North Kitsap Herald Letters to the Editor | July 23

As one of the active campaigners for a downtown city hall, I thought it wise to tell Muriel Williams and William Lockard that I agree with them: These new cost estimates are too high. I’m convinced of the long-term economic and lifestyle benefits of a downtown city hall. However, no one on our committee intended to spend more money than previously budgeted. Two years ago, the Downtown City Hall Committee took the 10th Avenue plans to five different architects and builders, all of whom looked at the current city hall site and ran the numbers and the consensus was that we could put that same plan on the present site and it would result in a $3 million savings over the wetlands site on 10th Avenue. Well, that was then, and this is now.

City Hall

Wait a minute …

As one of the active campaigners for a downtown city hall, I thought it wise to tell Muriel Williams and William Lockard that I agree with them: These new cost estimates are too high. I’m convinced of the long-term economic and lifestyle benefits of a downtown city hall. However, no one on our committee intended to spend more money than previously budgeted. Two years ago, the Downtown City Hall Committee took the 10th Avenue plans to five different architects and builders, all of whom looked at the current city hall site and ran the numbers and the consensus was that we could put that same plan on the present site and it would result in a $3 million savings over the wetlands site on 10th Avenue. Well, that was then, and this is now.

So, what’s the deal with $16.9 million?

Nobody anticipated rising fuel costs and the trickle-down effect on goods and services. Not Messrs. Greenspan or Bernanke, so how could any Poulsbo-ite be expected to read that crystal ball? The price of steel alone has increased three times. By the way, in this economy, the old estimates for the 10th Avenue site are no longer real, either.

I’m all for attractive design, but do we need rambling, glassed-in atria and so many private offices? The national trend is away from offices and cubicles; most organizations are using less space — because employees are working from home, cafes, and onsite with customers, clients, and the public.

Paying for a grand city hall worries me for three reasons. One, the current plan calls for selling three pieces of city-owned property — in a very soft market. Two, it assumes tax revenues will at least remain stable. Fact is, our country’s economy is turbulent, so that’s not an assumption we should be taking to the bank. And three, my home has a fair amount of equity built up right now, but I don’t believe this is a smart time to borrow against it and spend. Our city’s “equity” is our bonding capability — let’s not stretch it, leaving ourselves with no cushion in the years ahead.

One note of clarification for Mrs. Williams and Mr. Lockard: Nobody on our committee was part of the Moe and 3rd discussions; no one on our committee participated in the project development or architectural planning discussions, and subsequent budget projections. All of this is news to us, too. Again, our assumption was this would be built on existing city hall property.

Hey, I’m still a strong supporter of a downtown city hall for all the reasons I voted for it in the first place. But I hope my elected representatives take a long, hard look at how they intend to have us to pay for it. Especially in today’s economy: Just because you can afford to do something doesn’t mean you should.

Let’s keep the conversations spirited, the financing conservative, and, in the immortal words of the American trucker, “let’s get ‘er done!”

Jan Harrison

Poulsbo

Go green

Yes, IMBY

Go green. We wish to thank the organizations in Kitsap County working to help us understand that we can go green in our own backyard. Stillwater’s Environmental Center in Kingston helped in obtaining a water vat, saving rainwater for those dry days. Vats make it easy to control watering potted plants and containers.

Kitsap E-Z Earth provided Fetida Red Worms for our compost bin. It’s great to know those wiggly worms are grinding vegetable peels along with coffee grounds, creating soil with a high percentage of humus for our garden. Kitsap E-Z Earth located on Clear Creek Road in Poulsbo also has worm tea for a healthy boost for fertilizing plants. We discovered Kitsap E-Z Earth is sponsored by Peninsula Services, which offers job training for the developmentally disabled.

Peninsula Services also offers All Shred, a pickup service for businesses. They collect paper products, sort, shred, bale and deliver the end product to a recycling center, offering top security in their operation. Discover what’s in your area, making it simple and easy to go green in your own backyard.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Brown

Poulsbo

Kitsap elections

Endorsing Dalton

Your vote for Jeanette Dalton for Kitsap County Superior Court Judge will give citizens the most qualified person for this highly important position. We know Jeanette personally and respect her integrity and passion for the rule of law.

Further, her skills, competence, judgment and legal experience are excellent. Jeanette has successfully served as prosecutor, defense attorney and Judge pro tem. As a deputy prosecuting attorney she has extensive criminal experience in a multitude of categories, from murder in the first degree to kidnapping. Further, her criminal defense includes hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases. Jeanette has briefed and argued over 20 appealed cases before the State Courts of Appeal and the State Supreme Court.

Her many civil cases span from wrongful death to probate.

She already has experience as a judge, having served as judge pro tem on Seattle, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island Municipal Courts. Jeanette currently serves as judge pro tem with the Jefferson County District Court.

At present, she has her own law firm in Kingston.

It is with pleasure we submit Jeanette Dalton for your consideration to be our next Kitsap County Superior Judge.

We encourage you to tell your Kitsap County neighbors, friends, and family about Jeanette Dalton’s outstanding 24 year career as a lawyer.

Miles and Elise Haupt

Poulsbo