Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 17, 2008
Contact: Larry Keeton
Director of Community Development
PHONE:  360-337-4402
NO: 08-30

Community Development reduces staff

(Port Orchard, WA) – Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development is laying off 15 employees to help offset a $1.9 million dollar shortfall, according to Larry Keeton, Community Development Director. “The downturn in construction, particularly in single family permits, has decreased projected revenue by 47% when compared to this time last year,” Keeton said. “What I regret most is that these people have worked hard the past two years to reduce a backlog of work that had been here for several years. They will be sorely missed.”

“It’s sad to see good people go. They’ve worked hard over the past couple of years to improve the Department’s operations,” said Commissioner Jan Angel. “With such a dramatic drop in new construction revenue, we have no choice but to make very difficult decisions to keep revenues and expenses in balance.”

Commissioner Josh Brown agreed. “The Department has been making progress to change its way of doing business and they’ve achieved much, although it’s not fixed yet. The department’s permitting fee shortfall coupled with the decline in county sales tax revenue will definitely have impacts on the county’s general fund budget and other County operations.”

Commissioner Steve Bauer, one of the co-author’s of the Department 2006 consultant study, stated that this department has done much to turn itself around in such a short time. “ I’ve found staff at all levels of the organization to be responsive to customers’ needs and we will definitely feel their loss. The financial situation is serious, however. The Department’s leadership, instead of wringing their hands saying we can’t do it, are, with employees’ help, determining alternatives to continue to deliver a reasonable level of service to our citizens to ensure we continue to live within our means.”

People expect government to operate business-like, Keeton pointed out. The reduction in force is necessary. “However, as I tell those I meet with on a continual basis, we are committed to continue to improve our operations so that we are not seen as a deterrent to development that is consistent with the County’s environmental values as identified in the Comprehensive Plan.

Not all layoffs will occur today, but have been programmed through the end of the year in order to transition work efficiently. Employees who receive notices are eligible, and encouraged, to use the County’s transition services.

-XXXX-

 


To contact the Public Information Officer, 
call Doug Bear at 360-337-4598 or email: dbear@co.kitsap.wa.us

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014