Volunteer extraordinaire Jessie Turner ‘walked the talk’ | In Our Opinion

We were saddened to learn Feb. 21 that community volunteer extraordinaire Jessie Turner had passed away. She was a shining example of a resident who walked the talk and worked tirelessly to organize Port Orchard’s most notable civic events.

Individuals like Turner are our inspiration. Because of her and others like her, Port Orchard shines in their reflective light. We benefit from their vision of community life, their level of involvement, how well they support that which is good for the whole.

As a tribute to Jessie, lend a hand at the next Fathoms O’ Fun event when volunteer help is requested. And get more involved.

Simply put: As Jessie demonstrated, you can make a difference. And not just in community life, but perhaps in the life of an individual. Kitsap County offers volunteer opportunities in 17 programs that, among other things, maintain our beaches, parks, roads, shores and streams; assist the sheriff’s department; help children who’ve strayed get back on the right track; and mentor veterans going through Veterans Court.

In addition, numerous county boards, councils and commissions direct how the county responds to needs regarding the arts, human rights, ferry transportation, older residents and children. Go to www. kitsapgov.com/volunteer/current.htm or call Rebecca Pirtle, 360-337-4650 for more information.

In Port Orchard, seven committees advise the City Council on issues related to land use, finance, parks and recreation, planning and utilities. In addition, the city government encourages citizens to become volunteers to help maintain and improve the city’s parks and trails; police department volunteers help the department by being an extra set of eyes and ears while on patrol. They report any suspicious activity to patrol officers. Go to www.cityofportorchard.us/police-volunteers/ for information about applications and opportunities to serve.

For more information about volunteering to help your city government function better, contact Deborah Howard at dhoward@cityofportorchard.us.

You don’t have to be an appointed or elected official to make a difference. Speak out on local issues. When you do so, you contribute to the development of ideas, foster community dialogue, and help appointed and elected officials make decisions.

The Kitsap County Board of County Commissioners meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month, 5:30 p.m., in the Commissioner Chambers, 619 Division St., Port Orchard.

South Kitsap School District is always seeking help from citizens at its schools and facilities. Contact Amy Miller at 360-874-7005 for information. Other boards and commissions to be aware of: South Kitsap Fire District commissioners meetings and those conducted by the commissioners at West Sound Utility District.

Port Orchard and the West Sound Utility District jointly own and operate the Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility, which provides secondary treatment to our community’s wastewater before it enters Sinclair Inlet. Learn more about your utility and its function by contacting officials at 360-876-2545.

And, of course, we welcome your presence at another public forum — our letters to the editor page.