Central Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Central Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

The first couple months of this year have been a whirlwind! I hope you all fared well during our major snowstorms and cold weather. I am sure you are also anxiously awaiting summer in the Pacific Northwest! There is a lot to report on in this edition of my newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it, as my goal is to keep you informed of the many happenings in Central Kitsap. It is an exciting time to serve as your Commissioner!

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


Snow response


Anyone in Western Washington last February will likely share their own stories of “Snowmaggedon” for years to come. I was thankful to be safe at home with my wife, even though we lost power for two days. We did manage to have some playtime in the snow!

Many of our public servants couldn’t stay home with their families during the snow days as they serve in essential roles to protect the safety of citizens. These include our Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office deputies and jail staff, whose services are called upon 24/7/365, no matter the weather. Staff in our Department of Human Services helped coordinate volunteers to staff our Severe Weather Shelters. Our elections staff in the Auditor’s Office braved the weather on days our county offices were closed to process returned ballots from the February 11 election and ensure ballot drop boxes were emptied and votes counted. Our facilities staff came in to check on the many buildings on our Port Orchard campus and clear sidewalks and parking lots so staff could get to their offices.

I want to give special recognition to our Public Works department. The Roads division personnel were put on mandatory 12-hour shifts starting on Super Bowl Sunday and running through February 15. While the rest of us were home enjoying time with our families, shoveling driveways, or wondering when it might be safe to head out, our crews were plowing roads all day and night. Our stormwater and sewer utility workers were also on the job, making sure the sewage treatment plants and stormwater systems were functioning correctly in sub-freezing temperatures.

During the February snow events in Kitsap, our Public Works crews:

  • Drove 46,000 miles in their snow plows, sanders and de-icing vehicles, which consumed 13,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and responded to multiple reports of downed trees and road blockages
  • Applied 400 tons of salt and 3,600 tons of sand on our roads
  • Answered 3,600 customer calls and requests for service

Thank you to our Kitsap County staff who work so tirelessly and with such dedication! If you were caught during the severe weather wondering about snowplow schedules or road conditions, subscribe to automated electronic notifications via e-mail or texts at this link Inclement Weather Page. To find out about county and courthouse closures or delays, call the Inclement Weather Phone Line at (360) 337-5775.

Snow plow

Central Kitsap construction updates

There is a lot of construction happening in Central Kitsap – especially in Silverdale. I’m excited about all these projects, and have provided brief updates below.

Central Kitsap Schools

It is wonderful to see progress being made on the Central Kitsap High and Middle School campus, and the completion of Klahowya Secondary School and Olympic High School. The CK School District is doing what it said it would do with the voter-approved bond, and the kids and families living in the district are better off because of it.

Central Kitsap High and Middle School campus

The Central Kitsap Middle School will open to students after spring break. In late February, there was a public send off for the old school, before it is demolished. Generations of former staff and students walked through the school, looked at old yearbooks and reminisced. A celebration of Central Kitsap High School’s 95 years of service is slated for the last day of school, before it too is demolished over the summer.

CK High and Middle schools
Klahowya addition

Klahowya addition & Olympic remodel

The Klahowya Secondary School addition was completed for the opening of the 2018/2019 school year. The new addition houses an auxiliary gym, choir room and classroom space.

The grand opening for the remodeled Olympic High School took place January 24. It almost looks like a new school! Josh Farley of the Kitsap Sun featured the beautiful addition in one of his Beat Blast video blogs.

Silverdale Way

After months of construction and inconveniences for nearby businesses and drivers, the Silverdale Way improvement project is essentially complete. The contractor is just waiting to receive the wall art and the “Old Town Silverdale” monument to install. Not only does it look great, but now traveling along that stretch of roadway is much safer for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. The $11 million project widened the road to five lanes, added bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the street, new and improved lighting, landscaping and stormwater treatment.

Silverdale Way
VA Clinic tour

Veterans Affairs Clinic

The new Veterans Affairs Clinic on Ridgetop Boulevard continues to take shape as local contractor FPH Construction works toward a fall 2019 completion date. I toured the 17,000-square-foot facility March 26 and was impressed with the numerous multifunctional security design elements. For example, in the photo below, the outer front wall of the building is reinforced to withstand explosive blasts and vehicle crashes. It is a pleasure to know our 37,000 local military veterans will have an expanded, state-of-the-art facility close to home for services that will save them trips to Seattle or Tacoma.

VA Clinic

Saying farewell to public servants

In December, we bid farewell to some dedicated public servants. Coroner Greg Sandstrom, Prosecutor Tina Robinson and Auditor Dolores Gilmore all chose not to run for office when their terms expired at the end of 2018. Congratulations to our new County elected officials: Prosecutor Chad Enright, Coroner Jeff Wallis and Auditor Paul Andrews. I look forward to working with them to serve the citizens of Kitsap County.


(l to r) Commissioner Charlotte Garrido, Commissioner Ed Wolfe, Treasurer Meredith Green, Commissioner Robert Gelder, Auditor Paul Andrews, Assessor Phil Cook, and outgoing officials – Prosecutor Tina Robinson, Coroner Greg Sandstrom and Auditor Dolores Gilmore


We also held a retirement celebration – with special treats - for Titan, one of our K9 officers in the Sheriff’s Office. Titan served the citizens of Kitsap County for 6 ½ years, and will live out his retirement with his handler, Deputy Joe Hedstrom.

Human Rights Conference

Human Rights Conference

During its annual human rights conference December 7, 2018, the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights presented Durell Green with the Linda Gabriel Award for his “extraordinary commitment and dedication to our communities, infusing human rights awareness and improving the quality of lives for Kitsap County citizens.” The Linda Gabriel Awards are presented each year to recognize youth, adults and organizations in our community that have made significant contributions to human rights. Commissioner Garrido and I, pictured with Durell, joined in congratulating him during the conference. Through the organization Partnering for Youth Achievement, he has been a powerful role model and mentor for youth of Bremerton.

MLK Day 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event

I thoroughly enjoyed attending the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at the Keyport Naval Undersea Museum this year with my fellow Commissioners. The ceremony was a poignant, moving tribute to a great man.

This annual event is sponsored by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport and included a fantastic performance by Living Voices.

Olympic College Foundation Auction & Brunch

OC Auction and Lunch

My wife, Wendy Miles, and I joined Olympic College President (and distinguished lumberjack) Marty Cavalluzzi at the 12th Annual Olympic College Foundation Auction & Brunch at Anthony’s on Sinclair Inlet in Bremerton. The March 3 event, “Flannel up for Some Fun,” raised $90,000 to support students and programs at Olympic College.

Central Kitsap Community Council

CKCC meeting

The Central Kitsap Community Council (CKCC) continues to meet at 5 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the Silverdale Beach Hotel. The Council’s charge is to improve communication between the community and County Commissioners, promote a sense of community, and advise the County on issues important to CK residents. This year, we welcomed new chair, Mark Hughes, Director of Communications for Kitsap Regional Library, and new members: Monica Downen, owner of Monica’s Waterfront Café & Bakery; Irene Overath, former director of WSU Kitsap Extension Office and Central Kitsap school educator; Kristal Baker, chair of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce; and Anna Jett, student representative from Klawhoya Secondary School. Our outstanding members of CKCC bring unique perspectives on issues and projects impacting residents and businesses in Central Kitsap. To learn more about CKCC, including a list of other members, visit the CKCC website, Facebook page, or contact Angie Silva in the Commissioners’ Office at asilva@co.kitsap.wa.us, (360) 337-7080.

Canvassing Board


As Chair of the 2019 Board of County Commissioners, one of my duties includes serving on the County Canvassing Board. County Auditor Paul Andrews and Prosecutor Chad Enright round out the other positions on the board. We are responsible for certifying elections, and in the case of close races, often going through questionable ballots one by one. This year’s February election included a capital levy for Bremerton Schools and a school support levy for Central Kitsap Schools. Both measures passed with a solid majority. My hat is off to the elections staff who battled the snow to make sure ballot boxes were checked and every vote counted during this election.


The homelessness crisis in Kitsap County and the Puget Sound region continues to grow as housing becomes less affordable and the treatment of mental health and substance abuse is more challenging. I’ve witnessed the conditions that some of our fellow citizens are living in and it is heartbreaking. The causes and solutions of homelessness are multi-faceted and complicated. There are no simple solutions. Here in Kitsap, public and private service providers, agencies and faith-based groups are working together to respond to this problem.

I recently accompanied Keith Grellner, Administrator of the Kitsap Public Health District, to a homeless encampment near Clear Creek. We are working with volunteers and various agencies to get residents into more permanent housing and clean up the camp.

Due to the urgent needs of those experiencing homelessness, the County is working hard to open a navigation center that includes a 75-bed homeless shelter, hopefully before next winter. I also can’t thank enough the volunteers and nonprofit groups who work with encampment residents all the time. A special shout out to Naval Base Kitsap volunteers that help us out on a regular basis, and to the 120-plus volunteers who staffed our Severe Weather Shelters this season.

Homeless encampment

Military Appreciation Day

Military Appreciation Day 2019

I was pleased to attend Military Appreciation Day at the Fairgrounds on March 10. This was an opportunity to celebrate, honor and recognize our men and women in uniform and their families. It is a great way to introduce them to businesses and services that Kitsap County has to offer. Door prizes, free food, children’s activities and performances were available for attendees. Over 3,400 military and family members attended the event this year.  I presented a stunning photo of the USS Carl Vinson by photographer Bryan Kilpatrick to Executive Officer of the USS Carl Vinson, Captain Brian Schrumm (2nd from right) in recognition of how important the USS Carl Vinson is, not just for the Navy, but for Kitsap County as well. Joining us is Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler (left) and Commanding Office of Naval Base Kitsap, Captain Alan Schrader (Right). Photo credit: Debbie Gilman Photography.