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Patriot Bremerton

FLY THE FLAG: Show your pride. Page A10-A11

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 | Vol. 14, No. 23 | 50¢

First day of summer CKSD money and communication problems lead to meltdown School board holding closed sessions to address issues that started in public By Patrick McDonough

X/staff photo

Six-year-old Malia Young, right, inspects the available flavors at Cold Stone Creamery while her little brother Neyo, 4, and big sister Mariah, 8, do the same at around 2:30 p.m. See more photos from the first day of summer on pages 13 and 14.

Feds dole out $750K to fund six new sheriff’s deputies Veterans and laid-off deputies have first crack at jobs when they open By KEVAN MOORE

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a Community Oriented Police Services grant from the U.S. Dept. of Justice to fund six deputy sheriff positions. The sheriff may use grant funds to hire military veterans or rehire laidoff officers, according to rules of the grant. “This is good news and a great opportunity to support our military veterans and improve public safety,” said Sheriff Steve Boyer, who described

the grant award announcement as a “quiet, but very much appreciated surprise.” More than $111 million is being awarded to public safety agencies. In Western Washington, both Clallam and Kitsap Counties won. Grant winning cities include Burien, Tacoma and Port Townsend Police Departments. The estimated amount of federal dollars expected in Kitsap County, during the three-year grant period, is $750,000. One requirement of the grant is that the the county is expected to match it to a certain level. “I’m very pleased that the U. S.

Department of Justice has recognized the exceptional work accomplished by our deputies and detectives and their involvement with on-going community oriented policing concepts,” added Sheriff Boyer. “Since the economic downturn this agency has lost 35 positions. We’ve been reduced to an almost impossible staffing ratio. The thin blue line is in jeopardy of becoming a thinner blue dash line. But the men and women of your sheriff’s office have persevered. This award reflects well on their efforts.” In all, the COPS grant funding awards for 2012 will go to more than 220 cities and counties across the country and is aimed at creating or saving approximately 800 law enforcement positions.

What began as a regularly scheduled meeting of the Central Kitsap School Board quickly transformed into a two hour closed session after two board members expressed discontent with Superintendent Greg Lynch, issues of communication and district finances. The evening meeting on June 20 took a turn when board member Christy Cathcart began questioning Superintendent Greg Lynch on the timeline involved in receiving information on the district’s loss of funding from Heavy Impact Aid. Cathcart drew a timeline from a series of internal school board emails and said she had not been made aware of the loss of the funding in a timely manner. Cathcart questioned transparency of communication within the board and with the superintendent. “I want to know what you knew and when you knew it,” she said. The loss of federal funding was citied by district leaders as the primary cause of the huge budget shortfall that is likely to result in cuts to education in 2013 and beyond. Ly nch d isputed Cathcart’s claim, but said he would look into the matter further. In the wake of Cathcart’s statements, board mem-

ber Eric Greene also conveyed concern over the issue and cited a 77-day delay in receiving information about the denied grant application. Shortly after 7 p.m., the dispute escalated and the board abruptly called a series of closed session meetings that lasted more than two hours. After the closed sessions, the board returned and board president Chris Stokke read a prepared statement expressing confidence in Lynch, school administration and staff. “The school board is committed to support the superintendent, administration and staff in order to preserve the high quality of education provided to the students of our school district,” he read. The board then proceeded to address a truncated agenda including a handful of grant items and then adjourned the meeting. After the meeting, Lynch discussed the issues leading to the closed session and said the district’s current financial woes exacerbated emotions within the board and caused stress within the district. “That in of itself sets up a condition for organizational stress,” he said. “And I believe what we have seen is a byproduct of those conditions.” The closed sessions and board members’ concerns about communications came on the heels of a June 7 vote of “no confidence” in See MELTDOWN, A16

Bremerton Patriot, June 29, 2012  
Bremerton Patriot, June 29, 2012  

June 29, 2012 edition of the Bremerton Patriot