Opinion

Don't tell Jingle Bell Run to go the other way

Whether the Jingle Bell Run will stay the course or have to take a detour will be decided by the Port Orchard City Council on Tuesday.

Encountering a potential roadblock with the run less than a month away has jangled the nerves of the event’s always-jingling organizer, Sheila Cline.

The effervescent volunteer, who’s spent more than a year planning and promoting the first Arthritis Foundation fundraiser in Port Orchard, is a bit perplexed that council members or Kitsap Transit officials — and John Clauson is both — would suggest at this late date changing the Jingle Bell route so bus service won’t be affected on the afternoon of Dec. 3.

Clauson was one of the main voices at last week’s council meeting asking about changing the route to go west, away from downtown rather than through the heart of it on Bay Street.

But the Jingle Bell Run’s waterfront route all along has been from City Hall east on Bay Street to the Annapolis dock and back.

“I think,” Cline said this week, “people don’t understand the route is the event.”

They should understand. City Council members, especially those attuned to transit issues, have no excuse for having tuned out that information when it was presented as far back as June.

If anyone had a concern about closing a stretch of Bay Street to westbound traffic for a couple hours during the run, they should have brought it up long before now.

There’s been similar bumbling, apparently, about an event permit application, which the city originally said would not be needed for the Jingle Bell Run because it was being staged as part of the annual Chimes & Lights Festival.

Council members have said they support the Jingle Bell Run and want it to be a successful community event.

Well then, don’t jeopardize the deal by sending the runners the wrong way.

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