With the February 12 vote on Silverdale incorporation approaching, the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce and the Central Kitsap Community Council have partnered to host an informational forum, addressing "the good, the bad and the ugly" about incorporation.
The forum will be held Thursday, January 17, at the Central Kitsap High School in the Southworth Auditorium. The event will start at 7 p.m. and will include a panel discussion moderated by a member of the chamber and a member of the council. The panel will include representatives of at least three recently incorporated cities — Kenmore, Covington and Maple Valley. The moderators will pose questions to panel members for about the first hour and a half. After the moderated discussion, the forum will take questions from the public.
Using recently incorporated cities as a model, questions to the panel will be aimed to help citizens address their concerns on what incorporation means for a previously unincorporated area. Looking back, was incorporation a good option? Did the new cities impose new taxes (B&O or utility taxes, for example)? If so, how much did taxes go up for businesses and residents? Were there difficulties between the county and area to be incorporated that led to an incorporation decision? Were options other than incorporation considered to address any problems? How did the new cities arrange for services and were there disruptions in services? Are services better now than before the incorporation? Has there been a duplication of services between the County and the new cities? What was the impact of incorporation on the county?