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County’s affiliation with PSRC slated to be scrutinized

Commissioners authorize study in order to satisfy concerns from local property rights advocates.

The Kitsap County commissioners have ordered a report that will help them to determine whether to continue its membership in the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Staff member Eric Baker is scheduled to present a “just-the-facts” presentation at the board’s April 9 work-study session that will quantify the funding received over the last 15 years and examine other funding models.

“We are not going to tell them what to do,” Baker said. “We only want to present accurate information so the commissioners can make the decision.”

The PSRC coordinates counties around the region for planning and funding purposes.

Recently, the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners approached the commissioners with the notion that Kitsap has more in common with several west sound counties than King, Pierce or Snohomish.

In preparing his research Baker is gathering information from other local municipalities. This follows the direction set by North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer, who has said that any decision about PSRC should be made in conjunction with local city governments.

Baker said he has two estimates of PSRC’s financial impact, but wants to make sure “that apples are compared to apples” before releasing any numbers.

“This is an extremely politically charged conversation,” he said. “So we have to be very careful before we release any numbers. If we release them before they are ready they are used over and over, no matter how many times we say that we have more up-to-date figures.”

The April 9 meeting is open to the public.

Go to www.kitsapgov.com and select “Commissioner Agendas” for details, or call (360) 337-7146.

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