McCormick’s resignation leaves a void

We were sorry to see Phil McCormick step down last week as president of the Bay Street Merchants Association. The owner of Rewind Coffee & Music made his decision in response to a petition being circulated by other downtown business owners opposed to his plan to extend the annual Festival by the Bay — which McCormick had a large part in creating — by an extra day.

We’re not privvy to the inner workings of the Bay Street Association and we can sympathize with merchants who feared their businesses would be hurt more than helped by closing Bay Street to vehicle traffic on Saturday as well as Sunday.

But we also know Phil McCormick is a good guy and has only the best interests of the community at heart.

McCormick vows to continue working to improve Port Orchard’s downtown core and there’s no reason to think he won’t. We just think those efforts would have been more forceful had he remained at the helm of the organization best suited to help.

Oke takes a stand

Give credit where credit’s due. As difficult as it must have been for him, Sen. Bob Oke, R-Port Orchard, cast a vote of conscience last week when he sided with other Kitsap County senators to oppose the latest legislative effort to revive the troubled Tacoma Narrows Bridge project.

Oke, one of the bridge’s most ardent supporters, had given every indication up to that point he’d agree to just about any deal that would get the project back on track. He had even tried to broker a compromise with Senate Transportation Committee Chair Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, who insisted on adding several amendments to the House version of the bill that would add another $150 million to the cost tollpayers would have to pay to build the bridge.

But when the measure came to the floor of the Senate, Oke took a principled stand and said enough is enough.

His actions were all the more commendable considering the Senate ultimately passed the bill over his objections. It would have been easier to vote with the herd than to make what turned out to be a futile gesture. Instead, Oke bit his tongue and did what’s best for his constituents.

And we congratulate him for it.

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