Opinion

Kitsap leaders sold us out for grant money

Sound Off is a public forum. Articles are selected from letters to the editor or may be written specifically for this feature. Today, Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners Executive Director Vivian Henderson takes issue with the county’s recent decision to support the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Vision 2040 document.

There was a big celebration in Seattle on April 24, complete with fireworks, commemorative posters — the works.

Thanks to Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown and representatives from our cities — Carol Arends of Bremerton, Carolyn Powers of Port Orchard; Darlene Kordonowy of Bainbridge Island, Dale Rudolph of Poulsbo and Bill Mahan of the Port of Bremerton — King County is now one step closer to governing Kitsap County.

In justifying his “yes” vote to adopt Puget Sound Regional Council’s Vision 2040 for Kitsap County, Brown made a public statement that Vision 2040 is a routine update of a plan required by law under the Growth Management Act.

There is no such requirement. Brown’s statement is indicative of his unfamiliarity with Vision 2040 and the Growth Management Act.

Brown should read Vision 2040 and the Growth Management Act before he makes anymore ill-informed statements.

Brown’s vote is even more perplexing in light of an e-mail from the county’s director of special projects to the county commissioners dated April 4, in which Eric Baker stated he didn’t have enough information to determine how the county would fare under Vision 2040.

I doubt if any of our representatives who voted to adopt Vision 2040 have read it. If they really have read it and understood it, why would they so willingly give up control of our local government to a non-elected Seattle-based regional government?

Why would they give up control of our local government to an organization in which Kitsap County has 6 percent of the vote and King County has 57 percent?

Why would they willingly take your vote and clout as a taxpayer and make it powerless on issues dictated by PSRC, among which are land use, economic development and transportation?

And where was North KItsap Commissioner Steve Bauer during this gala event? He appears to have ducked out.

In my book, his absence qualifies as a “yes” vote.

The PSRC’s quasi-governmental status allows it to wield considerable clout to force local governments to implement its vision – through its control of millions of dollars in transportation grant monies – while its status insulates it from the voters who are unable to challenge PSRC policies at the ballot box.

And the lure of money is strong. Those representatives who voted on April 24 to adopt Vision 2040 just sold their souls for a few government grants.

Even a brief reading of Vision 2040 reveals that its creation is under the control of environmental extremists and Smart Growth advocates.

There is no science here. It only takes attendance at one PSRC meeting in Seattle to determine that the PSRC agenda is driven and directed by a staff that believes it knows what is best for society and that it should be able to impose its utopian ideas on those of us who may not share them.

I doubt if there is anybody else in Kitsap County who understands Vision 2040 and the machinations of PSRC as well as the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners.

We have followed PSRC carefully for the past three years. We have attended its meetings, and carefully read and studied the draft evolutions of its documents, including Vision 2040 and Destination 2030.

KAPO has conscientiously reviewed and submitted comments, and has provided testimony at the PSRC public hearings.

Our comments and testimony have been summarized by the PSRC as a minority opinion unworthy of serious consideration, as have the concerns of others whose point of view differs from the PSRC elitist dogma.

Public hearings are required by law, but it’s not one of PSRC’s favorite exercises. Last June, the PSRC executive board released an e—mail stating - “PSRC’s adopted Public Participation Plan is designed to outline the minimum requirements for public involvement in order to meet federal, state and PSRC bylaw guidelines.”

So much for open government.

Vision 2040 is not just some “feel-good-about-caring-for-the-.environment” document. It is a serious set of requirements that obligate the counties to establish ordinances that will control people’s lives – tightly packing people into urban centers, getting them out of their cars and taking away their choices.

Vision 2040 is also about turning control of local government over to the progressive King County crowd.

Is that what you want?

South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel cast the lone dissenting vote from Kitsap County against the adoption of Vision 2040. Angel understands the ramifications of PSRC and Vision 2040.

“The problem,” she said, “is it’s another layer of government regulation that could be more restrictive than the GMA. This plan takes away local control.”

She is so right.

In early February, KAPO asked the county commissioners to take a serious look at whether or not Kitsap County’s membership in the PSRC is in the best interest of our county and its citizens. We’ve asked the county commissioners to appoint an unbiased fact-finding committee to research the advantages and disadvantages for Kitsap County to continue as a member of the PSRC and to explore other options which may be more beneficial to our community.

So far, no action has been taken on KAPO’s request. Angel supports this effort.

Your local government, the people who are supposed to work for you, has just sold you out. Now it is up to you to set them straight.

Please contact the county commissioners and let them know that you support the appointment of a fact-finding committee to determine if Kitsap County’s membership in PSRC is in its own best interest.

Call the county commissioners at (360) 337-7146, or e-mail as follows: Jan Angel — jangel@co.kitsap.wa.us; Josh Brown — jwbrown@co.kitsap.wa.us; Steve Bauer — sbauer@co.kitsap.wa.us.

While you’re at it, thank Jan and give her your support. Tell Josh and Steve to get this committee appointed and put it to work.

Finally, check out KAPO’s Web site (www.kapo.org) for more information on PSRC, or contact me at (360) 871-2383 or viviankapo@wavecable.com.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates