Surprise surprise | Opinion

It is no surprise that the ill-fated Kitsap 9/11 Memorial will not be complete by Sept. 11, 2012. What is surprising is that the committee behind the project had the gall, while fundraising, to tell people that it would be.

Well short of the $336,000 construction budget, the committee has yet to deal with the gaping financial hole left by $300,000 of site preparation required at Evergreen Rotary Park before the memorial will be built.

They had to know it would not be built by September.

With past failed promises of completion and only $88,000 remaining in the memorial’s bank account, out of an estimated $114,000 raised so far, the committee finds itself with an almost impossible goal to raise the money before the construction price tag triples with time.

Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent continues to promise the public that no taxpayer dollars will go into the memorial. The parks department has no money in the budget to rework the memorial site at Evergreen Rotary Park. Both facts are made worse considering that neither the site preparation needs nor site preparation costs were publicly discussed at presentations, hearings and meetings conducted prior to the city council, blind to the specific eventuality, voted 9-0 to approve the memorial location or the later vote to approve its final design.

Bremerton’s citizens spoke loudly opposing the original design saying it failed to represent Kitsap County’s experience of 9/11 in favor of FDNY canonization and firefighter hero worship. Now, 75 percent smaller in scope, the memorial design remains unconnected to our community.

The project, which came about accidentally, has been a pet project of a few imposed on the many. What is truly reflected in the lack of fundraising success is that the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial is of little interest to those outside the Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue community.


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