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Mahan: SEED lacks leadership

Port commissioner says project will languish unless someone steps up

to make it happen

Over lunch Wednesday with the Kitsap County commissioners, Port of Bremerton Commissioner Bill Mahan expressed concern that the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project will not succeed without leadership.

“If people just sit back and say it’s a good idea, it will never happen,” Mahan said to the group gathered at Los Cabos Grill. “It’s not going to happen without leadership. It’s the difference between sitting back and watching, and actually getting out and pushing to make it happen.”

As an example of the the lack of progress that is frustrating him, Mahan pointed to the fact that the port board voted nearly six months ago to “pause” the SEED project and have a third party review the project’s business and financial plans.

“At that time, the pause was supposed to be 60 days,” he said. “Now, here we are 150 days out and we haven’t even retained a company. There’s no leadership there.”

Another bone of contention at the table — described by North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer as a “sensitive subject” — was the $1 million previously promised to the project by the county which is now contingent in part on the due diligence being completed successfully.

“What changed your mind?” Mahan asked South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, who responded with: “I just don’t believe you can build it and hope they will come.”

Angel said she was concerned about SEED being unable to attract “anchor tenants.”

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