Victorious Bozeman switches to transition mode

No rest.

No excuses.

No prisoners.

That’s the attitude Bremerton mayor-elect Cary Bozeman is taking as he plans his four-year term.

Bozeman has cancelled a vacation he had planned from his position as head of the Olympic College Foundation.

“I’m not going to take a vacation so I can get up to speed by the end of the year,” Bozeman said Wednesday.

Bozeman and recently elected City Council members will be sworn in during a Dec. 27 ceremony at 4 p.m. at the Admiral Theatre.

Bozeman had transition on his mind in the wake of his solid victory over former mayor Louis Mentor Nov. 6. In results tabulated as of Nov. 14, Bozeman has 54.7 percent (4,446 votes) to Mentor’s 44.5 percent (3,613 votes).

Bozeman said he has already resigned his position at the OC Foundation effective Dec. 31. He will help OC’s interim president hire a successor.

Bozeman has also submitted a letter announcing his intention to resign from the Public Facilities District which is currently deciding whether Bremerton will be awarded funding for a new downtown conference center.

Bozeman said he will meet with outgoing Mayor Lynn Horton “in a few days.”

He will also ask for briefing papers from the city’s department heads detailing their staffing and budget situations and asking them to identify “critical issues for 2002.”

He will also ask for a full update on the city of Bremerton’s finances from City Treasurer Rich Hanna.

Bozeman said he would like to schedule individual meetings with all members of the City Council. Having been involved in city government in Bellevue as City Council member and as council-elected mayor, Bozeman said “I am sensitive to not getting out in front of the Council.”

Bozeman is creating a transition team of six or seven people from the community, who will help him assume the mantle at City Hall.

“They will be people that I trust and who I believe can make a contribution,” he said. “They will probably stay with me a while.”

Bozeman said elected officials often get “isolated” and that “having a council of people from the outside can help with that.”

One priority Bozeman said he would assume upon taking office would be finding in-house legal representation for Bremerton.

“I don’t want the city going too long without a full-time city attorney,” he said.

Bozeman realizes he made a lot of pledges to voters during the campaign and that now he must deliver.

“Our mantra will be that we want to put citizens first,” he said. “People always say they are going to be watching me. I don’t want people watching me. I want people to engage with me. I want them to be participating.”

One hot topic out of the gate for Bozeman might be Pacific Avenue between First Street and Burwell Avenue. The Navy is at least thinking about the concept of purchasing land adjacent to PSNS to create a security barrier between commercial land and the highly sensitive Controlled Industrial Area at PSNS.

“My stance will always be to cooperate with the Shipyard,” Bozeman said. “We will sit down with them and hopefully we will come up with a win-win solution. They are going to have to give a little bit and we are going to have to give a little bit.”

Bozeman did say PSNS security needs are paramount.

Bozeman promised that the shape and direction of his administration will be highly visible soon after his swearing in.

“I don’t want to be here for four years and have people say nothing happened,” Bozeman said. “Because things will happen. There will be changes and some will be immediate. There are no excuses for us not getting something done.”

One thing that evidently won’t change will be the gatekeeper to the mayor’s office — Administrative Assistant Elaine Valencia who has served four mayors.

Bozeman was asked if he will retain the highly recommended Valencia.

“Do I look like a fool?” he said.

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