Response to an Opinion Piece Published in the Kitsap Sun

Posted on August 15, 2023

The City of Port Orchard values and respects our local building contractors for the contributions that they make to our local economy and to the fabric of our lives.  We also understand and appreciate the multiplying factor of local dollars that stay in our community. I’m thankful that the owner of the 429 Bay Street project, the former Cheers/Lighthouse restaurant site has started construction and has selected a Port Orchard contractor to perform the work.

The City of Port Orchard encourages local builders to bid on our public works projects because we do understand the positive impact that this has for our local economy.  As a public local government, state law dictates the procedures we use to select the contractors for our public projects. We are required to perform a competitive bid process and award the contract to the lowest responsive bidder. Both the Washington State Attorney General and the Washington State Auditor’s Office have confirmed local agencies shall not bypass this process by granting preference to local businesses. I encourage our community to join me in urging our state legislators to consider changes to these laws to allow local governments to invest in our local businesses.

As a steward of public dollars, I’m responsible for ensuring that we comply with the law and safeguard that our precious tax dollars are spent appropriately and efficiently. I would also like to thank everyone who works to help us build a better and more prosperous community. Your hard work helps build a stronger and economically vibrant Port Orchard.

Rob Putaansuu

Port Orchard Mayor

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