Central Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Commissioner Ed Wolfe's Fall Newsletter
Commissioner Ed Wolfe

Fall is in the air! Having just returned from a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia (see photo above) to do some hiking with my former high school buddies, I can say that our Kitsap fall colors here have surpassed those on the East Coast. As the trees begin shedding their leaves, it reminds us to prepare for winter storms ahead! Be sure to sign up for the county’s electronic notifications so that you’re up to date on inclement weather, emergency alerts, road closures and snow routes. We all remember "Snowmaggedon."

The changing seasons also bring the need for volunteers. Consider volunteering to help keep our severe weather shelters operating throughout the winter, train to become a salmon docent and join others in welcoming the native salmon back to local streams or explore our beautiful county parks with family and friends by joining a weekend work party. Learn more about these and other volunteer opportunities at Kitsap County Volunteer Services. In 2018, 4,000 county volunteers contributed nearly 200,000 hours (that’s a value of nearly $6 million)! It’s an extraordinary commitment and reflects our engaged, energetic and generous Kitsap community. Thank you!

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.


"Over the Edge" Fundraiser for Kitsap Strong

An adrenaline rush for a good cause? You don’t have to ask me twice! I was pleased to take part in “Over the Edge,” a fundraiser Sept. 14 where participants rappelled off the top of the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton.

The event benefited Kitsap Strong, a community initiative and collective of over 80 local agencies and organizations working together to improve the health, well-being and education of Kitsap residents. Thanks to all who helped me raise over $1,200 to make this experience possible while donating to a great cause! The event raised over $50,000 for children and families in need in Kitsap County. Learn more about Kitsap Strong at https://www.kitsapstrong.org.

Over the Edge Commissioner Wolfe

Department of Emergency Management Security Summit

Security Summit

Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, on behalf of Homeland Security Region 2, hosted a Security Summit Oct. 15 at the Kitsap Golf & Country Club. This was a fascinating and educational event attended by more than 130 local small business owners, non-profit organizations, schools and others interested in learning how to protect against cyberterrorism. I was honored to give opening remarks on the five pillars of risk: personal security, facility security, financial security, and performing a vulnerability assessment to reduce risk.

The well-attended event enabled important face-to-face meetings and conversations between security leaders from the U.S. Security Service, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, local governments and organizations, and noted national cyber security, information and physical security experts. Thank you Emergency Management Director Elizabeth Klute and your team for coordinating this event. Learn more about disaster and emergency preparedness and planning at www.kitsapdem.org.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I joined Kitsap County law enforcement, government and Tribal leaders Oct. 4 to sign a proclamation recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A somber signing ceremony was held at the Norm Dicks Center, sponsored by the Naval Base Kitsap Fleet & Family Support Center in collaboration with YWCA Kitsap County, the Suquamish Tribe and Scarlet Road. Prior to the ceremony, Suquamish tribal members gave a blessing.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, every minute 20 people are abused by their partners. Domestic Violence Awareness Month honors those who died from domestic violence, as well as survivors. I am glad to support efforts to end domestic violence.

Domestic Violence proclamation signing

Kitsap Humane Society opens new adoption center

Kitsap Humane Society

The Kitsap Humane Society welcomed donors and public officials to celebrate the grand opening of the new adoption center Oct. 3. I delivered remarks on behalf of County Commissioners. Kitsap County recently completed a land transfer to the humane society for the adoption center. From all accounts, the center is off to a fantastic start. It is clean and spacious, with plenty of room for each adoptable animal. Over 6,700 animals made their way through the humane society in 2018. The humane society has a lifesaving rate of over 97 percent! The national average is 77 percent. Check out their available pets and exciting programs at https://www.kitsap-humane.org/.

Naval Base Kitsap change of command

Change of Command

As most residents know, Kitsap County’s bread and butter is the Navy. The five Kitsap naval installations that make up Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) encompass over 11,000 acres and employ more than 34,000 military, civilian and contractor employees.

The commander of NBK has a huge job and is responsible for the safety, well-being and efficiency of all the operations. It was an honor to attend the change-of-command ceremony at NBK-Bangor. Captain Edward A. Schrader, who led NBK since 2016, was replaced by Captain Richard Rhinehart. I wish Captain Rhinehart well as he takes over such an important job and look forward to working with him on issues important to the Navy and civilians of Kitsap County.

Commissioner's County Fair award goes to K-9 exhibit

Fair Award to K-9 Unit

Heading to the Kitsap County Fair in late August is one of my favorite summer activities. The Fair has been ongoing since 1923. This year, admission was free, which greatly increased the number of visitors. Each year, I give out my “Commissioner’s Award” to an exhibit of my choice. This year, I awarded the K-9 dog exhibit run by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Bremerton Police Department. Deputy Nolan Williams graciously accepted the award, pictured at right. It was fun to watch the skill of the dogs and their handlers and the thrilled expressions on the kids who were watching along with me.

We are lucky to have two K-9s working with the Sheriff’s Office – Blue and Heiko. Together with their handlers, they track down criminal suspects and bring them into custody, often saving lives. Blue, Heiko and their counterparts in other jurisdictions also save taxpayer money by preventing police shootings and the expensive investigations and litigation that follow. Though training and equipment for K-9 officers is expensive, two organizations have gave financial support for Blue, Heiko, and other Kitsap K-9 officers. The Peninsula Dog Fanciers' Club provided a bullet-proof K-9 vest and monetary donations to the Sheriff’s Office K-9 program. The Gavin Buchanan Memorial Foundation, founded in memory of a young boy who loved police dogs, also contributed funds to purchase K-9 safety equipment.

