We’ve entered the second month of 2018. Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler’s term began on Jan. 1. During his campaign, he laid out an ambitious agenda to increase job opportunities in the city by helping small businesses thrive. “It is vital for the city of Bremerton to maintain and build an economy,” he said during the campaign. “This is very, very important, and it’s why I’m running for mayor.”
Now he is the mayor. Here are some of the commitments Wheeler made to voters during the campaign season. In the coming months, we’ll track his progress on these issues.
Business development: Accelerate the phase-out of the Business & Occupations Tax. Streamline the permitting process.
Affordable housing: “Continue to partner with the Bremerton Housing Authority to ensure housing assistance is prioritized.”
Increase development of housing through zoning and streamlined permitting.
Include public transit access as part of the discussion of affordable housing.
Energy efficiency: Develop an energy conservation plan for city-owned buildings.
Invest in community amenities and infrastructure: “Ensure parks are adequately funded, maintained and accessible to all.”
“Parks maintenance must be prioritized in the city’s long-term financial plan.”
“Public safety, parks, streets and infrastructure must be prioritized as revenue increases.”
About the job: The mayor is elected for four years, is paid $107,004 a year, and receives benefits provided other city employees. The mayor is the full-time chief executive and administrative officer of the city and is in charge of all departments and employees, with the authority to designate assistants and department heads. The mayor ensures that all contracts and agreements made with the city are “faithfully kept and performed,” presides over City Council meetings but votes only in the case of a tie, prepares and submits to the council a proposed budget, has the power to veto ordinances, and is the official and ceremonial head of the city.
— The Central Kitsap Reporter Editorial Board consists of Terry Ward, publisher; Donna Etchey, general manager; and Richard Walker, managing editor.