Kudos and criticism, thumb's up, thumb's down | IN OUR OPINION

Bouquets or brickbats, public officials on Bainbridge Island deserve a bit of both this month.

Thumb’s up to the board of commissioners for the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, who decided last week to hold a public meeting on dog issues, one and all.

In May, the parks board held a public hearing on proposals to create an off-leash dog park at Battle Point Park, but refused to let citizens who had come to the meeting talk about other dog-related issues, including any suggestions of better locations for a dog park or creating off-leash hours at all facilities. True, the meeting had been billed as a Battle Point Park-only hearing, but not every citizen who had devoted an evening to testify had gotten the word.

Now, everyone will get a chance to have their say, and the public meeting on Tuesday, July 17 won’t be limited to one topic.

Thumb’s down to some on the Bainbridge Island City Council for complaining that the parks board got to name the city’s new gateway park.

Sure, the city has partial title to the property, but the land belongs to the public, and park officials had been asked by the Citizen’s Park Task Force to help come up with the name. A special committee was formed and held a well-advertised meeting to sort through the names that had been suggested by the public.

It was an unnecessary turf battle. Bainbridge residents expect their elected officials to work together, not bicker over silly sandlot stuff.

The council, however, gets a bouquet this month, too. Thumb’s up to the mayor and the city council for its proclamation declaring June 30 as Norm Wooldridge Day on Bainbridge.

Wooldridge, a two-term councilman known for his pioneer work in helping the island achieve cityhood and passion for the Bainbridge’s art community, passed away June 11. He will be truly missed.



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