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Patriot Bremerton

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Bremerton mayoral race is marquee matchup Mayor Patty Lent makes her case for re-election

isn’t ready for prime-time. “That’s my biggest concern about my opponent,” she said. “If you aren’t connected to your community in some capacity, then I don’t think that you have a leadership quality. I have BY KEVAN MOORE to be very honest with you, I won’t be sad or disappointed as much if I were to lose as what KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM would happen to this city and the people in Bremerton Mayor Patty Lents has a pair this city if I didn’t win. I have a commitment of small silver figurines in the kitchen of her and this job is very much worth fighting for, Marine Drive home. if only for the fact that I believe I represent One of them is a bear which represents her the city well and the people say, ‘That’s my husband, Doug, who she describes as “a real mayor.’ “ man’s man.” After introducing herThe other is a giraffe. self while door-belling in “The giraffe is me because I Bremerton’s various neighstick my neck out,” Lent said. borhoods, Lent often men“There isn’t anything I won’t tions the city’s new movie do for a cause. If you needed theater, the WinCo in West something, I would make a Bremerton and various street phone call on your behalf. improvements. If it’s Derek Kilmer or Patty “And I mention that we Murray, it doesn’t matter how have a balanced budget which high we need to go. If it’s the we didn’t have when I got president of a company or the here,” she adds. “I say that I owner of a building, because I am fiscally conservative and am the mayor, they generally I want to know if I’ve done take my call.” things that you think the city Kevan Moore/Staff Photo Lent hastens to add that she needs to happen. If not, I ask also doesn’t throw around the Patty Lent them what they would like me title of her office willy-nilly. to do in my second term of “I believe I’m a humble office. I ask them questions.” mayor because the job doesn’t make me She also answers a lot of questions. important, but the importance of that job gets “People start with, ‘You didn’t want a $20 things done,” she said. car tab fee and now we’ve got one,’ “ Lent said. Lent, though, isn’t shy about her reasons “I say, but if you’ve complained about a potfor wanting to be re-elected and letting voters know that her opponent lacks experience and SEE LENT, A13

Challenger Todd Best calls for city hall changes BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM

A few years ago, before his Cut the Fat Campaign at city hall to save city workers’ jobs in 2011, Todd Best built a rock wall at one of his rental properties in West Bremerton in an effort to beautify what had been a dilapidated house. The pushback he got from the city over a year later, is the genesis of one of his favorite campaign lines. The rock wall incident, where the city told him that his wall didn’t meet a height ordinance a year after it went up, is where Best’s trademark line, “the Department of Community Non-Development,” was born. “I had to endure a lot of running around, the hiring of an engineer out of my own pocket,” Best said. “They were not happy with the amount Todd Best of the permit I paid. And I thought to myself, ‘What is this, modern day extortion? You’re going to come back after me and ask for more permit money because you weren’t happy with the amount I initially paid?’ So, they took me to a hearing and I fought and was ultimately allowed to continue forward with my rock wall

that I built.” The whole experience was a big waste of time and money. “I should get into the rock wall building business, the guy that’s the engineer I hired told me,” Best said. From there, Best eventually got more involved in keeping an eye on city government and speaking up “In doing so, I ended up meeting city workers when the mayor wanted to lay them off in December of 2011 in the budget at the end of the year,” he said. “I saw disheartened, sad, demoralized city workers. They were afraid. I thought to myself, ‘Why should our city workers be afraid of their supervisors, their superiors, the city officials?’ That’s not the way you lead, through fear.” Best says he learned some of his most valuable lessons about leadership while working as a firefighter in the New York City Fire Department. “It’s pretty simple,” he said. “We lead by example. How Kevan Moore/Staff Photo can we tell somebody to cut their grass when the city owns properties where the grass is up to our knees? How can the city tell somebody to fix something at their home or business when the city owns buildings that need to be fixed.”’ Best says leadership entails motivating peoSEE BEST, A13

Volunteers spruce up the Bremerton Gateway BY KEVAN MOORE


Courtesy Photo

About 100 volunteers showed up Saturday to clean up the medians along Highway 304 and Charleston Boulevard at the southern entrance into the city of Bremerton.

Bremerton’s looking a bit better this week. That’s due in part to about 100 volunteers who joined city crews Saturday to clean up a median at the southern entrance to Bremerton known as the Gateway, a stretch of divided roadway that runs along Highway 304 and Charleston Boulevard. The massive volunteer effort was spearheaded by Manette resident Jane Rebelowski who grew tired of driving by the overgrown median and approached the city to find a solution. “I think the greatest thing was folks from all different backgrounds laughing and working very hard

together,” she said. “We did not accomplish all that we hoped but I also think we underestimated just how much work was out there.” Rebelowski estimates that volunteers managed to clear weeds and trim bushes on close to 1,300 feet of the median, leaving about 2,000 feet to be cleaned up later. “I plan on starting promotion of Phase II in January,” Rebelowski said. “I hope more local businesses including our banks, credit unions, car dealerships, the real estate community and others are able to join in with the many energetic volunteers that showed up this past Saturday.” Bremerton Parks and Recreation Director Wyn Birkenthal spoke fondly of

partnering with Rebelowski and all the other volunteers. “It was a fantastic show of what a community can do when the impetus comes from a citizen (Jane) and government is open to assisting that citizen with the project,” Birkenthal said. “I actually thought there might be a few more volunteers Saturday, however the volunteers that came to the cleanup were mostly allin, all-day workers. I had the same volunteer pulling weeds beside me at 2 p.m. as I started with at 8:30 a.m., and there were many of that same ilk.” Birkenthal also spoke about other recent collaborations between the city SEE GATEWAY, A13

Bremerton Patriot, November 01, 2013  

November 01, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot

Bremerton Patriot, November 01, 2013  

November 01, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot