Letters to the editor, Oct. 28
October 28, 2011 · 10:50 PM
Vote yes on Initiative 1183
To the editor:
Like thousands of local restaurant owners, I support a Yes vote on 1183. And I’m not one bit surprised by the misleading ads that big, out-of-state liquor distributors are running against Initiative 1183.
Initiative 1183 is supported by restaurants, grocery stores, wineries, public safety officials and community leaders across our state. 1183 will benefit local restaurants, our employees and our customers. 1183 will get the state out of the business of promoting and selling liquor and bring needed competition to the marketplace, resulting in better prices, better selection and better service for restaurants and consumers alike.
Washington is one of the few states requiring restaurants and consumers to purchase liquor from the government at monopoly prices. 1183 will finally let Washington join 42 other states that allow consumers to purchase liquor at licensed grocery or retail stores. For restaurants like mine, that means lower costs, better selection and better customer service.
For state and local governments, 1183 will generate millions more every year to fund vital public services at a time when it’s needed most.
As to the opponents’ scare ads — don’t believe them. They’re paid for by big out-of-state liquor dealers who want to prevent competition — not protect public safety. Their ads have been called false and deceptive by leading newspapers across the state.
The fact is, other states that allow private stores to sell liquor are no less safe than Washington — and many have lower per capita alcohol consumption than we do here.
I-1183 is a common sense plan for Washington. Please join Washington restaurants like ours in voting YES on 1183.
Amy’s On The Bay Restaurant & Bar
The Y vs. private health clubs
To the editor:
With reference to your recent article about building a Y in Port Orchard printed on October 21, 2011, I was irritated to see how some of our city’s leaders are pushing for a Y in Port Orchard when it would obviously have detrimental effects on the existing privately owned health club facilities in Port Orchard — those that have serviced our community for the last two decades and beyond.
How can it be fair for the YMCA to be granted tax exempt status to serve the same population as a health club who does not have tax exempt status? For years now there has been national controversy about the fairness of the YMCA organizations tax-exempt status vs. the “for profit” health clubs. If you take the time to read Marc Stern’s essay entitled “Private Health Clubs vs the YMCA” (easily found in a web search) you will find plenty of good information in this regard.
The most common charge is that the Y organization has been “duplicating services to the affluent in new plush facilities and have stopped serving their traditional constituencies, the young and the poor.” There are plenty of examples of this happening across the country.
The net effect of a Y in Port Orchard would be to drive our local club owners out of business while driving the associated revenue into the hands of a national organization that has highly paid executives and underpaid staff. How can this possibly benefit our community? Surely our charter must be to support local business especially in these trying economic times? I have sufficient faith in our local community to believe that, given a balance of information, our community will make the right choice and support our local health clubs!
Michele and Timothy Petsch
Local business owners
Pick Strakeljahn for Port job
To the editor:
My choice for Bremerton Port Commissioner in the November 8 election is Axel Strakeljahn.
My reasons for supporting Axel go beyond politics. Axel has 30 years experience working in our community managing businesses and budgets. He has the experience the Port needs to manage the people’s money properly.
Additionally, Axel is a caring, compassionate person, who believes in helping people. He received the Red Cross Hero Award a couple years ago in recognition of his actions to save the life of a gentleman who was experiencing a heart attack in the grocery store that Axel manages.
Again, it’s not so much about politics for me. It’s just that I want to see more people with Axel Strakeljahn’s personal qualities and experience in elected office. We want elected representatives that we can truly be proud of and can trust to do the right thing.
Cucciardi best choice for Port
To the editor:
It is that time again. But this time let’s be sure we elect individuals with backgrounds for managing successfully—whether it be a city, a business or the Port of Bremerton.
Shawn Cucciardi. A proven businessman who is running for Kitsap County Port Commissioner is a winner even before he decided to throw his hat in the ring for Port Commissioner. He runs two of the most difficult businesses one can own—a golf course and a restaurant ... the latter takes patience and a special talent to operate with continued success.
How do I know? I owned a very large restaurant/bar back in the hay-days of my early career and let me tell you for fact that anyone who has owned or operated a restaurant/bar will attest it is one of the most difficult of any businesses to operate successfully year-in and year-out. Shawn has proven his ability to hire staff, manage payrolls, manage full and part-time employees, schedule golf play and tournaments and generally operate one of the most successful golf operations in Kitsap County.
