The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 13 appointed David Lewis to serve as Kitsap County Clerk. He fills the vacancy created with the resignation of Alison Sonntag July 30, 2021, who served in the position since August 2017. His term runs until elections in November 2022 are certified.
"In David's 37-year career in the Superior Court Clerk's office he has been involved in nearly every aspect of those operations," noted Commissioner Rob Gelder, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. "He has a reputation across the community as being accessible and a servant leader, not to mention he received off-the-chart approval in the Bar Association poll. He is a wonderful choice to be the next Kitsap County Clerk and the Commissioners wish him much success."
Commissioners selected Mr. Lewis from a pool of three candidates nominated August 24 by the Democratic Central Committee of Kitsap County. The Washington State Constitution requires the Board of County Commissioners to appoint replacements for vacancies in any partisan county elected office. The person appointed must be from the same political party as the elected officer who held the seat.
The County Clerk is the administrative and financial officer for Superior Court. The Clerk receives, processes and preserves documents for Superior Court matters, including criminal, civil, family law, probate, guardianship, paternity and adoption. As financial officer, the Clerk collects fees and fines, victim restitution, and maintains the court's trust account. The Clerk also performs quasi-judicial functions such as issuing warrants of arrest, and provides jury management of all Kitsap County courts.
During his more than three decades of service in the Kitsap County Clerk's office, Mr. Lewis has served under four Clerks and most recently led the Court Services Unit, overseeing protection orders and jury and courthouse facilitators. He was a long-time specialist and trainer for protection orders, especially in helping victims of domestic violence and as a community liaison to the courts. Most recently, he has taken on supervisory roles within the office and assisted in budget development and administration. His goals include continuing to make resources of the office more widely visible to the public and adapting new technologies to support the court system.
Outside of his career in the Clerk's office, Mr. Lewis has been a youth and adult mentor through sports programs for over 25 years, and served 15 years on the board of directors of Kitsap Legal Services where he has been involved in personnel decisions and fiscal management of the non-profit organization that coordinates volunteer attorneys, paralegals and others to help people advocate for themselves, find resources and understand the legal system.
Learn more about the Clerk's office here.
"The commissioners are excited to welcome Denise as she fills this vital role in the county organization," noted Commissioner Rob Gelder, chair of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. "As a human resource dependent service provider, the importance of the director cannot be understated as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of labor laws and an aging workforce and remain competitive as an employer of choice."
Denise brings a wealth of experience in the field of human resources both as a deputy prosecutor, advising appointed and elected officials, and as a labor relations analyst managing emerging, complex labor issues. She will provide capable leadership as Kitsap County continues to work through challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the retirement of senior staff and on-going recruitment.
A graduate of Washington State University, she also attended the University of Puget Sound Law School (now Seattle University School of Law) and worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney for King County. She served two terms on the City of Tacoma Civil Service Board.
Denise joins Human Resources and its 12 staff members who provide services to Kitsap County government's roughly 1,120 employees. She fills the position vacated in November 2020 with the departure of Nancy Buonanno Grennan who left county employment in November 2020 to take the position of deputy executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council.
(Port Orchard, WA) - Due to rising fire danger, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal is moving to a Phase 2 burn ban starting Saturday, July 10.
A Phase Two Burn ban prohibits all outdoor recreational burning in the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County. The ban begins Saturday and remains in effect until lifted. “Continued seasonal warm, dry weather has dried all fuels to a critical point where no outdoor burning is safe,” according to David Lynam, Kitsap County Fire Marshal.
This action goes beyond the governor’s recent proclamation and prohibits all outdoor burning including charcoal briquettes and recreational/campfires. No outdoor fires are allowed except in free standing BBQ appliances using natural gas or propane fuel. BBQ appliances should be used on hard non-combustible surfaces.
“We are several weeks ahead of our normal drying pattern due to the heat wave in June. Wildfires in eastern Washington are growing together and all available resources are headed that way. Kitsap has resources available but if something kicks off resources from other areas are tight,” Lynam added.
Burn bans are not anticipated to be lifted until sometime this fall with the return of seasonal rains.
This ban and others that are imposed due to fire danger are not the same as the air quality burn bans implemented by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
For additional information, contact the Burn Ban page or visit your local fire agency's website. Links to the Fire agencies are on the Burn Ban page.
Date: July 2, 2021
Kitsap County Coroner Jeff Wallis issued this statement in response to questions regarding deaths during the recent heat wave.
As a result of the unprecedented heat in our area this week, our office is investigating four deaths as being potentially related to the high temperatures. These deaths involve a 71-year-old male, a 66-year-old female, an 80-year-old male, and an 88-year-old female. All were residents of Kitsap County.
