By BECKY ERICKSON
In looking forward to 2014, the City of Poulsbo must emphasize where we have come from in prior years. We must acknowledge where we have succeeded and where we still need to strive for success.
Our successes include multiple years of balanced budgets without using operating reserves, a reinvigorated downtown, the resurgence of community pride as typified by the Norseman statue, and protection of our environmental resources while increasing business activity. But where will we need to work harder for our community in 2014?
We will need to work hard to promote more businesses, better roads, parks that are well maintained and safe, increased police presence in our neighborhoods, and always fostering the community spirit of Poulsbo which is the life blood of our community.
The work of reinvigorating Viking Avenue has been ongoing for several years. We are seeing success with the relocation of Fishline to the Poulsbo RV property and hopefully Sound Brewery into the old Ford dealership. Can we find a permanent home for the Poulsbo’s Farmers Market along Viking Avenue?
The new Safeway store will open this spring. Kitsap Transit will begin to build their new north end park and ride lot on north Viking Avenue. The CVS pharmacy continues to move forward at Highway 305 and Hostmark. The City will be holding a community meeting on Jan. 27 regarding what should be done with the old City Hall site. What is the community vision for this property? Please attend and express your opinion.
Most are aware that we have a drug problem in our community. Our problem is no worse than many communities that surround us. We, in Poulsbo, face our problems and work toward solutions. Our action plan is moving forward. We have made multiple arrests, increased patrols in our neighborhoods, reached out to neighboring jurisdictions to coordinate support, formed community watch groups, and are reviewing data to see how our actions are working. We are seeing positive results and will continue with a zero-tolerance policy for drug abuse in our community.
Two new parks are on our horizon, both along the Noll Road corridor. At the intersection of Mesford Road and Noll Road, there will be a 1.25-acre active recreation park with play equipment. It will be furnished much like Lions Park on 6th Avenue. Along Lemolo Creek, there will be a new 10-acre park associated with the Mountain Aire subdivision which will start in the spring.
We in Poulsbo live in a joyous community. New community events for 2014 include a February weekend visit by a large boating group, featuring hydroplane pilot Chip Hanauer. In July, we will host the Kitsap Humane Society Pet Walk, with a pet parade down 6th Avenue and Fjord Drive. We will continue the successful Viking Avenue Tree Lighting the day after Thanksgiving, with even more lights and music. Can we hope for another Viking statue on Highway 305, a Bride for the Norseman?
I will continue my open office hours, every Saturday morning, 9 a.m. until noon, no appointment required. Please come and talk to me. Tell me your concerns and ideas. City government works for you.
Happy New Year!
— Becky Erickson is serving her second term as mayor of Poulsbo.