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NASCAR feedback flooding in to commissioners

Last week’s announcement of the International Speedway Corp.’s intention to bring NASCAR to Kitsap County has generated widespread county reaction, including a flurry of e-mails to the Board of Commissioners.

While the matter was not on the agenda for Monday’s regular meeting, it was discussed during the comment session. At that time, North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen and Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners Executive Director Vivian Henderson, who rarely agree about anything, reached common ground: An informed opinion is impossible until all the facts are available.

After initially selecting another site, the ISC publicly announced its decision on Thursday. Its next step is to present a formal proposal, which will clarify the venture’s specifics and outline the workings of the public/private partnership.

At that point, hearings sponsored by the county’s Department of Community Development will encourage public input.

ISC is planning a less official effort, holding a public informational meeting toward the end of July. ISC spokesman Stann Tate said there were no specifics yet, but South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel suggested using the Kitsap Fairgrounds Pavilion for its size and central location.

Angel said she expected attendees would have several different ways to provide feedback about the proposal.

“I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing for Kitsap County,” Endresen said. “But it’s important to base the discussion on the facts.”

Endresen said it was also important to “keep the discussions civil.”

Angel said in these cases the negative voices are more aggressive, although she did receive several letters supporting the venture.

Among the negative:

“This is just the sort County money spending exercise that Kitsap County does not need,” said one resident. “We don’t want one dollar of our county taxes to go to anything related to this ill-conceived boondoggle. We just hope that Kitsap will be as wise as Marysville was in declining to entertain this offer. We don’t need the cost of infrastructure, traffic and noise that this sort of enterprise will bring.”

“We need to allocate our tax dollars to more important issues such as schools, roads, the fight against meth and other drugs,” wrote another. “We should not even entertain the thought of spending public funds on private entertainment.”

On the positive side:

“It will be great to have a large draw to the area,” one writer said. “I’m sure a lot of people don’t understand what this could do for our county, but we have needed something like this for quite some time.” 

“I’m sure we can get past any of the hurdles that the proponents that are

already organized are starting to put in the road,” wrote another.

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