Jeff Wallis, Kitsap County Coroner360.337.7077
Click the links below for more information about County resources.All news releases | County Home Page | Inclement Weather | The Road Report
Public CommunicationsManagerDoug Bear360.337.4598
Sheriff's OfficePublic Information OfficerKen Dickinson360.337.5698
Kitsap Electronic Notification System\
Questions? Contact Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Have questions or complaints about fireworks? Go to the Kitsap County Fire Marshal's fireworks website to find information on what's legal, and how to safely celebrate. Kitsap 911 set up an online complaint form for the public to report non-threatening fireworks so that phone lines remain open for emergencies. Read the press release to learn more about when law enforcement agencies in Kitsap County will respond to fireworks complaints (and when they may not) and the increase in fire danger due to fireworks. The Kitsap County Fire Chiefs issued a statement today warning about fireworks-related hazards: https://bit.ly/3w3b5TR
> To learn more about when and what fireworks are allowed, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, go to: https://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/Pages/Fireworks.aspx
> Read the Kitsap 911 release about law enforcement response and fireworks safety: http://www.kitsap911.org/.../2021/06/4th-of-July-2021.pdf
> To report non-threatening firework complaints online, go to:
For Sunday, July 4th
Olympic View Transfer Station: Open Fourth of July
Recycling and Garbage Facilities in Hansville, Silverdale, Olalla: Closed Fourth of July. Regular schedule resumes after holiday.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility: Always closed on Sunday.
Bainbridge Island Transfer Station (privately owned): Closed Fourth of July. Regular schedule resumes after holiday.
Expect longer than normal wait times. Holiday weekends are among the busiest times at our facilities. The heaviest traffic is typically between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Our scrap metal hauler's holiday schedule may cause unexpected closure of the scrap metal containers at Olympic View Transfer Station and Silverdale Recycling and Garbage Facility in the days before or after a holiday.
If the containers are full and closed when you arrive, do not leave your scrap metal on the ground. Pay for disposal, wait until another day, or take it to a private scrap metal recycler instead.
Our waste facility staff screens incoming loads for fire hazards. Soak all used fireworks and "duds" in water for at least 15 minutes before disposal.
Follow these disposal instructions to safely get rid of BBQ charcoal, briquettes, ashes, and other fire-causing materials.
Solid Waste | Recycle.KitsapGov.com
Recycling questions? Search What Do I Do With It?
Community input is sought on the 2021 draft update to the four-year area plan for local aging residents that identifies gaps in services, demographic trends, challenges, and opportunities. The Kitsap County Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Long-Term Care, the designated Area Agency on Aging, developed the plan and encourages residents to submit comments on the draft update and learn more about resources and services available.
The 2020-2023 area plan addresses how the Kitsap County Area Agency on Aging administers programs and allocates discretionary funding to support older adults and adults with disabilities living in the community. The 2021 draft update includes a report on accomplishments from 2020-2021, COVID-19 response information and program, services, and staffing updates.
The draft update plan is posted to the Aging and Long-Term Care website at www.agingkitsap.com. A printed copy is available from the Aging and Long-Term Care office. Please call (360) 337-5700 to request a copy.
Comments on the draft update will be accepted until July 26, 2021 and may be mailed to the Kitsap County Division of Aging and Long-Term Care, 614 Division St. MS-5, Port Orchard, WA, 98366 or emailed to Tawnya Weintraub at TWeintra@co.kitsap.wa.us.
The 2020-2023 draft update plan will be presented during the Aging and Long-Term Care Advisory Council meeting August 18, and the Board of County Commissioners work-study meeting from 10 to 11 a.m. September 8. The public is welcome to attend these virtual meetings. The agendas and meeting information for the advisory council meeting will be posted here and for the Board of County Commissioners here.
For more information, contact Tawnya Weintraub at email@example.com, (360) 337-5700, (800) 562-6418 or TDD (360) 307-4280.
Rising fire danger prompts Fire Marshall to impose ban
Date: June 24, 2021
(Port Orchard, WA) - Due to rising fire danger, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal is imposing a ban on most outdoor burning starting at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, June 26.
Under the Phase I Fire Danger Burn Ban, all outdoor burning permits are suspended until further notice and all burning is prohibited except for recreational or cooking fires in approved devices and locations. For more detail about what's approved and what's not under the ban, see Outdoor Burning Frequently Asked Questions.
Local fire districts have seen recent increases in wildland fire responses, and an early start to the wildland season throughout the west has already put pressure on available regional resources. Unusually hot weather is forecast for the coming weekend. Higher than normal temperatures are likely to continue and lower than normal amounts of rain are predicted over the next two weeks, worsening fire risk in a landscape that's already dry. Escaped outdoor fires are the leading cause of wildland fires, sparking nearly 85% of all vegetation blazes.
