Opinion

Port Orchard doesn’t need whining, anarchy

To Dennis Xavier Goss, here is some helpful advice; “It is better to be silent and perceived a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

You began your guest opinion (“Port Orchard’s problems bad and getting worse,” Aug. 4) by slamming the mayor for being out of touch “with the pulse of Port Orchard,” and yet it is clear that you have been blinded by your own personal vendettas.

You drone on for an entire page about the “geriatric” past of Port Orchard. But, on the front page, there is our fine mayor, councilwoman and county commissioners proudly welcoming a facility for low-income seniors.

This new facility came at the price tag of $5.6 million. This facility has translated into jobs and revenue, and its residents will be spending money in the city. That is, if they can dodge your son while he’s riding his skateboard through downtown.

Now let’s move on to your infatuation with the skateboarding ordinance. Have you stopped to think of the thousands of dollars in damage that a $100 skateboard does to private and public property? Are you aware that landlords and business owners ask that the police department keep skateboarders off of their property.

They don’t deserve to have their curbs, walkways, stairs, railings, paint, and everything else scuffed, scratched, scraped, or otherwise damaged once they close their front doors and go home. If you think that it’s no big deal, then let your son and all his friends do their stunts on your kitchen floor.

Or better yet, be a responsible parent and take him to South Kitsap Community Park, or a playground. Contrary to your claims, there are places for them to go, but it is not where there is both pedestrian and vehicle traffic, and it’s not trespassing on others’ property.

In addition, you completely mangled legal definitions to contort the accusation that the skateboarding ordinance is gender- or age-specific. The ordinance is simple — it’s against skateboarding in specific places.

The violation is occurring whether it is your son, or you. The protection of patrons and property in downtown Port Orchard is against this specific conveyance, not against an age group.

That’s like saying the charge of reckless racing is unconstitutional because it is geared toward male drivers between 16 and 25.

You demand change, and yet you are blind to it. The Police Department has been reborn under the leadership of Chief Al Townsend. Port Orchard is across the water from a strategic military installation. Because of Chief Townsend’s foresight, the police department was trained and equipped as a modern agency before Sept. 11, and is already an active element of Homeland Security. Without his leadership, the outdated agency would have been scrambling just to catch up.

As for “take-home” patrol cars, what do the Washington State Patrol and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office have for policy? That’s right, they take them home. Instead of running vehicles for 24 hours, with no personal accountability, each officer takes care of their own vehicle. The vehicle lasts much longer, and the maintenance is better kept, as it has one driver.

If you don’t have knowledge of what you speak of, then refrain. However, if that were the case, we would not have been forced to listen to the negative attitude that you’ve morphed into hollow rhetoric.

Mayor Kim Abel deserves as much support in light of Harborside as President Bush does in light of Sept. 11. It is far from being of the same scale, but then neither politician had any idea what was in store for them when they swore in.

The Harborside has dominated conversation and columns in the Independent, just as much as it dominates police radio traffic on the weekend. Just like the skateboarding ordinance, the needs of the few do not outweigh the needs of many.

There are only two businesses that benefited from the Harborside at its best — Harborside and taxi service. All this talk about the business that was generated fails to recognize that all the other businesses are closed way before last call is sounded. The only time you’d see an intoxicated patron window shopping on Bay Street after leaving the Harborside was while he was urinating.

Unlike the persistent whiners, I see Port Orchard’s future as bright. We have great leadership and great changes are already happening. However, peace and public safety will not be ignored because of bad changes that happen.

Anarchy is not the answer, and solutions are not reached through infantile whining. Stand in support of your leaders or be quiet until you have enough of a majority to be elected yourself.

Mayor Abel wanted change, and she made it happen. Not through mudslinging, but by using the same system she is now a part of. Whether you agree with her or not, at least follow her example. Effect change through positive assertion, instead of making biased accusations, inaccurate conclusions, and false allegations.

Trey Holden is a Port Orchard police officer.

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