Letters to the Editor

Letters from Sept. 22, 2007

Maupin

Maupin deserves to stay on city council

I am very proud to be supporting Will Maupin for re-election to the Bremerton City Council. He is a positive can-do person who I have the utmost respect for. Since he took over as chair of the Finance Committee the City’s budget has never been in better shape. He has supported the projects that have been part of the city’s revitalization program. He retired from the shipyard, his father-in-law was former Mayor “Whitey” Domstad, and he is a graduate of Washington State University. He loves this city and has worked well with the rest of the city council to help move our city forward. We do not agree on everything but he is always professional in the way he deals with the Mayor’s office and our staff. He is a good man who loves this city and I believe should be returned to office.

Mayor Cary Bozeman

Bremerton

Maupin only choice for District 8 seat

Having been a resident of Bremerton for many years I have watched our city struggle over the lack of development. During recent years we have seen an awakening of many good thing happening downtown, as well as through out the city. The Norm Dicks Government Center; Conference Center: the new fire and police departments: The new condominiums; the credit union building; The paving of streets, the beautiful flower baskets; The recently completed Waterfront Park and other planned developments are a credit to our city council, with the full support of Mayor Bozeman.

Will Maupin has been a member of the council during this development and presently is president of the city council.

It has been my pleasure to have known Will for many years in the Shipyard when he was a respected engineer in the Nuclear Power division.

I consider it an honor to call Will Maupin my friend and I urge you to join me in voting for Will, District 8, on Nov. 6, 2007.

Mel Wortman

Bremerton

El Centro

Community should support UW effort

Several local citizens have expressed concerns about United Way of Kitsap County’s challenge grant for El Centro de la Familia, as some of El Centro’s clients are undocumented immigrants. Some have even said they would withhold support for United Way in protest.

As a former official with a local nonprofit that serves immigrants, I would like to offer some perspective on immigrant assistance and underscore why support for United Way is vital to the health of our community.

The immigrants served by my former agency are working hard to learn English in order to succeed in jobs and communicate with all those who affect their lives - their children’s teachers, health professionals, bankers, landlords, store clerks, government officials - in short, to become viable, contributing members of the Kitsap community. Volunteers provide hands-on assistance, and the staff coordinates with government agencies and other nonprofits - including El Centro de la Familia - in order to help clients meet their families’ needs.

Some who seek the agency’s help might be undocumented, but none are turned away for that reason. Many are preparing to obtain U.S. citizenship, which they cannot do without mastering the language and learning about American life. (Typically, citizenship candidates know more about our history and government than many Americans!)

El Centro de la Familia performs a similarly important role for the local Hispanic population, helping to strengthen families by providing needed medical assistance. I doubt that any undocumented immigrant has moved to Kitsap County simply because such services are readily available.

United Way plays a unique and important role in the provision of these and other invaluable services throughout the community. In addition to financial support, the agency provides materials, volunteer manpower, and assistance in coordinating services for a holistic network of support for our neighbors in need. United Way supports a wide range of services for families, children, and at-risk populations including battered women, people with disabilities and seniors. It is one of the few reliable avenues of assistance with administrative expenses, which any fundraising professional can attest is the most difficult to obtain. And, yes, United Way is vigilant in monitoring the use of its hard-earned funds.

Rather than disavowing support for United Way in protest, if you wish to help build a strong community but have reservations about possible support for certain immigrants, you can continue to help those in need through United Way by designating your pledge for a specific agency. It’s easy to do on your annual pledge form, or you can simply write the name of the organization on your check. More than 30 deserving agencies are available to you.

Please join me in supporting United Way of Kitsap County, in whatever manner you can. The health of our community is at stake.

Barbara Felver

Bremerton

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