K-9 Unit

Some of Kitsap County's finest: (left to right) City of Bremerton Police Officers Allan McComas with K9 Loki and Chris Faidley with K9 Esco; Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputies Aaron Baker with K-9 Heiko and Noland Williams with Blue.

Burial ceremony of indigent residents

About 75 people attended a ceremony to honor 15 Kitsap residents who were without family or money to pay for a funeral at the time of their passing. Kitsap County Coroner Jeff Wallis coordinated the event at Pioneer Cemetery in Silverdale. I attended on behalf of County Commissioners and along with Coroner Wallis and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Chaplain Don Melendez, we showed our respect along with the many others from the community. This poignant ceremony reflected how much those in our community care for each other.

Indigent Residensts Burial

Maynard’s now open in Silverdale

Maynards Grand Opening

Maynard’s, a new “culinary destination” in Silverdale, celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 24. Along with the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, I was excited to welcome this new restaurant and bar to the community. Maynard’s also offers a market with take-home meals, artisan goods and local produce. There is also an event space and commercial kitchen for cooking classes. The building is beautiful, but the patio and views of Dyes Inlet really make it special. Find out more or make your reservation at https://www.maynardsrestaurant.com/.

Pottery Class to support Olympic College Foundation

Pottery Class

Earlier this year I attended the Olympic College Foundation Auction & Brunch at Anthony's, to help raise money for all the great things they do. The Olympic College Foundation partners with Anthony’s to host the ever-popular Auction and Brunch at their beautiful Sinclair Inlet location. The event raised $90,000 for the foundation. One of the auction items I bought was a Pottery Wheel Throwing 101 class, taught by OC art Professor Marie Weichman. The class was a new experience for me and something I have always wanted to do. We had a fantastic teacher who taught me how to make a pretty cool bowl, if I do say so myself. If you ever get the chance to take a class there, I highly recommend it.

Central Kitsap Community Council Meet & Greet

CKCC Meet and Greet 2019

The Central Kitsap Community Council (CKCC) invited the community to their annual “meet & greet” at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel to talk about CK issues in an informal setting. The CKCC advises Commissioner Wolfe on the desires and concerns of the community and brings county issues and projects to the Central Kitsap community. Pictured (left to right): former CKCC member Bob Moyer, and current members Monica Downen, Kristal Baker, Judy Mentor Eagleson, Commissioner Wolfe, Pete Wimmer, Mark Hughes (2019 Chair) and Jim Aho.

The CKCC meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. in the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel, 3073 NW Bucklin Hill Road. The public is encouraged to join us to learn what is going on in our CK community. More information and upcoming agendas can be found at https://www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/CKCC.aspx.

Kitsap County’s 2020 budget

One of the most important jobs of a county commissioner is to review and approve the annual budget. As chairman of the Board of Commissioners this year, I presided over budget hearings and deliberations. The Kitsap County proposed budget for 2020 is $394 million. Of that, 29 percent, or about $108.5 million goes to the General Fund. The General Fund is where we have more spending discretion, as the rest of the budget is earmarked for particular programs and services.

Over 72 percent of the General Fund is spent on law-and-justice programs – courts, law enforcement, jail, juvenile and family court services, etc., with the rest split between other departments including Community Development, Human Services, Facilities and Maintenance, Parks, Administrative Services, Human Resources, the Auditor, Assessor, Coroner, Treasurer and Commissioners’ Office. There are often tough decisions to make in balancing budget requests. The final budget public hearing and adoption are scheduled for Dec. 9. More information on the 2020 budget process can be found at https://www.kitsapgov.com/das/Pages/bgt.aspx.

Property Tax Dollar

Lodging Tax Committee

This year was my first year chairing the Kitsap County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. Non-profits are doing great work to promote tourism in Kitsap County. We anticipate over $675,000 in 2020 lodging tax revenues. These are taxes paid when visitors stay in a hotel, bed & breakfast or short-term vacation rental in unincorporated Kitsap County. Those funds are then allocated to groups that help bring more visitors to the county for overnight stays. Funds awarded for 2020 are on the table here or visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/das/Pages/LTAC.aspx.


Award Amount

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art $15,000.00
Bremerton Symphony $5,000.00
Fathoms O’ Fun $12,000.00
Kitsap Historical Society & Museum $36,000.00
Roxy Bremerton $3,500.00
Silverdale Chamber of Commerce $99,385.00
Visit Kitsap $410,000.00
US Lighthouse Society – Point No Point $56,900.00
Washington State Science & Engineering Fair $30,000.00
WayzGoose Kitsap $8,000.00




Commissioner’s Corner

My most recent “Commissioner’s Corner” episode includes an interview with Kitsap County Prosecutor Chad Enright about his role as the County’s top lawyer and a discussion with Angie Silva, former policy analyst in the Commissioners’ Office, about the phased plan to replace the county courthouse. We also discussed safety concerns and deficiencies in the current courthouse. Check it out on the county’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/rFsO8MF4yTY or Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/363937984.