Everything Bremerton: Bringing it all back home

Hello, Bremerton. My name is Colleen Smidt. The paper has kindly asked me to write a column on Everything Bremerton.

I am very proud to be a long time resident of this community. In 1998, when my husband Jason and I had the opportunity to purchase our first home, we specifically targeted Kitsap County because of his job at United Parcel Service. After looking at many properties from South Kitsap to Central Kitsap and everything in between we fell in love with Bremerton, especially West Bremerton.

The downtown and surrounding neighborhoods were an area ripe for renewal and improvement in the late ’90s. We very much wanted to be a part of that. We knew that it would take young working couples like ourselves, purchasing homes, fixing up properties, making neighborhoods safer and cleaner and eventually raising our families here.

Now after 12 years we have absolutely no regrets over our original decision and will happily remain in Bremerton for the long foreseeable future.

I currently work full-time for a moderate-sized small business owner, who happens to be a wonderful boss, here in Kitsap County. Our son Nick is in third grade at Naval Avenue Elementary.

For the past two years I have been focusing on education issues and serving where I can as a parent and citizen of the Bremer-ton School District. Currently I am the chairwoman of the district’s Community Finance Comittee. As a group we have been tasked with reviewing the district budgeting and financing and will be submitting our recommendations for increases in revenue, expenditure reductions and program removal or implementation to the school board at various times over the next two years.

In the last couple of years, I have also joined with an active group of my neighbors to make common area improvements to our neighborhood. It was a partially funded city neighborhood program that originally brought us all together, but last year when that program went away, we did not. We continued with our own time, money and back breaking effort expanding on the original improvements.

I will be using my column to write about the many fun and wonderful adventures the average Bremerton resident is able to experience right here in our fair community. I will be writing about topics that are often off-beat or relatively unknown but are defining stories that make up the real Bremerton. I sincerely hope you will join me on my adventures and I thank the paper for giving this “average Bremerton citizen” such a wonderful opportunity.

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