North Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Commissioner Robert Gelder's Fall Newsletter

Keyport Storm Drain Art

Five local artists turned storm drains in Keyport into hard-to-miss works of art, incorporating the storm drain covers into new murals (pictured above) serving as colorful reminders that what goes down our storm drains goes into Puget Sound. Many county storm drains have “Puget Sound Starts Here” stenciled nearby but the Keyport murals draw more attention and liven up the downtown streetscape while helping educate the public.

Commissioner Gelder was excited about the project. “Art is another great way to increase awareness about the connectivity of storm drains and the Sound,” he said.

According to Michelle Perdue, monitoring and outreach manager of the Kitsap County Public Works Stormwater Division, other jurisdictions have painted their storm drains to serve as more impactful public reminders and it seemed like a good idea to bring to Kitsap. As part of this initial pilot project, Keyport was chosen because of its proximity to water, enthusiastic and supportive community, and light traffic in the downtown area.

A contest was held, and a call went out to county artists. A committee made up of two county staff, two Keyport Improvement Club members and Commissioner Gelder picked their favorite proposals from the 12 entries. The artists then came to Keyport and painted the festive murals. Be sure to check out the storm drain art in downtown Keyport next time you visit!

Because of the very positive response to the storm drain murals, similar projects will be scheduled in south and central Kitsap communities.

Fair Award

Commissioners Fair Award

Each year, during the Kitsap County Fair, County Commissioners are honored to each present their Commissioner’s Award to an outstanding organization or individual exhibitor. Commissioner Gelder bestowed his 2019 award on South Kitsap High School student Rebecca DePoe. Rebecca is a member of Future Farmers of America, who showed her market pigs, Buck and Polly. In chatting with her during the fair, Commissioner Gelder found her to be extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about raising pigs and sharing that knowledge with others.

After the fair, Rebecca’s pigs were auctioned off and were served at the Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner on October 6. The annual harvest dinner is a fundraiser for the Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance, whose mission is to provide education, resources and advocacy for agriculture on the Kitsap Peninsula. The event celebrates and showcases locally grown produce and meat. For more information on KCAA visit

Cuts of meat poster

Kingston Topics

In meetings and conversations with constituents, Commissioner Gelder often hears the same concerns from different constituents about issues specific to downtown Kingston. One of those issues is vehicle congestion on Highway 104 due to Washington State Ferries service. In response, he prepared this document to inform the public about solutions being explored and implemented and their related funding sources.

More recently, Commissioner Gelder compiled another information sheet addressing frequent questions on a broader range of Kingston issues including parking, the new Seaside development, frontage improvements, zoning updates and downtown garbage cans. Questions about sewer service will soon be added. The information sheet is available here. Please contact Commissioner Gelder at if you would like to see other topics addressed.

Buck Lake Park Ribbon Cutting

Buck Lake Ribbion cutting

Commissioner Gelder joined others in the Hansville Community and staff from the Kitsap County Parks Department September 4 to celebrate the county’s first ADA-accessible playground at Buck Lake Park. “I’m proud of what our Parks staff accomplished and the inclusion of accessible play equipment into the overall design,” he said. The new equipment has ramps for accessibility and a swing that accommodates wheelchairs. There is also a boat toy with an ADA-compliant drawbridge. Be sure to visit the park to check out the new equipment!

New Commissioner’s Corner

PW Solid Waste division

Continuing with his in-depth look into Kitsap County’s Public Works Department, Commissioner Gelder used his most recent "Commissioner's Corner" to focus on the Solid Waste Division. The program explores what happens when you recycle, where garbage goes, and what to do with household hazardous waste.

PW Solid Waste division

New Veterans Plaza at Poulsbo’s American Legion Park

Veterans Plaza at Poulsbo’s American Legion Park

The new Veteran’s Plaza at Poulsbo’s American Legion Park was dedicated during a poignant, but rainy, celebration September 28. The City of Poulsbo donated space within the park for the Veteran’s Plaza, which honors those served in our armed forces since the end of World War I. The plaza also recognizes the centennial of the American Legion, an influential and important veteran’s organization.

Funding for the plaza was raised through the sale of personalized, engraved pavers, honoring local veterans. Pavers are still available. If you would like to honor a veteran, consider purchasing a brick like the ones in the photo. Follow this link for ordering information. Be sure to visit American Legion Park and the new Veteran’s Plaza next time you’re in Poulsbo.

Bricks at Veterans Plaza at Poulsbo’s American Legion Park

Walk and Talk image

Upcoming Walk & Talks with Commissioner Gelder

Commissioner Gelder continues his monthly Walk & Talk on the first Saturday of each month. December’s Walk &Talk will be in Kingston, with events to follow on Bainbridge Island and Keyport. If you have ideas, compliments, or complaints, or just want to hear what the commissioner has been up to, he would love to chat with you. The walks start at 9:30 a.m.

  • December 7 – Kingston Office, 26076 Illinois Avenue
  • January 4 – Bainbridge Island Senior Center, 370 Brien Drive SE
  • February 1 – Keyport Mercantile, 15499 Washington Avenue

For more information, contact Commissioner Gelder at (360) 337-7080,, or click here for a Walk & Talk flyer