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Regional council meeting features Bremerton mayor
Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent was a featured panelist at a Puget Sound Regional Council meeting in Seattle this week that was designed to give newly elected officials a chance to meet their peers from around the region.
Bremerton city council members Jerry McDonald, Mike Sullivan, Leslie Daugs and Eric Younger all attended the event along with dozens of other officials from Kitsap, Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.
The meeting was moderated by former Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown, who now serves as the executive director of the regional council. Brown said the meeting was a chance for the gathered elected officials to network and discuss regional issues.
Mayor Lent joined King County Executive Dow Constantine, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, Redmond Mayor John Marchione and Everett City Council member Paul Roberts on the panel. She talked about the importance of bold leadership and making tough, and sometimes unpopular, decisions.
As examples, Lent talked about Kitsap County’s adoption of a one tenth of one percent sales tax for mental health funding and the City of Bremerton’s $20 car tab renewal fee for street improvement funding.
“Be bold in things that you need to do in the core of your communities,” Lent said. “Sometimes you have to step up and make some decisions that you’d rather not do on a local level. But if you can make those decisions, monitor and show the public, your constituents, exactly the benefit that they are going to receive, they won’t be so distasteful about your decision.”
Lent also talked about the importance of the Puget Sound Regional Council and the assistance it can provide.
“We rely on this organization to get our work done throughout the county,” Lent said.
As one example, Lent highlighted Bremerton’s progress in cleaning up Bremerton’s water supply via a combined sewer overflow system. She said that the city has come a long way following a lawsuit in the late 80s with the help of the regional council and the development of the new sewer system.
“We used to have sewer overflows maybe every month or every other month, now we maybe have one to two a year,” she said.
Attendees at the workshop had a chance to talk about regional issues in break-out group sessions. Topics of discussion revolved around transportation, infrastructure, responding to marijuana legalization and more. The event also featured presentations from Sound Transit, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and Brown who talked about his agency’s role in helping cities and counties.