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Bozeman hopes to ramp up park maintenance

In an effort to maintain Bremerton’s parks, a tough decision needs to be made.

Mayor Cary Bozeman presented a proposal Wednesday to the Bremerton City Council to eliminate one Parks and Recreation job and replace it with two new positions. He requested the board approve eliminating the role of administrative analyst and add two laborer positions.

“I think it’s our responsibility in maintaining parks we own on behalf of the citizens,” Bozeman said.

There would be no increase in costs as the salary for two laborers equals the pay of the administrative analyst.

“As manager I’ve seen our department grow and have seen things we can improve,” said interim director Tom Cressman, who is in his second term. “I don’t think we need a person in that position, we can absorb it.”

At the request of council members, Cressman described the main duties of the administrative analyst as overseeing budget operations and grant writing.

Councilwoman Carol Arends expressed concern with having to eliminate a position.

“I would be happier seeing these positions added without taking away one ... but that’s just my opinion,” she said.

There also was concern from the council as to whether or not the timing is right to remove a position before a permanent parks and recreation director is hired. Bozeman stressed the fact that maintenance will remain an issue even with a new director.

“We have a responsibility to the public” he said. “We need more people in the field doing the work. I wish there was an easy answer to this, I don’t see one.”

The administrative analyst role is currently filled, but because it is a human resources issue, talk of transitioning for that person was not discussed at the meeting.

In other council business, city attorney Ken Bagwell presented information on a request from the U.S. Navy for approval of concurrent, or shared, jurisdiction of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and surrounding areas. Although local law enforcement will not have access to the base itself, making the base a concurrent jurisdiction will allow flexibility in prosecuting cases, mainly those of civilians and dependents.

“We have a high case load of misdemeanors. The problems we sometimes run into is when prosecuting civilians there’s sometimes a gap,” said Lt. Sean Cogley, deputy staff judge advocate-Navy Region Northwest. “We foresee potential of a possibility of having some felony cases processed at county court.”

Another issue is the areas of proprietary jurisdiction — city and state — which border the Navy’s areas of jurisdiction.

“The biggest problem that we run into is in proprietary jurisdictions if a crime occurs in those areas, we run into difficulty initially if a call comes in of who should respond,” Cogley said. “Navy security responds to a crime in progress because they may not know where jurisdictions lies.”

For approval, the Navy needs to have a letter signed by Bozeman (a letter has already been signed by Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge) which will then be forwarded to Gov. Chris Gregoire who will make the final decision.

Concurrent jurisdiction also would mean added assistance for Bremerton law enforcement.

“With agreement we will share jurisdiction with the Navy. We will gain some assistance from the Navy,” Bagwell said.

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