"We're asking the public to be aware of the sharp increase in fire danger and work with us to prevent dangerous wildland fires from outdoor burning as well as other causes," says Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam. He urges caution with all potential ignition sources.
A more stringent Phase 2 Fire Danger Burn Ban may be imposed if conditions continue to deteriorate. It will not be lifted until there is a marked improvement in wildfire risk across the region as well as significant and sustained rainfall.
For additional information, contact the Fire Marshal's Office at 360.337.5777 or your local fire department.
Port Orchard, WA
Date: June 18, 2021
Tina Nelson, Senior Program Manager with Kitsap County Public Works, was honored by the Washington State Association of County Engineers as 2020 Program Manager of the Year. In her role as Kitsap County Public Works’ Engineering Division Manager, Tina oversees engineering design, survey, real estate services, outreach and construction management activities. This award recognizes Tina for her outstanding leadership and commitment to her profession and the community. The award was presented on June 9th at the WSACE’s annual conference.
Tina began her career with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Washington State University and has over 30 years of experience as an engineer and project manager in the private and public sectors. Prior to joining Kitsap County Public Works in 2006, Tina worked for The City of Tacoma and a private sector engineering firm.
“Tina consistently delivers complex projects on time, safely and within budget. Her tireless efforts and attention to detail are critical factors in Kitsap County Public Works successful preparation and execution of the annual construction program and six-year transportation improvement programs” said Joe Rutan, Assistant Director of Public Works and County Engineer. “Tina has developed a team of managers and staff that support and encourage personal and professional excellence and growth.”, Rutan added.
The pandemic presented many unexpected challenges for those managing construction projects. The award recognizes Tina’s steady leadership that allowed 2020 to be a successful year of engineering design and field construction. Several major projects, including an emergency bridge construction when a culvert failed in South Kitsap, were completed while complying with the new work world within a pandemic.
“This award recognizes how Tina overcame these challenges using exceptional leadership strategies and effective in-person and electronic communication with her staff and the public to keep things moving” Rutan added.
“I’m certainly honored to be recognized but the award was earned by the entire team,” said Nelson. She credits her staff’s ability to respond to the changing work environment, and the cooperation and coordination with the contractors as the keys to a successful program. “It’s no different in a pandemic. Good work happens when teams work together and communicate effectively,” Nelson added.
“We are very proud of Tina’s accomplishments and thrilled that the Washington State Association of Engineers honored her for this prestigious award,” said Andrew Nelson, Director of Public Works. “Tina’s enthusiastic drive and unending commitment to improve our infrastructure in Kitsap County are evident in every project her team delivers.”
Sheriff's OfficePublic Information OfficerScott Wilson360.337.5698
(Port Orchard, WA) - Change of value notices are being sent to 108,562 property taxpayers throughout Kitsap County. The Assessor is required by state law to appraise property at 100% of market value. These notices are based upon property values as of January 1, 2021 and are used when calculating property tax obligations payable in 2022.
Taxpayers can check their values and characteristics in the “Parcel Details” feature on the Assessor’s website. You can find information regarding the various property tax exemptions and sales trends for the county there. Sales data for specific residential neighborhoods and commercial property class types is also available online.
The Kitsap County Assessor’s Office is available to answer your questions in person, via email or by calling 360.337.7160. Our office hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Fridays, 9:00 AM to noon.
To file an appeal, contact the Kitsap County Board of Equalization
Fees to increase at Kitsap County Waste Facility on July 1, 2021
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June 1, 2021
KITSAP COUNTY, WA - The Kitsap County Solid Waste Division will increase fees at Olympic View Transfer Station, a county-owned waste facility, on July 1, 2021. The fee increases are part of a four-year rate plan approved by the Kitsap Board of Commissioners in 2018. The plan covers a series of incremental fee increases between 2018 and 2021.
This is the fourth consecutive year of increases at Olympic View Transfer Station. The $22 minimum fee remains the same, while the amount of waste covered under the minimum fee decreases. Fees for most other materials go up. Currently, a five-year study is in process to evaluate the fees and costs for upcoming years at all facilities.
Fees at the Recycling and Garbage Facilities in Hansville, Silverdale, and Olalla are not increasing in 2021.
Why are disposal fees increasing and how are funds used?
The Kitsap County Solid Waste Division periodically adjusts fees to cover costs. A 2017 cost study done by the Division found that disposal fees no longer covered current and projected costs. Disposal fees fund local solid and hazardous waste programs, facilities, and services. Fees are not used for general county government, and the Division does not receive property or sales tax revenues.
Key funding needs include:
View the Solid Waste Fees Fact Sheet (PDF). to learn more about solid waste disposal fees and funding.
How else can I recycle and dispose of waste?
Subscribe to curbside collection service from the service provider in your area. Curbside service offers several advantages.
Find more helpful suggestions on the Solid Waste Fees Fact Sheet (PDF).
