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Gov. Locke whistlestops downtown

Gov. Locke looks out over the waterfront conference center project as Mayor Cary Bozeman fills in the details last Tuesday afternoon. - Photo by Rogerick Anas
Gov. Locke looks out over the waterfront conference center project as Mayor Cary Bozeman fills in the details last Tuesday afternoon.
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

Mayor Cary Bozeman played tour guide to Gov. Gary Locke last Tuesday while they walked the waterfront and chatted about the future of downtown Bremerton.

“We stood here two weeks ago and watched a machine eat up this building,” said Rep. Pat Lantz D-Belfair, who tagged along with the group. Other Democratic legislative candidates, Brock Jackley and Betty Ringlee, also enjoyed the walk in the sun.

Bozeman discussed groundbreaking and completion dates with Locke, and the two walked side by side up to the third floor office of the Sinclair Building, where Bremerton’s Economic Development Director Gary Sexton pulled out a map with an aerial view of the town.

Locke was impressed with the future plans of Bremerton, and said it reminded him of other cities like Portland who have pushed their parking lots back from the water and opened the area up for parks and pedestrians.

“This is going to be a magnet,” said Locke, pointing to the conference center and condo section of the plan. “Looking at what other cities have done . . . they are taking advantage of the waterfront, and mixed-use is the way to go.”

Additionally, Lantz asked Bozeman how many construction jobs the new projects would provide.

“Hundreds and hundreds,” Bozeman said.

Locke was delighted imagining the new jobs pouring into the city.

“Especially after Sept. 11 we need to produce jobs, and the best thing to help the economy is to get people to work,” said Locke.

“Of course, those workers are going to come to the nearby areas and shop or eat, and that’s going to have a lot of benefits to adjacent businesses as well.”

After a PowerPoint presentation detailing the different redevelopment areas, Bozeman bid farewell to the governor, but not without a promise: “When you come back in a year or two, we are going to be the (most) redeveloped city in the state.”

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