One of my priorities is always to ensure taxpayer money is used wisely, lawfully and with transparency. A balanced budget and living within our means is essential to local county government. In 2019, we anticipate a countywide budget of $423 million – but state law mandates that only 24 percent (or $103 million) can go towards county services like the courts, law enforcement and county parks. This pool of money is called the general fund and is largely made up of sales and property taxes. This year, after weeks of budget review hearings and public open houses, our Board of Commissioners deliberated over the departmental requests and came up with a preliminary budget. The final public hearing and adoption will take place on December 3, 2018. For more information, visit the budget web page.

Proposed 2019 BudgetGerneral Fund Expenditures

Veterans helping Veterans


As a U.S. Army veteran, helping those who have served is one of my passions. That is why I am a mentor for the Kitsap Superior Court Veterans Treatment program, which is a judicially supervised treatment program for chemical dependency or mental disorders catered to veterans’ specific needs. Last year I'm proud to say 10 veterans graduated from this program and we anticipate higher graduation rates this year. Kitsap County has many other programs specifically for veterans, including the Veterans Assistance Fund. The fund provides temporary emergency funds to eligible veterans for rental assistance, utilities, food, transportation, medical costs and other needs. This year the Board of Commissioners appropriated $444,000 to the fund. To find out more visit the Veterans Resource web page.

Homes for All Who Served

Work continues on the Homes for All Who Served initiative to house homeless veterans.  Since the inception of the effort, 171 veterans have been housed and 260 provided with other services to assist them.  In 2018, the Veterans Administration awarded our county 28 additional Veterans Assistance Supportive Housing vouchers (similar to Section 8 vouchers, but reserved for veterans) to provide veterans with rental assistance.  Between 2017 and 2018, we have seen a decrease in the number of veterans who are unsheltered.  However, there are still a significant number of veterans who are at risk of homelessness due to rent increases and a shortage of affordable housing, particularly for veterans who are disabled and/or on fixed incomes.   

Homeless veterans in Kitsap are able to connect with housing resources at the Veteran Housing Options Group (VHOG), a free drop-in open house every Monday (except holidays), from 1 – 2 pm at Kitsap Community Resources, 1201 Park Street, Bremerton. 

A place is set

Stand Down

The Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Board and Kitsap Area Veterans Alliance joined forces last month at the Stand Down, a biannual event to provide services for Kitsap veterans and their families in need. Dozens of organizations, volunteers and donors provide free services such as dental care and haircuts, hot meals, counseling referrals, and housing and benefit assistance. Thank you to all of the veterans and others who contribute supplies and volunteer their time! (At left, a place is set for a soldier who never came home during the Remembrance Ceremony at the Veterans Alliance Stand Down at the Sheridan Park Community Center.)

Leadership Kitsap

Leadership Kitsap

Last month, I was honored to participate in Local Government Day with Leadership Kitsap. Leadership Kitsap is a nonprofit organization that trains emerging leaders in business, government and the community to expand their skills and commitments to civic responsibility. There are many impressive alumni of Leadership Kitsap, including Sheriff Gary Simpson and Undersheriff John Gese, who currently serves as president of the organization. Local Government Day gives class members a chance to learn about different governmental organizations in Kitsap County including county government, port districts, school districts and the cities. I served on a panel with other local leaders and answered questions about my role as a county commissioner. It was great to meet with such an energetic, smart and engaging class of emerging leaders. To learn more about Leadership Kitsap, visit http://leadershipkitsap.org/.