Something’s amiss with Poulsbo's new City Hall

The hopes, ambitions and dreams of many a Poulsbo City Councilmember have rooted and sprung at Third and Moe. As the electric tools whir away and the hammers pound, every day notable change is taking place at the construction site of Poulsbo’s City Hall.

But as the days pass and the building rises — and rises and rises — from the dirt below, we can’t help but notice that something about the building doesn’t quite fit the scheme of things. Poulsbo, as Mayor Becky Erickson once described it, is a “funky little town.”

It’s a town that loves all things seafaring and has a hearty Norwegian spirit. Poulsbo residents eat lutefisk and celebrate the holidays with bonfires. Poulsbo welcomes summer every year with a three-day fun fest where Viking helmets aren’t optional, they’re preferred. Here, in the northern tip of Kitsap County, jeans and button-up shirts are business casual. Business meetings take place over lattes and Wi-Fi connections.

And, to capture the spirit of Poulsbo (a city of about 9,000 residents), a $15 million, slick building is springing from the ground.

We do agree that there is a need for a new City Hall, and we understand that it’s supposed to last for the next 50 years. But the building that “will provide 30,000 (square) feet of new office space, public meeting spaces, a public plaza, and a public parking garage that will serve the citizens of our community and the employees of the city of Poulsbo,” according to the city’s Web site, just doesn’t seem to fit in downtown.

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