On a previous entry on my Bremerton centric blog, I outed a local government official as an anonymous commenter on local media websites. For some time, Michael Strube has been commenting as under several aliases on these sites. His primary purpose, it appears, has been to silence, or discredit any dissenting opinions that are critical of the Bremerton city administration. If he wants to do that as a private citizen, good for him, as everyone is entitled to anonymous dissenting opinions.
However, his behavior has negatively impacted the county with his antics. For those of you who are new to the area, we used to have an every day transit system. Kitsap Transit is largely funded by sales tax revenues. Bremerton isn’t gaining businesses, it’s losing them.
Businesses like El Coral, Kate’s Jersey Subs (previously Pete’s), and Windermere stand out to me as as examples of non support by the city and the cold shoulder from the chamber. Local media and Strube kept giving “free press” to chained owned businesses that do not invest profits in the local economy. They may generate some sales tax income, but the trade off is the below market price they pay in subsidized rent. Take a good look at the Harborside, anything they want, the city obliges. But getting permits and publicity for the Horse and Cow, a wholly locally owned business, fat chance.
Second, Strube hasn’t been active on getting “prime” reconditioned, or new construction spaces occupied. He’s accepted the city line and remained silent when non-profits (and non tax paying ones) have occupied those spaces. Curiously, he also is a commissioner on the Bremerton Planning Commission. What the city desperately needs is a walking distance area grocery, properly paved roads, a redeveloped Wheaton shopping center, and a new DCD. Please show me how he’s advocated for any of this, on behalf of the chamber members. Has the city redeveloped Wheaton? No.
So that’s a little background on the issues leading up to Strube’s departure. However, the recent racial slur used by the Bremerton City Clerk at a city council meeting is what really magnified Strube’s shortcomings. Here’s the last barrage between Strube and the public on Facebook.