Three Kitsap County local elected officials have lined up behind Prop. 1, the passenger-only fast-ferry proposal on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
Congressman Derek Kilmer, representing Washington’s 6th District, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and Central Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe announced their support in a joint statement released Oct. 26.
“The Kitsap Fast Ferry proposal offers the chance for local commuters to spend more time with their families and less time sitting on a boat going to and from their jobs in Seattle,” Kilmer said. “It will also strengthen our ties to a growing regional economy and help bring more good jobs to Kitsap County.”
Lent has voiced her support for Prop. 1 for some time, but her endorsement on Oct. 24 took on added force.
“When fast ferries begin from Bremerton, working families and commuters alike will be able to spend more time with their families,” Lent said. “New, higher-paying jobs will be accessible and jobs and businesses will be accessible here in Kitsap.”
The proposal calls for a .03-cent sales tax to pay for the system. It would connect three Kitsap ports — Kingston, Bremerton and Southworth — to downtown Seattle in a half an hour or less. That makes cross-Sound commuting a viable option, said Steve Sego, a Port Orchard businessman and proponent of the fast ferry. Opponents of the proposal say it is too expensive and provides too little benefit to a majority of Kitsap County residents.
A survey conducted in August by a group promoting the proposal indicated that more than 60 percent of likely Kitsap voters supported the plan.
Mark Briant is a reporter for the Central Kitsap Reporter and Bremerton Patriot. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.