Olympic View Transfer Station is located near the Bremerton airport on Highway 3 and processes approximately 220,000 tons of waste per year. Waste Management, Inc. operates the facility under contract. The facility sends garbage by train to a landfill in Arlington, Oregon and sends recyclables by truck to a sorting facility in Tacoma.
The Recycling and Garbage Facilities in Hansville, Silverdale, and Olalla collect garbage, recycling, and limited hazardous household products. The Division contracts haulers to bring the garbage and recyclable materials to Olympic View Transfer Station for processing.
The Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Bremerton collects and processes hazardous products from Kitsap and Mason County households and from qualifying businesses.
The Washington State Ferries (WSF) system is assigning the Salish to the Seattle/Bremerton route, something only done once before, beginning sometime next week, likely Thursday, May 13.
There is a new overhead loading (OHL) at Colman Dock for Bainbridge passengers, built to accommodate that route’s larger number of walk-ons. The OHL alignment was tested with a boat of the same class as the Salish. Unfortunately, because of its width, the boat and OHL don't align. Because of this walk-ons have to load and unload using the car deck. This can cause delays, but more importantly, it creates real challenges to ADA passengers, exacerbated by current terminal construction.
While the Salish is on the Seattle/Bremerton route, currently scheduled for at least seven weeks, WSF is swapping the slips in Seattle into which Bainbridge and Bremerton passengers load and unload – which also means a swap of the destinations’ vehicle holding areas. This will help alleviate the challenges while the Salish is on this route.
This is a courtesy transmission on behalf of the Washington State Department of Transportation. Contact WSF Customer Service at 888-808-7977 for additional information or if you have questions.
Meredith Green, Kitsap County Treasurer, announces that under a new state law just passed on April 16, businesses that have lost revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for a deferral of their 2021 real property taxes. Businesses that apply for the program by April 30 and establish a payment plan with Kitsap County Treasurer will not have penalties and interest applied to their taxes due, as long as the business remains compliant with the terms of the payment plan.
The Kitsap County Treasurer is now accepting applications from eligible business taxpayers. Applications may be submitted by emailing a completed
Department of Revenue form to
firstname.lastname@example.org . Requests for deferral must be made by April 30, 2021 to participate in the program.
To be eligible, the business must meet these criteria:
The owner of real property receiving a deferral must pass on the entire benefit to a tenant or sublessee if the tenant or sublessee is required by the lease or other contract to pay the property tax expense of the owner.
Payment plan features include:
For more information, visit
email@example.com or call 360-337-7135.
Kitsap County closed on purchase of the former Olympic Fitness Club building April 14 to be used for temporary emergency housing programs. The building was purchased for $1.5 million with a combination of state grants designated to create new emergency housing and provide local funding for homeless and affordable housing projects.
"Many in our community struggle to find housing they can afford as the costs surge throughout the Puget Sound region. As prices rise, creative shared housing solutions have appeared. Although limited available housing is still a barrier to finding a place to live, the recent Kitsap Pavilion shelter provides a valuable example for what is possible in South Kitsap," said Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido.
The purchase came after a countywide search to find a suitable building. This facility, located at 4459 Mile Hill Drive, was selected for many reasons, including large square footage, its South Kitsap location, access to public transportation and proximity to a wide range of services.
Initially, the Kitsap Public Health District and Kitsap County were considering using the site for community COVID-19 vaccine clinics, but ultimately chose a different site, located elsewhere in South Kitsap.
The county is in the process of assessing requirements to bring the building up to code and what permits will be needed. The permitting process will take longer than originally expected, postponing a neighborhood meeting that was scheduled April 24. The meeting will be rescheduled once the county has firmed up the timeline for occupancy and what permits will require community notifications and opportunities for public input. Neighbors near the facility will be contacted directly when the meeting is rescheduled.
"South Kitsap is home to many people who need access to emergency housing and supportive services. We know the best way to help people get off the streets and out of the woods is to offer them a safe, clean, decent place to live, and connection with supportive services, while they are re-building their lives and transitioning back to stable permanent housing. That's the goal for this facility," said Kirsten Jewell, Kitsap County Department of Human Services Housing and Homelessness Division manager.
A website providing information about the project is under construction and will be available at www.kcowa.us/skhousing.
April 19, 2021
Kitsap County Commissioners proclaimed April 18-24, 2021 as Kitsap County Volunteer Appreciation Week, in recognition of the more than 4,000 volunteers who annually contribute their time, talent, and expertise to county government. Kitsap County also joins the country in observing National Volunteer Week. View the Commissioners' proclamation here. Gov. Jay Inslee also proclaimed this week as Volunteer Appreciation Week.