Guess what? He knows how to manage his checkbook! Shawn is a long-time Kitsap executive who knows what our county needs and how to manage the $6 million plus budget of the Port.
Richard A. Flaherty
President & CEO
Leader International Corp.
Support Matthes for mayor
To the editor:
I would like to urge the residents of Port Orchard to vote for Tim Matthes for Mayor in November.
My husband and I have known Tim for over 25 years. He is a good, kind, fair, intelligent man and truly cares about Port Orchard and the community. He believes that the interests of Port Orchard’s citizens should come first. Please vote for Tim Matthes for mayor!
KAPO appreciates county’s decision
To the editor:
Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners would like to thank all parties involved in rejecting the idea that legally built homes should become legal but nonconforming due to changes in the County’s Shoreline Master Program which are currently in the works.
During a meeting of the county commissioners on Oct. 24, David Greetham and Patty Charnas of the Department of Community Development recommended a solution. They asked the commissioners to support staff moving forward on language that proposes to make existing residential and appurtenant structures “conforming,” consistent with SSB-5451. Substitute Senate Bill 5451 was adopted by the Legislature last April and signed into law by Governor Gregoire.
Over the past several weeks, shoreline property owners have delivered petitions requesting this change to the county commissioners with over 700 signatures.
Doug Lyons and Carl Shipley spearheaded the petition drive with the help of Kitsap Alliance
We are grateful to everyone who asked their neighbors to read and sign the petitions, and we are especially grateful to those who presented the signed petitions to the commissioners so the voices of property owners could be heard.
Finally, we would like to thank the county commissioners for hearing our voices and approving staff’s recommendation that the Shoreline Master Program declare existing, lawfully built homes to be “conforming.”
Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners
Support Matthes in mayor’s election
While I do not regularly follow politics, and do not know all of Tim’s political positions, I can speak to his character.
Several years ago my brother was renting a house from Tim Matthes when he had a significant medical issue that required several surgeries and a lengthy recovery. During this time period my brother lost his job and was unable to pay his rent for several months.
Rather than ask my brother to leave or even evict him, Tim allowed my brother to stay in the house and pay what he could. And when my brother was unable to pay any rent, Tim allowed him to stay an addition several months until his recovery allowed him to move in with relatives.
While my brother’s health eventually deteriorated to the point of his passing away this year, I will never forget the kindness afforded him by Tim Matthes during his time of need. Best wishes Tim.
Keep Coppola as city’s mayor
To the editor:
People of Port Orchard, listen to the truth — that if you want our beautiful City of Port Orchard to continue to grow and flourish we must support Mayor Lary Coppola.
He is a tireless hard worker for the things that make a difference in our lives here in our fair City. Vote to re-elect Lary Coppola for continued solid financial decisions. Yes, he’s the one that brought us out of debt! When he first stepped into the office of mayor he witnessed the “dipping into our reserves” to meet payroll! It was a sorry state of affairs and Lary Coppola has balanced the city budget!
Lary is on numerous committees that benefit Port Orchard, and actually meets with our legislators and lobbyists on a regular basis, and because of those meetings, we received a $700,000 budget allotment for the Dekalb Street Pier.
He goes to work every day with a smile, and conducts business at City Hall on our behalf not with trepidation, but with vigor, and gusto above and beyond the call of duty.
Do not be fooled by the “slight of hand” of other politicians. That’s what his opponents are counting on. So, ignore the negative ... and rely on what the facts tell you!
Lary Coppola has made countless contributions to our city — more than any other mayor before him — and his goals and plans surpass our expectations! Please, if you are proud to be a citizen of Port Orchard, as I am, vote to re-elect Lary Coppola. He will keep us going in the right direction, as he has a vision for our city that far surpasses what we have. His opponent has yet to articulate any kind of vision for our future.
Talk with him; go on line and look at all of Lary’s accomplishments and qualifications. You will see they are excellent! And, as far as the thrashing of his salary, he receives less than half of what Bremerton’s mayor receives — and I say he deserves more than he’s making, as he is worth it! What he has done for us far exceeds the job description … and he continues doing for Port Orchard — not just talking. Like the Energizer Bunny, Lary Coppola just keeps on going and going and going, with our best interests at heart.
