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Public safety building talks tabled

At the conclusion of a brief pre-Thanksgiving Bremerton City Council meeting, several city officials expected the Council to receive an update on the possibilities for the city’s new public safety building.

However, Council President Daren Nygren citing unresolved concerns and issues tabled that discussion for an executive session to be held some time before the next Council meeting.

“There were other concerns and issues brought to our attention,” Nygren said. “I don’t think it’s fair to all parties involved to hear from only one side.”

Additionally, the Council as a whole hasn’t had the opportunity to review all of the new information concerning the public safety building, he said.

“From here on out I want us to work together and I think we’re talking about property with a hefty price,” Nygren said. “I think we need to slow down.”

One of the city officials with a vested stake in the new public safety building, Judge James Docter, presiding judge of the Bremerton Municipal Court, expressed his desire to keep the court downtown.

“I’ve never come before you before tonight, because I always thought things would work,” Docter said. “I believe the court should be located in downtown.”

Docter cited the minutes from the Council’s operations committee’s latest meeting that recommended that city economic development director Gary Sexton evaluate the possibility of locating the court in a more user-friendly location.

“The public will be disenfranchised and cheated if the court is located anywhere other than downtown,” Docter said.

Sexton, who was also in attendance, said he was confused by Tuesday night’s events.

“The credit union is still the preferred location for the courts and police department,” Sexton said.

Everything is still heading in the direction of the sale of the U.S. Bank property and purchase of the Kitsap County Federal Credit Union building on Burwell Street, Sexton said.

In a draft of the Nov. 9 operations committee meeting minutes, the committee recommends that “prior to co-locating the Municipal Court on the Burwell property, Gary Sexton be tasked to ... evaluate locating the Municipal Court and the Court staff in a more suitable (user-friendly) location.”

The committee concluded that “the Burwell location poses both accessibility and parking problems for court staff and citizens of Bremerton.”

The meeting was attended by Council members Mike Short, chairman of the committee, Brad Gehring and Mike Shepherd.

The Council will conduct a study session at 5 p.m. on Monday at the Norm Dicks Government Center 345 Sixth Street, prior to its regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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