Candidates show support for museum

Sidney Museum - Charlie Bermant
Sidney Museum
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

All of the candidates for the Port Orchard City Council have pledged their support to keeping the Sidney Museum in place, leaving the building intact as the proposed parking garage is build adjacent to--or underneath--its current location.

“The museum is a Port Orchard treasure,” said Councilman Jerry Childs, who is not opposed for a second term. “I would have a problem seeing it moved or changed in any way that would diminish that. It provides a glimpse of the past and lets people know what early Port Orchard was like, and what it is like today.”

The comments were made during a candidate forum Thursday at Blondie’s Restaurant that was sponsored by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce. Aside from Childs, speakers included council members Fred Chang, Carolyn Powers and Rob Putaansuu as well as challengers Amy Igloi-Matsuno and Cindy Lucarelli.

The Sidney Museum is located in an old house at the corner of Prospect and Sidney. The city is proposing the construction of a parking garage underneath a new library. While the city has pledged that it will not condemn the building, the museum administration has required repeated assurance.

Museum board president Jud Turner, who was in the audience, said he was pleased by the support voiced by all the candidates.

While several candidates said they would not force the museum to move they would support any action made by the museum board.

“I think we are all saying the same thing,” Chang said. “I would not vote to condemn the building but would have an open mind as to selecting a different location. Maybe it would be better to have it on Bay Street. It depends what the members want.”

Powers spoke last, saying “well if you think I’m going to stand up here and say ‘let’s get rid of it...’ before she was drowned out by laughter.

“You all know that I am opposed to moving that building or moving the museum,” she said. “There are some wonderful people who keep that museum going, and I can’t praise them enough. That museum plays a great role in the culture of our city. I don’t think we have enough culture. I’m talking about the visual arts, the performing arts, we could use more of that. If they choose to move I will support the move but I will not be out there saying they have to move and the building’s coming down.

“I cherish the history we have in that museum and many of the older homes downtown,” she said.

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