Park's master plan a big headache

The South Kitsap Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners informally agreed Wednesday to extend an invitation to the South Kitsap Rotary Club to discuss any plans the club might have for South Kitsap Community Park.

“It would probably behoove us all to ask what their intent is,” said Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. “I don’t want to have a letter war; I don’t want to have a war in the press.”

Larry Walker, chair of the board, said he agreed to meet with the Rotary Club but made one point clear: “I had a conversation with (Rotary President Larry) Coppola and told him that disbanding the board was off-limits,” he said. “But I told him I was very willing to work with the Rotary. The logistics of shutting down the park board just don’t sit well with me.”

According to Walker, the board and the Rotary have only exchanged letters, but the board agreed to extend several possible meeting dates to the Rotary in hopes the two groups might reconcile their differences and make progress in the park.

Many residents at Wednesday’s meeting expressed concern with the slow pace of the board’s master planning process.

Vice chair Garrido suggested a professional master planner be hired with money the board could obtain through grants.

“We’ve had such difficulty working through master planning with a volunteer approach,” Garrido said. “I really think we’ve done a valiant effort for a long time. I just don’t think we’re getting there.”

The master planning project is currently being lead by Commissioner John Palo, who promised to give the completion of the master plan his full attention.

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