Bremerton man fights city hall by shaming politicians into action

Bremerton man fights city hall by shaming politicians into action »Play Video
BREMERTON, Wash. -- A Bremerton property owner who is disgusted by graffiti is fighting city hall in his own style -- by shaming politicians into action.

Todd Best is fed up with the spray-painted vandalism on the vacant and demolished buildings along the waterfront.

"We now have hypodermic needles, people dumping garbage here," Best said. "Blight thrives on blight."

From his informal headquarters at Boston Pizza, this former Navy man and New York firefighter claims the city is not doing enough. So to pressure the mayor and other city officials into actions, he's publishing their six-figure salaries on T-shirts.

He claims the city's alleged lack of action is hurting Bremerton's economy.

"You're gonna have people who are not going to want to do business in your city, or good citizens who don't want to be part of good neighborhoods in your city," Best said.

But mayor Patty Lent says under her leadership, the city is catching vandals, and working with property owners to clean up.

"Sometimes I think Todd believes he can do a better job than me," Lent said.

Lent says if anything, Best delays city action with his abrasive style of activism.

"If he were willing to work with us instead of airing everything publicly first, we'd get more done," she said.

The mayor says she wants her city to thrive as passionately as Best does.

"They might not agree with me, and that fine," Lent said. "That's what makes America so good."

Best says he'll keep printing red T-shirts and publishing city salaries. Lent says she's proud of her work and not ashamed of a thing.