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In our opinion: Clean it up
The growing situation with the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial Committee and its perceived abilities to operate the type of organization required to handle an estimated $2 million project plus untold incidental expenses, built on donations, needs to be cleaned up quickly.
If for no other reason than to honor those in whose name the memorial is to be built, the organization must purse an accountable standard of operation that is both open and understandable to the public that will pay for it through donations, gifts of service or indirect taxation.
In several key instances, the Committee has been seen to the public as emotional, misguided and perhaps closed off from community wants as well as criticized for the over tenor of the memorial.
To date, the only design concept and message presented to the public was created by local firefighter community. That design was roundly defeated and sent back for a specific level of community involvement, which has been slow to materialize as prescribed in a later agreement between the City of Bremerton and the Memorial Committee.
With new questions about organization focus, lack of established priorities and use of finances emerging so close to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, comes additional pressure to honor the citizens of Kitsap County, the 9/11 dead, and their families, on the East Coast and the thousands of local service members and veterans that continually support the memorial project in spirit, personal presence and through donations.
We believe that the Memorial Committee can honor their commitments by sticking to agreements with the city and opening their books, meetings, designs and overall mission to the entire Kitsap County community.