Opinion

Everything Bremerton: Smells like Bremerton

Just in case you missed the large banners hanging on the fenced Wheaton Way side of the old West Bremerton Junior High property, there is a Boys and Girls Club Teen Center coming to Bremerton.

If everything goes as planned, it is scheduled to open in 2013. The Teen Center will be the first phase of what will be a seven-acre Youth Wellness Campus.

In the wake of major budget shortfalls happening right now to nearly every single publically funded entity and more shortfalls expected for the near future, constructive partnerships between public organizations are vital for a community project of this magnitude to move forward in the most efficient, cost effective manner possible.

This project is a partnership between the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound and a handful of very committed private backers, the Bremerton School District and the City of Bremerton.

The Bremerton School District owns the 44 acres of property the campus will be located on.  The Bremerton City Council just  passed a resolution supporting this project.  I was fortunate enough to have been at this City Council meeting and I was able to testify directly to the council in support of this resolution as the parent of a Bremerton School District student who is also a participating member of the Naval Avenue Boys and Girls Club.

Candidates and publicly-funded organizations talk about these types of partnerships all the time –  especially during election years.

Some of those partnerships work out and some don’t.

When you have three different public entities who operate on completely different time frames, budgetary cycles and meeting schedules all attempting to coordinate the timing of  their decision making, public discussions, clerical submissions and filing deadlines, it becomes rather easy to drop the ball if there is even the slightest misstep.

So far I have been very satisfied as a citizen, parent and taxpayer with the combined leadership of the three partners on the Boys and Girls Club project. They have been carefully yet steadfastly working together as collective public stewards in a forwardly progressing manner.  These leaders appear to be mindful of their individual responsibility to the position and organization they were elected to, appointed to or hired by, yet can still work to combine resources, smooth the way, and keep things on track.

My advice to them, keep up the good work and keep your eye on the ball.  The completion and success of this project will become a large asset to our youth and to our community.

A proposed map of the Youth Wellness Campus can be viewed on the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound website here, http://www.bgcsps.org/find-a-club/bremertonteencenter.

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