Letters to the Editor

Boot Winter

To the editor:

I’m sure that all the taxpayers who pay hundreds or in some cases thousands of dollars in property taxes to South Kitsap School District should be aware SKSD has a cash problem.

People working within the SKSD business stated the district has a $10 million cash shortage. The people attribute that cash problem to superintendent Winter and his now-departed assistant superintendent Jennifer Farmer, who directed the district’s funds.

The $10 million problem has now been placed on the shoulders of new financial manager Monica Hunsaker. The problem came about because Winter and Farmer were doling out $10K, $20K and $30K salary increases to administrators. That certainly makes sense considering Farmer’s salary when she departed in 2022 was $248,088.

How do we solve that problem? Let’s use a program all the public in this Navy town is aware of. The crew of a boomer boat hits an underwater mountain they did not know was there. Immediately the skipper is tagged with a “loss of confidence” and “relieved of his command.”

The school board hired Winter and a “Severe Loss of Confidence” now exists regarding his ability to manage the operations of SKSD. The severity of this issue requires the immediate removal of Winter and the appointment of Monica Hunsaker as SKSD superintendent until a proper employment search can be completed by the board.

Larry Mann

Port Orchard

SKF&R ‘bloat’

To the editor:

South Kitsap Fire & Rescue has purchased another 2.5 acres, this property for $525,000. They paid more than fair market value. SKFR buys up land, then uses it as leverage to push their bonds. The property acquired, less than a block from SKSD’s property, was reserved for an ill-advised second high school.

This is the seventh property they’ve paid cash for. They claim we are “getting a deal” because it’s $525,000 less they will ask for in a future bond. I’m tiring of this guess which cup the magic pea is under.

To date, SKFR has removed seven properties from Kitsap County tax rolls, bulldozed seven homes, and denied seven families their opportunities to buy those affordable single-family homes. It’s SKFR’s primary mission to fight fires and some emergency response services, yet they report emergency medical services make up 68% of their response calls.

That’s a lot of free ambulance rides. So why do they need larger and more-expensive fire engines? Why more firefighters if their primary mission is providing emergency response services?

Just stop replacing fire engines with larger and more expensive ones, focus on acquiring additional smaller paramedic-type vehicles. Bring on additional paramedics, not more firefighters. And reduce excessive “fire chief bloat.”

Professional demographers predict fewer children coming to SK, thus fewer families and fewer fire stations are needed. It’s past time for SKFR to heed those predictions. They need to pick a mission and stick with it. Watch for a levy this August.

Dave Kimble