The Poulsbo Beat

News, insight and conversation about Poulsbo.

City plan amendments, Urban Paths plan discussed tonight at public hearing

March 13th, 2012 at 9:53 am by Richard D. Oxley
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The City of Poulsbo is holding a public workshop and hearing tonight to discuss the Comprehensive Plan amendments. Many of the amendments are “text amendments,” such as updating Waterfront Park to Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park. The amendments also include four properties that have been acquired by the city as park space, re-designating them from residential or commercial to park.

The city also plans to formally adopt the Urban Paths of Poulsbo plan into the Comprehensive Plan. For future planning purposes, such as grant applications, the city is adopting the plan with some trails still designated as ‘proposed’ — those trails that cross private property that the city has not yet finalized.

Parks and Recreation Director Mary McCluskey said those paths on private property, shown in pink on the map, are “desired future connection points.”

“We want to connect A to B,” she said. However, the city cannot and has no intention of “taking” private property. Instead, the city has been working with private owners to create easements for the trail.  McCluskey stressed the pink lines can only become trails through the property owner’s willingness.

The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 200 NE Moe St.

The Comprehensive Plan staff reports can be found here  and information on tonight’s meeting can be found here. The Urban Paths plan can be found here and the proposed map can be found here.

Fine-free day at Kitsap libraries

March 12th, 2012 at 5:34 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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In honor of the Bainbridge Public Library Building’s 50th Anniversary, all branches of Kitsap Regional Library will offer forgiveness on overdue fines for items returned on Saturday, March 17.

Poulsbo Library is located at 700 NE Lincoln Road. It is open Mondays 1-8 p.m., Tuesday-Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Thursdays 1-5 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and closed Sundays.

Overdue fines will be waived for any item returned to a KRL branch or the bookmobile that day. Outstanding fines for items returned earlier, fees for lost items or fees assessed on items that have been referred to a collection agency will not be waived.

Because KRL sets $5 as the maximum overdue fine, the maximum savings possible to a library patron would be $5 per item returned.

The goal of the amnesty day is to encourage the return of overdue library materials. Generally speaking, KRL would rather have overdue items returned than have to collect a replacement fee and buy a new item.

In addition to helping the entire system celebrate the Bainbridge Library anniversary, it will also help KRL remove overdue fines from patron accounts prior to transferring our user records to the new Integrated Library System software that will go live April 26.

“As we move to a new Integrated Library System the end of April, we want both our user and collection records to be a clean as possible,” said Carol Schuyler, Director of Support Services. “To be able to combine this with a celebration of our Bainbridge Branch is a wonderful opportunity.”

KRL encourages patrons who have overdue items from the library to search your house for missing library books, magazines, DVDs or CDs so you can bring them in on March 17.

Council meeting videos available online

March 2nd, 2012 at 9:44 am by Richard D. Oxley
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The Poulsbo City Council is now available anytime, anywhere…provided you have an internet connection. Mayor Becky Erickson announced today that past council meetings will available as video for review on the city’s website.

“Ultimately, we would like to stream our council meeting live on the web as well as televising them on BKAT,” Erickson said in a statement. “The public should always have the ability to see their government in action.”

The city council meets the first three Wednesdays of the month at 7 p.m. at City Hall (200 NE Moe St.), and airs live on public access station BKAT (Bremerton Kitsap Access Television). Erickson said they will “try to get [the video] up within 24 hours” of the meeting.

The videos are accessible from the city website, under Community Resources. Check them out here.

AG: Poulsbo Port commissioner was ineligible for appointment

February 25th, 2012 at 1:15 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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While the Attorney General’s opinion is a sitting commissioner cannot be appointed to another board position during his term, the issue has never been brought up in Washington state courts, continuing to add uncertainty to the Port of Poulsbo’s predicament.

Newly elected Commissioner Jim Rutledge asked for the state Attorney General’s opinion after questions arose on Commissioner Arnold Bockus’ appointment to a vacancy before his elected term ended, leading to animosity on the commission.

