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Mother Nature smiles on Norm

On a day that was supposed to rainy and windy, the rain held off, so the sun could shine on Bremerton’s favorite son as the Norm Dicks Government Center officially opened its doors on Oct. 23.

“I am humbled by the decision to name the building after me and it means a lot to me and my family,” said Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Belfair).

“I am proud of what is happening here and Bremerton is my hometown.”

The revitalization of downtown Bremerton and Bremerton in general started with the renovation of the Admiral Theatre and has taken off rapidly, Dicks said.

“We’re on a roll and aren’t going to stop until we get the job done,” Dicks said.

The government center was a vision of former Bremerton Mayor Lynn Horton and former County Com-missioner Tim Botkin, said Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman.

“It’s amazing what people can do when they put their agendas and turf wars aside and work together,” Bozeman said.

The government center reflects partnerships not only in its architecture and design, but its tenancy as well, said County Commissioner Chris Endresen.

The building’s Sixth Street side reflects Bremerton’s past and the Fifth Street side points toward the future.

“It’s all about partnerships and the community and government coming together,” Endresen said.

Five years ago, community leaders came together to develop a plan to revitalize downtown and lead with public investments, she said.

“It’s a wonder that we’re not even halfway through and the private sector is already involved,” she said.

The combination of city, county, state and federal offices in the government center clearly show the partnerships that will benefit the residents of Kitsap County, Endresen said.

One of the major beneficiaries of the new building is the Kitsap County Health District, said County Commissioner Patty Lent.

“The Health District has been housed in a building on Austin Drive that was never meant to be a health district,” Lent said. “Now thanks to the new building it will be able to meet citizens’ needs better.”

The Health District has the goal of making the county a healthier place to live and its new facilities will play a pivotal role in its expanded responsibilities in the war on terror, Lent said.

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