We celebrate and honor the incredible volunteers who so positively affect the health, safety and well-being of our communities. They are a key link in communicating and distributing information and resources. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers are more vital and their impact greater than ever. We are humbled by their selfless contributions - they are critical, invaluable partners.
When COVID-19 hit the county, many Kitsap County volunteer programs had to pause. But not for long. When calls went out for volunteers to help in the response to the pandemic, hundreds of people put their hands up and offered to assist. They support COVID-19 test sites, community vaccine clinics, the staging warehouse where personal protection equipment is distributed, call centers, quarantine and isolation centers and opened severe weather shelters last winter.
Dedicated volunteers remain active in many county programs. Among these are the over 200 volunteers serving on our county advisory groups. They pivoted meetings to online platforms and continue serving as conduits to share important information about projects and programs, shape policy and make funding recommendations.
Our Parks Department that relies on hundreds of stewards to maintain county parks created a COVID-19 safety program so volunteers could get back into our parks and keep them safe and accessible. Natural resources docents, 4-H leaders and master gardeners of our Washington State University Kitsap Extension office also adjusted their practices and continued their programs and outreach.
In cases where some of our volunteer programs had to go on hiatus, people sought out other ways to contribute their time: with local food banks and school districts, sewing masks, distributing safety supplies and raising funds to support local businesses and non-profit organizations.
We have so much gratitude for the outpouring of generosity and caring from the thousands of dedicated volunteers throughout the county. Their compassion and extraordinary energy uplift us all and improve the lives and livelihoods of everyone. Thank you, Kitsap County Volunteers!
Volunteers truly are a work of HEART!
To learn more about Kitsap County volunteer opportunities, visit http://kcowa.us/volunteer.
Kitsap County this week launched the largest-ever eviction prevention program, funded by approximately $18 million from several different state and federal funding sources, providing financial support to low-income individuals and households who may be behind on rent and utilities.
"Helping individuals and families maintain their housing, and avoid the potential devastation of evictions, is the number one thing we can do to support our entire community on the path to recovery," said Commissioner Rob Gelder, chair of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.
In order to make it easy for tenants to apply for funding, Kitsap County has rolled all of this funding into a single new program - the Kitsap Eviction Prevention Assistance program (KEPA) - so that eligible households do not have to sort through different requirements and applications for the different funding sources. Instead, there is a single Pre-Application that determines eligibility for all programs. Either tenants or landlords may initiate the Pre-Application.
"We hope to make this program as easy to access as possible for eligible tenants who are behind on rent," noted Kirsten Jewel, Kitsap County Department of Human Services Housing and Homelessness Division manager. "The goals of the program are threefold: to benefit tenants so they can get caught up on rent and utilities, to help landlords who can collect past due rent and pay their bills, and to support the community so that we can avoid a tsunami of evictions due to tenants' inability to pay rent once the eviction moratorium is lifted."
Eligible households can apply for past-due rent, current rent, and up to two months of future rent, which will be paid directly to the landlord. In addition, program funds may be used for tenants' past-due utilities charges, paid directly to utility companies.
To be eligible, households must have a total income of 50% or less of area median income and experienced a financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A chart showing these income amounts by household size is available on the program website. This assistance is only for renters and landlords. Homeowners are not eligible to apply unless they are the landlord.
Tenants who aren't sure whether they qualify can still submit the Pre-Application and may be referred to other programs for support if they don't qualify for this eviction prevention or utility assistance.
Kitsap County has contracted with Kitsap Community Resources to be the primary distribution agency. This means most tenants and landlords will be working with them directly. Kitsap County also contracted with Housing Kitsap and the Bremerton Housing Authority to provide eviction prevention funding to their existing tenants.
The Coffee Oasis will be accepting applications from youth and young adults (up to 26 years old) who may also submit an application through Kitsap Community Resources. The program is set up so there is "no wrong door" and applications will be routed to the appropriate agency.
In addition, Kitsap County contracted with six outreach partner organizations that will work directly with historically under-served minority populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. These partners will provide outreach, education, and application assistance to the populations they serve and include Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center, Mt. Zion Church, Gather Together Grow Together, Surviving Change, Foundation for Homeless and Poverty Management, and House of Refuge/Hope 360.
Information about the program, including the Pre-Application, is available at http://kcowa.us/kepa. The Pre-Application is also available in Spanish.
Informational flyers are available to print and share:
If you recycle at home in Kitsap County or use any of the recycling and garbage drop-off facilities in Kitsap County, you are invited to take the 2021 Kitsap County Recycling Survey.
We'll use your feedback to update local recycling programs, guidelines, websites, and signage throughout Kitsap County. We haven’t conducted a survey like this in many years and we’re excited to hear from you!
The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete. At the end of the survey, there is an opportunity to enter a raffle to win a $100 Visa gift card. There will be three winners.
Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KitsapCountyRecycling-English to take the survey.
