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Letters - Oct. 28, 2011
My choice for Bremerton Port Commissioner in the November 8 election is Axel Strakeljahn.
My reasons for supporting Axel go beyond politics. Axel has 30 years experience working in our community managing businesses and budgets. He has the experience the Port needs to manage the people?s money properly.
Additionally, Axel is a caring, compassionate person, who believes in helping people. He received the Red Cross Hero Award a couple years ago in recognition of his actions to save the life of a gentleman who was experiencing a heart attack in the grocery store that Axel manages.
Again, it?s not so much about politics for me. It?s just that I want to see more people with Axel Strakeljahn?s personal qualities and experience in elected office. We want elected representatives that we can truly be proud of and can trust to do the right thing.
The news report on October 21st in the Reporter, “City to pay for bridge work they didn’t approve” concerning the new Manette Bridge, makes one wonder how the former Director reached the top position in Bremerton’s Public Works Department not knowing how funding is secured and payments are approved for public works projects.
He was within the bounds of propriety in dealing with the State on planning and cost issues of the proposed changes. He crossed the line, however, when he committed the City to pay for it’s portion whatever the cost may be of these changes without authorization. The State DOT, moreover, did not know any better if we take their position as stated by their spokesperson who said all that the State needs to proceed with the change order is the former Director’s letter even without the proper authorization. The legality of this payment, therefore, is questionable.
Regardless of all the implied agreements reached among the high-ranking city officials and community leaders who attended those meetings and whatever took place to suggest a consensus as reported by an engineer of the City, the basic fact remains that only the City Council’s resolution approved by the Mayor is authorized to make that payment.
The current Director of Public Works said that the City can absorb this cost by shifting funds from projects that were shelved. It is hope that another blunder will not be committed where felony charges could be filed against those who fail to secure required authorization to transfer one project account to another.
Noel C. Sim, PE
Retired City Engineer
Chris Tibbs can be our first county commissioner with hands on experience in today’s high tech business environment. Someone who actually creates jobs, serves customers and functions within a budget. Chris is the person we can trust to bring physical responsibility and transparency to county government.
Christ understands our priorities and will fund essential services such as police, justice, roads and land use first, then prioritize and fund other services. He will not try to hold the public hostage by refusing to fund essential services unless special levies are passed or taxes raised. Chris understands that the funds the county spends come from the people and the way they are distributed must reflect the peoples’ priorities.
Last year the county commissioners “balanced” the budget by taking money from the reserve fund and “borrowing” our dollars from the road fund. Chris believes that the budget should be balanced by funding essential services first then funding discretionary programs based on their merit and benefit to the community without dipping into other funds.
County commissioners must know how every department is spending our tax dollars; therefore, Chris will call for each department to submit a zero base budget detailing the need for all major expenditures including staffing levels. We must right size our country departments so they are capable of responding to our needs
Chris will be a strong voice for transforming our Department of Community Development into a streamlined fully functional department, that is responsive to the needs of the people. He will be a champion for common sense building permit requirements and timely issuance of permits.
Chris Tibbs will spend your tax dollars wisely, fund essential services first, develop and implement workable solutions for today’s problems, and make county government transparent and accountable to the people. Vote for Chris Tibbs for county commissioner and put a true public servant into the commissioner’s office.