Because the commission is small — three seats — when Bockus lost his bid for re-election in November and Commissioner Glenn Gilbert resigned right before the election, Commission Chair Tony DeCarlo wanted to fill Gilbert’s vacancy as soon as possible. After a three-week application period, in which only an applicant from Silverdale applied (outside port boundaries, disqualified), Bockus stepped forward.

What the concern is for Rutledge, and a few members of the public, is how legal it was for Bockus to have been appointed before his term expired, and that he voted for himself.

DeCarlo said that after consulting with the port attorney, he alone could not appoint or vote for a commissioner; that task would go to the County Commission. With two sitting commissioners until Dec. 31, he and Bockus appointed Bockus to Gilbert’s former position.

“Two of us voted, and [Bockus] voted for himself, and that’s where the rub lies, I guess,” DeCarlo said.

The port’s attorney, Greg Norbut, said the opinion leaves the situation “up in the air.”

“It’s not case specific, it doesn’t even note the fact [the port had] only one applicant,” Norbut said. “It takes a hypothetical situation.”

Norbut said he has not discussed further action with the commission, but his impression is any legislative action would be taken up by Rep. Sherry Appleton, who requested the AG opinion on behalf of Rutledge.

DeCarlo, however, is not uncertain: the Attorney General’s informal opinion on the legality of the case does not change the circumstances for him. In the informal opinion, Christopher Lanese, assistant attorney general, cited a common law public policy principle that a sitting commissioner is ineligible for appointment if the appointment is made during the commissioner’s term.

The opinion cited several different court cases, all pointing to a different solution, but DeCarlo specified a Florida case in 2009, which ruled no “prohibition against appointing bodies appointing its own members to positions.”

No Washington case or statute has directly addressed this issue. The opinion stated there have been no developments in Washington law that says a court would follow the public policy principle; because of this, the opinion also states legislation would have to address this subject to clarify these questions.

Recycling: Poulsbo Library offers used book sale

February 8th, 2012 at 3:06 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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The Poulsbo Friends of the Library will host a used book sale at the Poulsbo Library on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Poulsbo Library.

The Friends meet the first Monday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in the meeting room at the Poulsbo Library (except during July and August). Membership is $5 a year. For more information, go to and click on the “KRL Support” tab on the home page.

Poulsbo PD strengthens countywide agency agreement

February 7th, 2012 at 3:16 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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The Poulsbo City Council approved an inter-agency agreement between several police jurisdictions, for the purpose of cooperation and shared resources, according to Police Chief Dennis Swiney.

Swiney said the Kitsap County Incident Response Team Agreement was spurred by the state Mutual Aid Police Officers Powers Act.

“The change [will be] more of a collaborative, organized effort with the involved agencies to ensure standard operating procedures…post incident,” Swiney said.

Poulsbo Police Department will be providing Det. David Gesell with additional training as a part of this cross-county team. The agreement is between Washington State Patrol, Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard, Bremerton and Poulsbo police departments. All agencies currently have an agreement with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department, which while it not in this new agreement, will continue to provide assistance and response when needed.

“As small as we are, I really appreciate the other jurisdictions…[that have been] receptive to the needs [Poulsbo has],” Swiney said.

