City council delays action on Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council agreement

Port Orchard City Council member Bek Ashby made the motion that the agreement be tabled until May 12

The Port Orchard City Council tabled action April 14 on an interlocal agreement with the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council.

The council of regional governments develops countywide planning policies in accordance with the Growth Management Act. Some officials who serve on the regional council have expressed concern that too much weight is given to the County Commission’s representatives.

Port Orchard City Council member Bek Ashby made the motion that the agreement be tabled until May 12.

On April 10, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and City Council President Greg Wheeler sent KRCC Board Chairman Robert Gelder some proposed amendments to the interlocal agreement.

Bremerton requested the KRCC switch to non-weighted voting by:

• Making the “majority vote” a simple majority.

• Defining a “quorum” as a majority of representatives from member agencies.

• Requiring a majority of member agencies be represented by at least one delegate.

The changes would reduce the voting power of the three county commissioners. Under the current format, two county commissioners are required to be present for a vote.

The regional council facilitates dialogue among its member agencies in the areas of land use, transportation and growth planning. The council is responsible for the Kitsap Countywide Planning Policy required by the state Growth Management Act; for allocating federal and state funding for transportation; and for information sharing and collaborative action on a range of regional issues.

In addition to changing its voting structure, Bremerton also wants the regional council to present financial options for an administrative staff. It has considered leaving KRCC if its demands aren’t met.

The downside of leaving is that the city would be at a disadvantage when vying for state and federal funds. Much of the funding for city and county projects comes from the Puget Sound Regional Council, which includes Seattle, Tacoma and the state Department of Transportation.

The KRCC competes against these giants for funds. If Bremerton left, it would compete against the same giants, plus the KRCC.

City representatives aired their concerns to KRCC on April 7.

— Bremerton Patriot reporter Peter O’Cain contributed to this report.