April 7, 2021
Kitsap County Board of Commissioners statement condemning violence against Asian American Pacific Islander communities:
The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is deeply saddened by the recent violence perpetrated against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. From the massacre in Atlanta at Asian American-owned and populated businesses, to the physical attacks on elders in San Francisco, Oakland, New York City and unfortunately, many more, including recent racially motivated incidents in Kitsap County. It is disheartening we write a statement of solidarity for the AAPI community just nine months after our similar letter to the editor, issued in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
These attacks emerged in the wake of statements attempting to falsely ascribe blame to AAPI people for the spread of COVID-19 and we unequivocally stand alongside our AAPI neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family during this time. We also call on county residents to condemn this violence and accompanying harassment that puts our AAPI communities at risk.
We must not only stand by the APPI community today but commit to the long-term work of building an inclusive multiracial community where marginalized communities thrive and are valued as an essential part of the diverse fabric of America.
Commissioner Robert Gelder, Chair
Commissioner Edward E. Wolfe
Commissioner Charlotte Garrido
This week, Kitsap County Commissioners renewed their commitment to advancing equity in the allocation of services and resources, identifying barriers and ensuring there are more opportunities for community members to be a part of the process of developing, strengthening and supporting policies and procedures. As part of this, Commissioners took the next steps in creation of a diversity and equity inclusion committee and will be establishing a charter and bylaws, in consultation with community members.
The committee’s work will include assisting the county in drafting goals, strategies and actions in its review of procedures, policy and planning through an equity lens. Commissioners will issue a request for qualifications for a consultant to join staff in coordinating the effort and supporting outreach to communities to ensure the structure and recruitment for the group are inclusive.
“While the pandemic may have slowed our progress, the commitment is solid for creating and enhancing a culture and operational lens to make sure our workforce, work processes, and boards/commissions are reflective of the community we serve.” said Robert Gelder, current chair of the Board of Commissioners.
This is a long-term commitment to improve and more deeply integrate diversity and equity in the delivery of services and resources to Kitsap communities and the county workforce. It also provides meaningful opportunities to educate staff, extend and create community partnerships and have impactful dialogue with community members.
Commissioners appreciate and value the relationships they have with Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities in Kitsap and will continue to work with them towards a common goal of improving and ensuring equitable access and outcomes for everyone.
In addition to a commitment to create a diversity, equity and inclusion committee, Kitsap County has joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, a national network of government groups working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all, offering staff training, resources and toolkits. County Commissioners are also looking at efforts in other counties and cities nationwide in creating an equity and inclusion strategy.
The request for qualifications to hire a coordinator is expected to be released next month and Commissioners will be meeting regularly with county leadership to work in coordination and ensure all departments are engaged in the effort. Commissioners hope to have a consultant hired and begin formation of the committee this summer.
The Kitsap County Department of Human Services is offering informational question-and-answer sessions for organizations in Kitsap County that have never applied for or received a Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court grant with funds generated from the 1/10th of 1% treatment sales tax. Now is the time to start planning for submitting a 2022 funding proposal. The request for proposals opens May 28, 2021. Grant applications are due Aug. 6.
These informational sessions provide opportunities to meet with a grant writing specialist, network with other organizations that have behavioral health needs, discuss common issues and problems, and get your grant writing questions answered.
Sessions are scheduled:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the meeting.
Individualized sessions or presentations and can be scheduled with your organization. For more information, contact Gay Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-337-4827.
Community input is sought on the draft 2021-2026 Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Behavioral Health Strategic Plan for funding programs through Kitsap County's 1/10th of 1 percent local treatment sales tax. Written public comment will be accepted through April 1, 2021. View the strategic plan here.
The plan was developed by the Kitsap County Department of Human Services, in collaboration with community leaders and subject matter experts. This team created a plan with goals, objectives, and strategies aimed at meeting the behavioral health needs of the Kitsap community.
The strategic plan guides review of applications for funding to ensure programs receiving treatment tax funds evaluate and implement the strategies and are transparent, accountable and collaborative.
View the draft plan here. To learn more about the 1/10th of 1% treatment tax program, including programs funded in previous years, click here.
Please submit all comments, no later than April 1, 2021, to:
Kitsap County Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Programs614 Division Street, MS-23Port Orchard, WA 98366
Comments may also be emailed to email@example.com.
For more information, contact Gay Neal, coordinator for the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Programs, at 360-337-4827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitsap County Parks invites the public to a virtual community meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 16 to learn more about the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Master Plan Project and work together to determine a shared vision for the future of the park. This is the first in a series of interactive meetings to explore potential recreational opportunities and provide feedback. Register to attend at http://portgambleforestpark.com or contact Kitsap County Parks at email@example.com or 360-337-5350.
