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Each week I have been sharing with you the initiatives that are included in my 2019 proposed budget so that you can see what I’m doing to accomplish the direction you have given me as your mayor. So far, I’ve highlighted my proposal for affordable housing and the direction to expedite the phase-out of the B & O Tax so that businesses keep more of their money which will help them grow and sustain their operations.
This week I’m pleased to share with you what I’m doing to ensure that Bremerton is the most beautiful city – it’s all about flowers, art, and beautiful neighborhoods. These investments create a livable city.
You love the City’s flower program, and so do I. We have a dedicated staff in the City’s Parks and Recreation Department that grows the flowers in our greenhouses and then they put them on display and care for them throughout the growing season. These flowers create a beautiful streetscape and are something that create a sense of place for our city. I have received many compliments from you expressing your appreciation for the flowers and I am pleased to continue with this program into next year.
The City’s Arts Commission has been working with partners in our community to bring more art to our neighborhoods. They have successfully worked with Olympic College, Kitsap Regional Library and local artists to wrap city-owned utility boxes with “art wraps.” We’ve seen several installed this year and there will be more popping up in places near you next year.
The Arts Commission has also partnered with the City’s Public Works and Utilities group to install art panels on the large retaining walls on Washington Avenue to create an outdoor gallery that will enrich the City’s public spaces. These artworks will be protected with tag-proof coating to ensure that they are safe from vandalism.
I know that your neighborhoods are important to you. This year we have implemented a proactive code enforcement program where we are focused on cleaning up properties that are degrading our community. I did a walkabout with my new staff member Sara to see the kinds of things that she’s working on – please take a look at that video here. With only four months of Sara’s work we are experiencing tremendous results; we’ve had a 46% increase in properties reviewed over this time last year. I have heard from many of you that you are quite appreciative of this new initiative. The early successes that we’ve had indicate that this is the right direction for the City and the plan is to continue this program in the years to come, because these investments improve the livability of our neighborhoods.
If you have any comments about these programs, please call or email me at: 360-473-5266 or Greg.Wheeler@ci.bremerton.wa.us.
Mayor, City of Bremerton