Hooray for Lary! ... he just brought in 50 new jobs for Port Orchard as a new company is coming here. All I can say at this point is vote for Lary; Thank you Lary Coppola! God bless you, our city, & America!
Blake Island Charters
Mayor’s leadership a positive for city
To the editor:
As a past member of the City of Port Orchard Planning Commission I have worked closely with Tim Matthes and Mayor Lary Coppola. During my time on the commission I became aware of Mayor Coppola’s strong leadership skills and outstanding public service.
While serving as mayor, Lary Coppola has been fiscally responsible while maintaining a high level of services for the people of Port Orchard. As he promised the city’s crime rate has been greatly reduced. Building permits and land use applications are now expedited by a staff that maintains exceptional levels of customer service. Adding to these accomplishments Mayor Coppola has an outstanding group of professionals in his administration that works tirelessly for the betterment of our city.
The citizens of Port Orchard are represented by a strong leader and positive public servant. Please join me in re-electing Mayor Lary Coppola.
Jan Grosso Collins
Manchester should vote on port terms
Manchester citizens decide the place; our port commission will decide the time.
There are 76 port districts within Washington state, 50% of Washington state ports have already adopted four-year terms for their port commissioners. So far at least 265 of us would like new candidates; fresh ideas, and to eliminate the good old boy network at our port. I like the idea of stopping career politicians from serving on our port commission.
A citizen driven petition to shorten commissioner terms of service is being circulated in Manchester. The petition needs at least 260 valid signatures. So far 255 signatures have been collected. The goal is to collect 350 signatures. The deadline is February. The Port is allowed ‘60 or more days’ to put this proposition on the ballot. The commissioners “cannot say no” to filing the proposition, but they can choose the most affordable time. This proposition will likely be placed on the general election in 2012.
Some individuals have claimed it will cost $30,000 to put this proposition on the ballot. They claim it is irresponsible to circulate a petition to reduce terms. This is misinformation. The true cost to file this ballot proposition depends upon how many others ballot measures appear on the ballot. The November 2012 elections will be robust. The greater number of ballots, the cheaper it will be to file this proposition.
Please watch for signature gatherers in your neighborhood. More information will be published as the February petition submission deadline approaches.
Sleazy, misleading campaign mailer
To the editor:
Shuffling through my mail yesterday I came across a campaign mailer sent by something called People for a Better Port Orchard. It is one ofthe most sleazy and misleading attacks I’ve seen in a long time. It seems to highlight three issues concerning our current mayor, Lary Coppola. Let’s review.
First is the issue of the mayor’s salary. This issue came up shortly after the mayor took office and was in response to the many board, commissions and other bodies the mayor was obligated to represent the city. The change in salary was presented to city council and was discussed at length at council work/study sessions that were open to the public. It came before council on a number of occasions where citizens were offered the opportunity to comment. It was passed by city council with the mayor having no say in the matter.
Second, the sale of the mayor’s property to the city was mandated by the Tremont roundabout. The mayor recused himself from all discussions and the final outcome was determined by city council with the input from the city attorney and other city staff.
Third, is the subject of water rates. The council Public Utilities Committee worked for months to put together a plan for water rate adjustment. Water is an enterprise fund meaning the system is funded through the rate structure alone. The mayor has had no input into the process and the end result will be voted on by city council based on recommendations of the Utilities Committee.
If the mailer represents the campaign of the mayor’s opponent I think it would be instructive if the man would tell us that if by some strange circumstance he was elected mayor he would A) roll back the mayor’s salary to that prior to Mayor Coppola taking office and B) ask city council to reopen the negotiations on the sale of Coppola’s property to the city and C) announce that he will ask city council to reject the Utility Committee’s recommendation for a water rate adjustment.
The mean spirited actions of People for a Better Port Orchard should be rejected by the voters. If we are to let these kinds of actions go without a response we are playing into the hands of those who regard our community as a backwater regressive place and has the potential of making us a laughing stock to the rest of the region.
Voters, don’t let that happen.
Keith J. Clark
USMC Vietnam veteran