City Council October 1-13: The Most Minimal Reporting

Important Public Hearing 10/20! Details below.

Council reports have been sketchy, I know. I’ve been busy. My opponent is a daily inspiration to me. I’m taking every daylight hour I can to walk up to voters’ doors, knock, and ask them about their hopes and concerns for Bremerton.

Streets and homelessness. Over 1400 doors and that’s by far the #1 issue. People want sidewalks. They want potholes fixed. They like my cheaper program of painting center lines, lane edges, stopsign lines, crosswalks. On homelessness, they’re about 80-20 get ’em a room of their own it’s a human right vs. it’s their own darn fault. Runners-up are drug use, about 60-40 sweep ’em out of sight vs. get them the help they need. Everybody likes the idea of a water bill that tells you what the heck you’re paying for, an example of government that’s transparent. (I’ll bet good money people would like 311 — a one-stop number that directs you to the department you need to talk to.) There’s a fair proportion, about 25%, that don’t want to pay any taxes or have any restrictions or get any shots or obey any laws they object to.

And there are so many people who are sad. Deeply sad. So sad it’s as though dust lay on their faces. Much sadder than they were in 2019, or even in fall 2020 when I was a temp with the Census. They’re so tired of this. They’ve been alone so long. Nothing will change. There’s no point.

On the other hand, I met a man who works with drug users at an effective rehab program who was really moved by the idea that Council might be an ally in his drive to get rehab graduates a place of their own. He told me I was a blessing. So there are occasional hits of pure usefulness.

But I was going to tell you about Council.

Last week, all I caught was Garrett Jackson presenting about the 10/20 Public Hearing. Perhaps you got a flyer about housing displacement and the CAPS amendments? I follow Council and I couldn’t figure this one out.

Here’s the deal: Housing displacement seems to be a strategy to take care of people whose low-income roofs have to be destroyed to build low-income housing that’s habitable. Well, they need a place to live. This seems to be a plan to get them one.

CAPS, on the other hand, is the further march of Planning Commission in their drive to mouth the phrase “pedestrian activity is the keynote of the Comprehensive Plan” while putting forth proposals for drive-throughs and light industry along the Callow Ave corridor, which extends to 13th & Wycoff. Light industry is the naval contractor across from the Wycoff entrance to St Vincent de Paul. Those places are dead zones from 5pm to 8am.

Planning Commission approved Jackson’s proposal to 1) allow food trucks in “a parking lot across from Safeway” on a temporary basis. (I can’t figure this out. There’s no parking lot across from Safeway, except maybe the Fastenall lot or the old burned-out gas station on the other side of 11th St.) 2) eliminate parking requirements for developers who add 10 or fewer housing units along Callow, which Jackson says the community has identified as an issue. Hello? Community? Did you talk to Jackson? why was this your priority? and 3) light industry along Callow. There will be no public interaction with light industry. That’s the plan. That’s not going to promote pedestrian activity. Which, again, is the keynote of the Comprehensive Plan.

There’s a Public Hearing on this on 10/20. If you got the outreach, it was tough to find the link to the July meeting of the Planning Commission that actually lays out these amendments. Here it is: 20210920 PC Packet.pdf

Please submit comment to the hearing tomorrow. You can do it by email. Or you can speak up at Public Recognition and thank me for getting it moved back to the top of the agenda. Hey, them as can brag without lying, let ’em brag.

That’s it for me tonight. Check out the passionate meeting of October 6th if you get the chance. Stay well, stay safe, see you tomorrow at Public Hearing, I hope.

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