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The Last Word
Hauge's vendetta — $338,000 and climbing

Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hague recently filed yet another lawsuit against embattled Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club (KRRC) Executive Director Marcus Carter. This is a civil suit against Carter personally, not against the KRRC.

Carter has beaten Hauge in court three different times, without the benefit of a lawyer. When Hauge couldn’t win that way, he resorted to using the land-use code to try and shut down KRRC — which is still in litigation. Now this. Am I the only one who believes that Hauge is using our tax dollars to finance what amounts to a personal vendetta against Carter?

We filed a public records request asking just how much of our money Hauge has spent pursuing this personal vendetta. The total had exceeded $338,000! That’s prior to the land-use action — which went to Superior Count and is on appeal — and the most recent civil suit. At this point, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it’s topped a half a million dollars.

This is unconscionable! There are so many other, more pressing needs that money should have been spent on — more deputies on the street; the meth problem; helping the homeless; supporting food banks; recreation for kids. The list goes on.

If you believe it’s time the taxpayers stopped financing Hauge’s personal vendetta and for the county commissioners to rein him in, call your commissioner today — 360-337-7146.

Enough is enough.

 

As you may have heard, I’ve accepted the position of Executive Officer of the North Peninsula Building Association (NPBA), which is headquartered in Sequim. The NPBA is the equivalent of the Homebuilders Association (HBA) in Kitsap, and represents the construction industry. With almost 20 years as a member of the Kitsap HBA, and over 15 as State Director from Kitsap for the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), including most of that time also serving on BIAW’s Legislative Policy Committee and PAC, this position is a good fit for both myself and the NPBA.

A lot of people asked why I didn’t just return to editing this paper, and doing what I did before being elected mayor of Port Orchard in November of 2007.

Without going into a lot of detail, the answer is pretty simple. When I became mayor, I turned many of the duties I handled at our company over to others, as there simply wasn’t enough time for me to run the business end of the city, and run the company. My wife Dee has handled the day-to-day management very well since I left at the beginning of 2008, and frankly, after doing this since 1988, I was bored. After hiring Tim Kelly as editor, it freed me up to pursue new challenges — which I thrive on overcoming.

But to answer the most frequently asked questions: Yes, I will continue to write this column and the car reviews for the paper. No, we are not moving out of Kitsap County. We did move from our downtown Port Orchard condo back to our home in Manchester. We spent five years doing a total remodel — kitchen, reconfigured two bathrooms, created a luxurious master suite, and lots more — and we intend to stay and enjoy it. I’m commuting to Sequim and telecommuting. The hour-and-10-minute drive is actually pretty pleasant — especially compared to what a commute to King County could be.

My job entails running the day-to-day business operations of the association, as well as re-engaging the NPBA’s Government Affairs Committee in the local political process as a force to be reckoned with once again. Restarting the NPBA’s Future Builders Program, which trains high school and college students for jobs in construction, as well as enhancing various non-dues revenue streams are on my to do list. Running the Built Green program and also overseeing construction of a home for Corporal Ammon Lang, who lost his legs serving in Afghanistan, as part of the nationwide Homes For Our Troops effort, are also on the to-do list.

I’ve been warmly welcomed by the Clallam County community. DCD Director Sheila Roark Miller reached out, and facilitated an introduction to the county commissioners. Commissioner Jim McEntire, a former Port of Port Angeles commissioner, took the time to acquaint me with some of the more pressing issues facing the county, and more specifically, how they impact our industry.

I attended a meeting of the Implementation Forum for the Department of Ecology’s (DOE) WRIA 18 Rule. Since much of this area is rural without water and sewer infrastructure, the rule has significant and costly impacts for property owners needing a new well, or desiring to change the use of an existing one, as well as builders and landowners with property inside the UGA not served by city water.

The group at that meeting included myself, representatives from the DOE, Realtors, property rights advocates, environmentalists, and various elected officials. What I wasn’t expecting was the absolute respectful civility of the participants towards each other, or the solution-oriented spirit of cooperation among them.

If this had been Kitsap County — where I’ve attended more meetings like this than I care to remember — it would have been a highly contentious and combative affair at best, with the usual all or nothing, take-no-prisoners, no compromise arrogance that passes for public process. I’m really not going to miss any of that…

 
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