"The Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park was over a decade in the making. A park that is the result of a confluence of various community desires – regional trail system, conservation, ride park, etc. The master planning effort will help refine the vision and plot the path forward," noted Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder.
The 3,500-acre county park has 65 miles of volunteer-maintained trails and logging roads and will soon include a 177-acre mountain bike ride park. The Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Master Plan process, taking place throughout 2021 with a final plan submitted to County Commissioners for approval in early 2022, will review strategies for restoration and protection of natural areas, land management for public access and recreation, and relevant economic benefits and tradeoffs. These strategies will be evaluated while considering community preferences, financial feasibility, easements and land suitability.
"Developing master plans for parks is extremely important as it provides a formal way to engage with our community to gather ideas and input, all of which will lead us to a shared vision for the future of the park," said Kitsap Parks Director Alex Wisniewski. "The acquisition of the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park was quite an amazing feat and it's now really exciting to take the next step."
Since acquiring the land in late 2017, Kitsap County Parks has worked to determine the long-term possibilities and uses of the Port Gamble park. The land will continue to undergo changes associated with logging and regeneration over the next several decades. The master planning process is an opportunity for the community to provide input to guide decisions on the management and best uses for the park, both now and into the future.
For further information, to register for the meeting and to sign up to receive email notifications on the master plan process, go to http://portgambleforestpark.com. To learn more about Kitsap County parks and stewardship opportunities, go to www.kitsapgov.com/parks.
Timber harvesting got underway Feb. 26 in Kitsap County’s Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park and will continue through June 2021, depending on weather conditions and operational constraints. Rayonier will conduct the harvesting and related activities inside park boundaries. Rayonier maintains timber harvesting rights for portions of the heritage park through 2042, which was integral to the county purchasing the property.
Kitsap County Parks is aware of the impact timber harvest activity has on recreational activities and will provide updates as they become available. Signage is posted at trail and road entrances along the haul route. Trails within or near timber harvesting activity are closed and off-limits to the public to ensure safe operation of the equipment and for the safety of park and trail users.
Trails closed for the duration are Downhell and The Hood. Other adjacent trails may also be closed when activity is nearby. Please avoid all timber harvest operations – thank you for your cooperation!
Hauling trucks will enter and exit from the Bay View parking lot and trailhead on the west side of State Route 104. The parking lot and trailhead will remain open to the public, but caution is required when hauling trucks are using roadways. Please do not park in front of or block the access gate.
Check the Kitsap County Parks Department website for updates at https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-337-5350.
Learn more about a new transit center in Central Kitsap with Kitsap Transit's Executive Director John Clauson at the March 3 meeting of the Central Kitsap Community Council that takes place remotely from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Staff from Kitsap County Public Works will also provide updates on improvement projects in the Silverdale area including sewer, stormwater and other upgrades on Bay Shore Drive, Washington Avenue and Byron Street, and the widening of Ridgetop Boulevard.
Everyone is welcome to join and there will be time for the public to ask questions. To join the meeting, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8414790334 or by phone, call 253-215-8782, webinar ID: 841 4790 3341
For more information, contact Katharine Shaffer in the Kitsap County Commissioners' Office at Kshaffer@co.kitsap.wa.us
Annual awards celebrate local environmental action.
Let's celebrate individuals, groups, and businesses in the community who go above and beyond to protect the environment!
Have you met an educator that's passionate about the Earth? What about a group that's committed to restoring the environment through native planting? Anyone you know taking action to clean up Kitsap? There are many ways people join the effort to restore our Earth.
Earth Day 2021 is on April 22nd. Kitsap County Public Works and the Board of County Commissioners want to recognize Kitsap’s outstanding environmental stewards. We need your help to do it!
Complete the nomination form by March 28, 2021 to tell us who you are nominating, and why they deserve an Earth Day Award.
The Kitsap County Board of County Commissioners will celebrate Earth Day Award Winners at a virtual award ceremony.
183 local individuals, businesses, and groups have received Earth Day Awards from Kitsap County Public Works since 1993.
The first Earth Day began in 1970 and is credited with launching the modern environmental movement which led to landmark environmental laws, including the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. This year, on Earth Day's 51st anniversary, the world turns its attention toward climate change with the global climate summit.
There are diverse ways to get involved in this year's Earth Day efforts if you're interested. Become an Earth Day partner and host your own event with the Earth Day toolkit. Get involved in the Canopy Project to plant trees, advocate for climate literacy, learn about sustainable food practices, and much more at Earth Day 2021.
Lauren Liming | Program Coordinator
Kitsap County Solid Waste Division
Solid Waste | kcowa.us/earthday
Kitsap County Commissioners sent a letter today to Governor Jay Inslee in response to the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan, conveying their frustration over its inconsistencies, the regional approach being used, Kitsap's designation and the metrics applied that are required to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2.
