The Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council is the forum established through an inter-local agreement among its current core members - Kitsap County, the four Kitsap Cities (Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard, and Poulsbo) and the Port of Bremerton - to work together on issues that affect the entire community. In addition, Naval Base Kitsap is an Ex Officio member to provide coordination among local and federal actions, and Kitsap's two federally-recognized Tribes are Associate Members.
At this time, the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council serves four purposes:
- The Council's Executive Board is responsible for the distribution of state and federal grant funds:
- Federal Transportation Funding (via the Puget Sound Regional Council)
- Community Development Block Grant Program (except for City of Bremerton)
- State 2060 & 2163 Low Income Housing Grant Programs
- The Council is recognized by State and regional agencies as the "voice" for Kitsap County on countywide transportation planning and policy issues.
- The Council coordinates the review and monitoring of the Kitsap Countywide Planning Policies and the related Population Forecasting and Distribution required by the State of Washington Growth Management Act, through its Executive Board and multi-jurisdictional senior staff committees.
- The Council is the vehicle for other multi-jurisdictional collaborative projects identified in its annual Work Program, for example:
- Kit~Net (Broadband)
- Coordinated State Legislative Agenda
- Solid Waste Facility & Program Planning
Council leadership rotates annually. Past chairs have included County Commissioners Jan Angel, Chris Endresen, and Steve Bauer, Bremerton City Council Member Carol Arends, and Mayors Patty Lent (Bremerton), Donna Jean Bruce and Kathryn Quade (Poulsbo), Darlene Kordonowy and Dwight Sutton (Bainbridge Island) Kim Abel (Port Orchard).
2014 elected officers are:
Chair: Mayor Tim Matthes, City of Port Orchard
Vice Chair: Commissioner Robert Gelder, Kitsap County
The Kitsap Regional Coordinating has evolved and changed over the past 15 years. Originally established in 1992 to serve the planning objectives of the Washington State Growth Management Act, its role has been carefully reviewed several times in its short history.
- In the early 1990's, the Council was recognized by the Puget Sound Regional Council as the Kitsap countywide entity charged with collaborative transportation planning and distribution of federal transportation funding through its four-county program.
- In the late 1990's, the Council's Executive Board changed its name from the Kitsap Regional Planning Council to the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, to reflect its interest in cooperative action on a range of issues beyond transportation and land use.
- In 2003, the Executive Board refined language in the Countywide Planning Policies describing its role as a forum for building consensus and resolving conflict among its members on issues relating to the Countywide Planning Policies.
- In 2005, the Executive Board amended its by-laws to add the Port of Bremerton and Naval Base Kitsap to its membership.