If Central Kitsap Council President Richard Shattuck was accurate in his portrayal that the event sponsored by the council and the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce was to examine impacts of incorporation, then the meeting missed not only the bull’s eye but it missed the target entirely.
We did not find out about the problems that newly incorporated cities face nor how they were addressed by the fledging governing councils. What we found out was why the respective panelist did not like the representation and services they received from King and Pierce Counties.
This whole meeting turned out to be a propaganda session for incorporation. The chamber and especially the council did a disservice to the residents of Silverdale.
I’ve talked to a number of people after the meeting and they were quite mad. They felt blindsided and were upset that we did not accurately deal with the issues of Kitsap County. Most people attended the meeting to get a grasp of the issues related to incorporation, not the issues of King and Pierce Counties.
As for Citizens United for Silverdale, if they were actually interested in what the people wanted, they would have decided long ago that it was not the right time for incorporation as concluded by the neutral Boundary Review Board.
In the meetings I have attended over the last couple of years there have been groups of people advocating to get out of the incorporated area whereas the few people that have talked in favor of it have mostly been members of the CUFS (many of whom do not live in the incorporation boundaries).
At the public hearing by the Boundary Review Board on June 6, 2012, only one person who was not a member of Citizens United for Silverdale spoke in favor of incorporation whereas 12 people opposed.
The CUFS wants us to think that there is an upwelling of community support but in reality every time they’ve held a truly open meeting an overwhelming majority of people spoke against incorporation rather than supported it.
The CUFS says that incorporation will not increase taxes – true; but what they don’t answer is how much will taxes go up after incorporation? Just look at our surrounding cities and the budgetary issues impacting them. Example: Bremerton: $20 car tab fee just to deal with declining road infrastructure; Bainbridge: $20 car tab fee just added. Bremerton, Bainbridge and Port Orchard City councils are looking at the challenges of funding current services. Parks are not even taken care of in Bremerton.
Let’s face it, the primary focus of any new government is going to be on just providing for basic services (which are currently being provided for now and without a whole new governmental layer).
But the proponents for incorporation like to promise things like a new library and/or a Performing Arts Center at no additional cost to the citizens of Silverdale.
Promises are easy to make until you hit the reality of the cost of running a city.
After public hearings and deliberations, and upon careful consideration of the record, on Oct. 16, 2012, the Washington State Boundary Review Board for Kitsap County, in a carefully reasoned and documented decision, recommended denial of the proposed incorporation of Silverdale.
This is the only neutral and unbiased group that examined this issue. This is a great guide on how to vote – NO TO INCORPORATION.