In the letter, Commissioners request the State move Kitsap County to the Puget Sound region of its phased recovery plan, which includes Snohomish, King and Pierce counties, and advance the county to Phase 2 as were those counties Jan. 28. Commissioners also ask that metrics be revised to better reflect the public health conditions for communities of all sizes. Kitsap County is currently designated in the Northwest region with Clallam, Jefferson and Mason counties.
Read the Commissioners' letter here.
Join Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe and the Central Kitsap Community Council for a Central Kitsap Town Hall, to be held virtually from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 3 via Zoom.
Updates and discussion will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, planning for the Central Kitsap community campus, homelessness and affordable housing. Everyone is welcome to join and there will be ample time for the public to ask questions and share ideas!
To join the Central Kitsap Town Hall, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85678597024
To join by phone, call 253-215-8782 Webinar ID: 856 7859 7024
For more information, contact Katharine Shaffer in the Commissioners' Office at Kshaffer@co.kitsap.wa.us
Some Kitsap students are going back to school and that means drivers need to watch out for those that are walking or waiting for the bus.
Here are a few tips to help keep our kids safe.
Slow down. Speed limits are reduced in school zones for a reason. Most schools have some kind of warning lights so pay attention to them, and be aware of crosswalks.
Watch for busses which make frequent stops. Be aware of the students getting on and off the bus, and those waiting on the side of the road. Parents, only drop your student off at the designated areas at school.
Eliminate distractions. Taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. Children are quick, and may not be paying attention to traffic. They may cross unexpectedly between cars.
Check your surroundings, especially when backing up. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children in driveways, on sidewalks and around your vehicle.
Talk to your teen drivers. Many of the crashes involving teens are from inexperience. Ride with them and talk about safe driving tips.
Most drivers are driving responsibly, and we thank you for that, so please pass the word to protect everyone that is traveling on our roadways.
Please choose to drive safe. Every trip, every time.
Kitsap County Commissioners sent a letter today to Governor Jay Inslee in response to the Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery and COVID-19 vaccine plans, conveying concerns about the apparent change in direction and lack of communication and clarity. Commissioners also share some observations about involvement, transparency, confusion and COVID fatigue. The letter echoes points made in recent correspondence to the governor from the Washington State Association of Counties and Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials.
Read the Commissioners' letter here. The letter from the associations of counties and health officials is also attached.
County Commissioners announce the appointment of Alexander Wisniewski as the new director of the Kitsap County Parks Department. He begins service on Jan. 19, 2021. He will manage the county's more than 60 parks, greenways and open spaces, totaling nearly 11,000 acres, in addition to the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Events center and other community recreation facilities.
Commissioners are excited to bring new leadership to the Kitsap County team to take over the helm of the Parks Department. With experience in parks systems large and small, Wisniewski will be well positioned to build upon successes in county parks, as he joins other Parks staff in serving the community. He has a deep background in parks administration, maintenance, planning, development and community involvement.
Wisniewski, a resident of North Kitsap, has worked for Port Townsend's Parks, Recreation and Community Services since 2014 and as director since 2017, managing a $2 million operating budget and staff of over 30. During his tenure, he led the update of the city's parks, recreation and open space plan, oversaw maintenance for city hall and other facilities, and supervised community volunteer projects and partnerships.
He previously worked for the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District as horticulture supervisor and serves on its Parkland Acquisition Advisory Committee and Trails Advisory Committee.
"My career has taken me across the country and allowed me to work for national forests and state, county, and city parks. My approach to leading a parks and recreation department is rather simple: I am community-centered," Wisniewski said. "I listen to what the community is saying they want and then do my best to align those desires with mission, resources, and funding to make them possible. I am very excited to work with the great staff and team in Kitsap County Parks and to serve the residents of Kitsap County!"
Prior to his career in Washington, Wisniewski served as maintenance and operations manager of Coconino County Parks and Recreation in Flagstaff, Ariz. There he led strategic and master planning, private-public partnerships, resource management, community volunteer projects and multi-agency collaborations. He has also worked as an assistant park manager and park ranger with Arizona State Parks.
He earned a bachelor's degree in parks administration from Michigan State University and a master's degree in business administration from Western Governors University. He is certified as a parks and recreation professional through the National Recreation and Parks Association. His hobbies include mountain biking, landscape photography, backpacking, disc golf and cross-country skiing.
"I am a lifelong parks and recreation lover, dating back to my childhood experiences," he noted. "Today, as a parks professional, I certainly have an obligation and desire to ensure parks and other public areas and programs are safe and up to the best standards possible. But these are merely a means to an end – my true passion is creating experiences and memories for others through the enjoyment of parks."
Wisniewski replaces Jim Dunwiddie who retired this month after leading the Parks Department since 2009.
Kitsap County's new Parks Director Andrew Wisniewski
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