Parks Board member will lodge complaint

Before its official dissolution, the South Kitsap Parks and Recreation District (SKPRD) faces one more official complaint, this time from the inside.

SKPRD Commissioner Warren Collver — who refers to himself and the others as “ex-commissioners” — has contacted the Washington State Human Rights Commission in Olympia regarding complaints against the district.

Citing Title 39, Section 60 of the Revised Code of Washington, Collver accuses the board of discrimination against himself and others with physical disa-bilities. Collver uses a wheelchair because of complications from multiple sclerosis.

The Human Rights Commission processes all cases through an initial screening before drafting a formal complaint. Collver’s concerns are currently in the screening process.

Collver expressed a number of other grievances about the board, including internal mishandling of public documents, holding meetings and making decisions outside of the public forum, and generally clique-ish behavior.

Additionally, Collver requested that Kitsap County freeze the district’s funds and examine them “with a fine-tooth comb.”

Collver said he has felt repeatedly kept out of meetings and decisions. He noted that he never received a copy of the application or credentials for the boards newest appointed commissioner, Mary Colborn, despite repeated requests.

“They don’t follow the guidelines of our bylaws, they decide to do whatever they want,” Collver said Thursday.

Collver cited several e-mails he sent to the other commissioners and the board’s lawyer, Tony Otto.

In them, Collver discussed his claim of discrimination, requests for agendas and minutes from other board members and a debate over the board’s celebration picnic, which is scheduled to take place today.

In one e-mail, Collver had recommended that Kitsap Live Steamers receive an award for its involvement with the park, but was turned down by Commissioner Ron Flerx, who explained that Colborn and Commissioner Margie Rees were responsible for that portion of the event, adding “You just keep your thoughts and comments to yourself and let Margie and Mary plan this party.”

Flerx added in the e-mail that he did not think the Steamers or other deserved to be recognized with any award.

Board Chair Larry Walker said the complaints came as a shock, since he had assumed most of the board’s issues had been resolved. Regarding the debate over awards for today’s celebration, Walker said Flerx was mistaken and said he had resolved that issue.

“I really think that any story here is a non-existent story,” Walker said. “In terms of descrimination, I don’t have the foggiest.”

Walker said discrimination issues had been discussed in May, but thought the matter was over. He had discussed a number of issues, including complaints about board procedures, but Walker said that the communication was complicated, and said many e-mail messages were not coherent.

He also said that Collver was “overly sensitive to any possibly perceived slight.”

Flerx initially said he knew of no complaints, but then declined to comment after being asked about the e-mail correspondences.

Even though the board is expected dissolve by the end of the summer, Collver plans to pursue the complaint with the Human Rights Commission, explaining that “right is right, and wrong is wrong.”

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