Opinion

Is Port Orchard stuck forever with the PSRC?

The Port Orchard City Council took up one of our favorite topics last week — dropping out of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Unfortunately, as practical as doing so might seem, Mayor Lary Coppola points out that the city can’t unilaterally sever its ties with the unelected but nonetheless powerful inter-governmental agency without the approval of the county.

And it seems highly unlikely the Kitsap commissioners would approve dropping out of PSRC with Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown slated to assume the board’s ceremonial chairmanship next year.

Naturally, that could only happen in the lamentable event Brown wins his re-election race in November.

In the meantime, it’s worth wondering how Port Orchard’s continued association with an agency dominated by the region’s larger metropolitan areas and the questionable personalities who govern them benefits communities like ours in the first place.

Coppola, at the council’s Aug. 20 work-study session, recalled attending a reception recently at which the mayors of several PSRC-affiliated cities asked why he opposed the agency’s transportation manifesto, Vision 2040.

“I told them I didn’t like it because it would toll I-5 and I-90 to pay for mass transit,” he said. “Their jaws hit the floor, and they said, ‘It does that?’ They hadn’t even read it.”

“The problem is we’re so outvoted,” echoed Councilman John Clauson. “We sit at that table with three votes compared to 42 others.”

Forty-two others who don’t share Port Orchard’s values or care about its vision of its own future, that is.

We’re all for working with our neighbors and sharing a forum to discuss common concerns. Where we draw the line is being bullied into going along with an agenda clearly at odds with our local needs and desires.

Which is essentially the textbook definition of PSRC.

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