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Carlos Jara looking to take Bremerton to the green side

Carlos Jara - Courtesy Photo
Carlos Jara
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Editors note: The following is the first of a five-part series looking at the candidates running for mayor of Bremerton. Part two can be found here.

Carlos Jara, owner of the Harborside Market and candidate for the position of Bremerton mayor, has a lot of ideas on ways to take Bremerton into the future and create a “greener Bremerton.”

Jara said he is adamant about helping small business owners and he not only owns and operates his own small business in town, but his wife, Christina, owns and operates the Isella Day Spa, also located in downtown Bremerton, not far from his store at the Bremerton ferry terminal.

“It is time for someone to step up and stand up for the little guys,” he said.

Jara, if elected, wants to attract more small businesses to the area.

“A lot of Bremertonians, and I include myself in those shoes, don’t think Bremerton has the amenities we want as citizens,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with restaurants and movie theaters. If we are going to keep Bremertonians here and spending local, those amenities need to come into existence. So what I would work for is enticing developers to come here.”

Another item on Jara’s list of things to accomplish is giving people more reasons to come downtown.

“The parks are great,” he said. “The marina is amazing. But what I would forge ahead with is making downtown Bremerton a micro-brewery destination. I’d like to see four or five micro-breweries downtown.”

Another component of his campaign is finding alternative solutions to common problems, like roads.

Currently, a proposal has been made for a $20 car tab levy to generate money for roads, but Jara said it isn’t enough.

“There’s a couple of problems with that,” he said. “First, it’s not going to generate more than $50,000 per month and second, it is finite. It is not an ongoing stream of revenue.”

Jara’s solution? A wind farm.

“I see a unique opportunity,” he said. “The city of Bremerton is huge. The city owns a lot of land in the boonies that has been previously logged.”

Jara’s plan is to work with the state and federal government through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to secure money for Bremerton to build a wind farm.

“The wind farm would generate power for the city of Bremerton,” he said. “We, as a city, pay approximately $140,000 per month to Puget Sound Energy (PSE) for electricity.”

The goal of the project would be to produce enough power through the farm to sell to PSE to offset the costs of the city’s electricity now, but Jara feels the city could even produce a surplus.

“I firmly believe we would generate more power than what we are actually using,” he said. “So what I propose is anything that is above and beyond what the city actually uses would be equally distributed amongst every Bremerton rate payer.”

Jara considers himself a “strong independent who is driven by being able to meet folks halfway.”

“I know what I want and understand that things cannot be achieved without the support and buy-in from those who can make it happen,” he said. “I am especially comfortable in reaching across partisan ideologies in order to work for what is in the best interest of what matters — the citizens of Bremerton.”

Jara recently ran for Bremerton City Council, District 4 and currently serves on the City of Bremerton Civil Service Commission and is an active member of the Downtown Bremerton Association and Sustainable Bremerton.

Jara earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas and worked for 13 years at Verizon, holding various sales and management positions.

“It is important to me that Bremerton citizens understand I am interested in all of Bremerton,” he said. “The continuation and completion of the downtown Bremerton revitalization is one component of all the things that can and need to be done.”

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