Sunday, June 15, 2008

SKIA Going To Court?

Once again, the Kitsap Sun has editorialized to paint Port Orchard as the obstructionist in the SKIA debate without having all the facts, or even bothering to research them. Journalism 101 dictates at the very least, a telephone call should have been made to reaffirm what they thought they already knew.

There is supporting documentation for the 1998 MOU that was signed years after the original agreement. The Sun editorial fails to mention that — perhaps because the editorial writer didn't bother to ask.

The City of Port Orchard has invited officials from the Port and Bremerton, as well as the landowners, to sit down on two separate occasions so we could review that documentation and craft a plan that accommodates everyone's legal obligations and allows SKIA to move forward. But they have completely stonewalled us and refused to meet — or even respond.

Port Orchard, in conjunction with the Westsound Utility District, has invested millions of taxpayer dollars to support the infrastructure needs at SKIA based on the legal obligations the Port and Bremerton have agreed to. Why would we walk away from that — so a handful of landowners can get rich on the backs of our citizens?

The bottom line is Port Orchard will be negatively impacted financially in numerous ways by the development of SKIA if it isn't a partner to its development and share in the resources it generates. That was acknowledged in the original agreement and reaffirmed in subsequent documents. All Port Orchard is asking is that the parties signatory to those documents live up to the agreements they made — nothing more.

Port Orchard has stated in the past that it prefers negotiation to litigation. However, if Bremerton moves forward with the annexation in violation of the legal contract it signed, it will be responsible for forcing this matter into court — not Port Orchard.

With all that in mind, perhaps it would have been prudent for the Kitsap Sun editorial writers to have checked out ALL the facts — not accepting what they've been spoon fed by Bremerton as gospel — before writing something so blatantly biased against our city.


  1. The 1998 MOA entered into by the Port of Bremerton, City of Bremerton, City of Port Orchard, and Kitsap County said annexation would not be proposed until the obligations stated in the MOA had been met.

    Is the City of Bremerton proposing annexation?

    I don't think so. I think the Port of Bremerton is proposing annexation (or would be, if they follow through after the notice of intent from them is accepted by the city).

    Is this a distinction without a difference, or is the beef of the City of Port Orchard with the port district rather than the city?

  2. It's a distinction without a difference. Our beef is with both - since they're violating what is essentially a legally binding contract in the view of our attorney.

    What is so frustrating about all this is that we could probably settle our differences in about 30 minutes if they would only come to the table. It's their arrogance thinking if they stonewall us we'll just go away, that's so galling.