Comprehensive Plan amendment timeline rolls out

February 1st, 2012 at 1:13 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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The city has reviewed 13 proposed amendments to the 2012 Comprehensive Plan, and will issue a determination of nonsignificance for probable adverse environmental impacts. In the amendments is also the adoption of the Urban Paths of Poulsbo plan.
The city will be accepting comments on the Comprehensive Plan at anytime during the amendment process. Agencies, tribes and the public had until Jan. 27 to review and comment on the environmental impacts of the proposed projects.
The non-motorized trail plan, connecting Poulsbo’s numerous parks and establishing connections to the forthcoming North Kitsap Trail Plan (also known as the String of Pearls), still has conceptualized trails. Parks and Recreation Director Mary McCluskey said the plan has been adjusted since its last public meeting in October, and a proposed trail was moved 300 feet from Johnson Creek. She said no other private landowner has come forward since October with additional comments, and the desired trails that cut through private property are still being worked out.
The staff report on the amendments will be available mid-February, and will go before the Planning Commission Feb. 28, 7 p.m., at City Hall. The City Council will hold a second public hearing in April.
Comments can be submitted to the Poulsbo Planning Department, 200 Moe St. NE, Poulsbo, WA, 98370; faxed to (360) 697-8269; or emailed to
The Comprehensive Plan can be found here (look for amendments).

Multiple vehicle damage reported in Poulsbo last night

January 25th, 2012 at 11:28 am by Richard D. Oxley
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Between the hours of 8 p.m. on Jan. 24 into the morning hours of Jan. 25, the Poulsbo Police Department has been responding to numerous reports of damage to motor vehicles, according to Deputy Chief Wendy Davis. The offenders appear to be using some type of BB or Pellet type gun to shoot out vehicle windows. At present there have been approximately 27 reports of vehicle damage in a variety of locations throughout the city. Davis added that the city of Bremerton received several similar calls on the same night. Poulsbo victims have not reported any thefts of property from their vehicles.

If citizens locate damage to their vehicles they are encouraged to call 911 to report the crime. Additionally, if anyone has suspect information they should call the Poulsbo Police Department during working hours at (360) 779-3113 or call 911.

Following are some recommendations to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of vehicle malicious mischief and prowls:

• When parking your vehicle or entering a parked vehicle, take the time to look around the area for anything suspicious.

• When parking your car always remove any valuables, keys, roll up the windows and lock the doors.

• If possible park your vehicle in closed or locked garage.

• If your vehicle is parked in a carport or in front of your home, leave the exterior lights on or use motion detector lighting.

• If your vehicle is parked on the street, choose a well-lit open space. Make sure bushes and shrubs are trimmed back so that they do not block the view of your vehicle.

City amends Comprehensive Plan, comments due for environmental impacts

January 20th, 2012 at 2:40 pm by Richard D. Oxley
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The city has reviewed 13 proposed amendments to the 2012 Comprehensive Plan, and will issue a determination of nonsignificance for probable adverse environmental impacts after the public comment period.
While the city accepts comments on the Comprehensive Plan at anytime during the amendment process, agencies, tribes and the public have until Jan. 27 to review and comment on the environmental impacts of the proposed projects.
The proposed amendments include rezoning several properties. At the Jan. 4 City Council meeting, members discussed with planning staff one particular proposal — rezoning four sites from Residential or Commercial to Park. These include parcels bought this year by the city to become parks, such as a .7 acre lot next to Fish Park; 2.7 acres of the former Lord property and about 1 acre of the former Settle property to become Park; and adjusting the boundary line in approximately 8.4 acres of fields next to College MarketPlace as 6 acres Park and 2.4 acres Business Park.
Comments can be submitted to the Poulsbo Planning Department, 200 Moe St. NE, Poulsbo, Wash., 98370; faxed to (360) 697-8269; or emailed to
Verbal comments can also be submitted at a public hearing on Feb. 28 at the Planning Commission meeting at 7 p.m., in council chambers.
The Comprehensive Plan can be found here (look for amendments).

City council meeting cancelled

January 18th, 2012 at 9:28 am by Richard D. Oxley
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For those that still wanted to brave the snow tonight to learn about city business: stay inside, warm with your cocoa. The Poulsbo City Council cancelled its meeting tonight due to lack of agenda items … or because members wanted a snow day. Stay safe, everyone!

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About Richard D. Oxley

Richard D. Oxley covers the Poulsbo and North Kitsap beat for the North Kitsap Herald. Check the Poulsbo Beat for information about events around the city. Have a news tip, email

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