Opinion

Kincer did it her way — and that’s the problem

Outgoing Port of Bremerton Commissioner Cheryl Kincer, in her valedictory address on Tuesday, said she’s proud that during her tenure she did things her way.

And she did, too. But it’s nothing to brag about, since she was elected to represent her constituents, not her own agenda.

Kincer noted, for example, that her greatest regret as commissioner was the county’s unwillingness to build a NASCAR track here. Likewise, although she didn’t say so, it’s clear from her actions she laments that the public never embraced the port’s Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project.

And although we agree with her assessment on NASCAR while disagreeing on SEED, the record is clear that when it came to a conflict between what Kincer wanted and what the voters who put her in office wanted, her vision always seem to trump theirs.

For years the public went along with this game simply be-cause most people had little or no idea what the port commissioners were up to and lacked the inclination to find out.

That all came to an abrupt end in 2006, when the board approved a massive property tax increase to fund a $22 million facelift for the Bremerton Marina.

Kincer, predictably, listed the marina as among her proudest accomplishments on Tuesday, but wasn’t willing to test whether the voters shared her enthusiasm by running for office again after casting her affirmative vote.

Since she was the only one of the three commissioners whose district consisted only of Central Kitsap residents, it’s possible her votes weren’t as unpopular over there as they are here.

Then again, she made sure we’ll never know.

In any case, doing it “my way” works if you’re Frank Sinatra. But as a public servant, Kincer had an obligation to sing a different tune. Hopefully her successor gets that better than the port’s Chairman of the Board apparently did.

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