Contested races for County Commission, Poulsbo City Council, Poulsbo Fire District, North Kitsap School Board, Kingston Port Commission

The primary election is Aug. 16. - Staff
The primary election is Aug. 16.
— image credit: Staff

Barring challenges from write-in candidates, most North Kitsap elected officials are assured of new terms after this year's election.

The candidate filing deadline ended Friday at 5 p.m. for the Aug. 16 primary election.

Republican Christopher Tibbs, who ran for school board and served on the county's Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, is challenging County Commissioner Rob Gelder, Democrat, for the Kitsap County Commission position representing North Kitsap County.

Mike Dunphy is challenging Poulsbo City Councilwoman Connie Lord for her Position 2 seat. All other council candidates are unopposed; the prospective winners include Gary Nystul, a Poulsbo resident who is Bremerton's city auditor and a former Kalispell, Mont. city councilman. Barring a write-in challenge, he will succeed council appointee Jeff Bauman, who chose not to run for a full term.

North Kitsap School Board President Val Torrens faces a challenge from Julie Edwards and Scott Henden for her District 4 position. Ed Strickland is being challenged by Bill Webb for his District 5 position.

Poulsbo Port Commissioner Arnie Bockus is being challenged by Jim Rutledge for Position 3. In Kitsap County Fire District No. 18, also known as Poulsbo Fire District, appointed commissioner Martin Sullivan of Poulsbo is being challenged by former commissioner Jack D. Woodard of Poulsbo for his Position 3 seat.

Kingston Ferry Advisory Committee Chairman Walt Elliott and Jerry Kirschner, who led the Kingston Port District's passenger ferry advisory team, are challenging District 3 Kingston Port Commissioner Thomas A. Coultas.

The Kitsap County Elections Office has posted a final candidates list:

— Kitsap County Commission, District 1: Robert "Rob" Gelder, Democrat; Chris Tibbs, Republican

— Poulsbo City Council, Position 1: Linda Berry-Maraist

— Poulsbo City Council, Position 2: Connie Lord, Mike Dunphy

— Poulsbo City Council, Position 3: Gary Nystul

— Poulsbo City Council, Position 4: Jeff McGinty

— Poulsbo City Council, Position 6: David Musgrove

— North Kitsap School Board, District 2: Dan Weedin

— North Kitsap School Board, District 4: Julie Edwards, Val Torrens, Scott Henden

— North Kitsap School Board, District 5: Ed Strickland, Bill Webb

— North Kitsap Fire & Rescue Commission, Position 3: Stephen E. “Steve” Neupert, Kingston

— North Kitsap Fire & Rescue Commission, Position 5: Fernando “Espy” Espinosa, Suquamish

— Kitsap County Fire District No. 18 Commission, Position 3: Martin Sullivan, Poulsbo; Jack D. Woodard, Poulsbo

— Kitsap County Fire District No. 18 Commission, Position 4: David Ellingson, Poulsbo

— Port of Eglon Commission, District 2: David Roberts

— Port of Indianola Commission, District 1: Jeff Henderson

— Port of Kingston Commission, District 3: Thomas A. Coultas, Jerry Kirschner, Walt Elliott

— Port of Poulsbo Commission, Position 3: Arnold (Arnie) Bockus, Jim Rutledge

Voter-registration deadline is 29 days prior to an election. If registering by mail, the application must be postmarked by the 29-day cutoff or it will not become effective until after the election. First-time voters and new residents of the state may register up to eight days prior to the election by appearing in person at the Kitsap County Auditor’s Elections Office.

Voter registration forms are available online; at city halls, fire stations, libraries and schools; most state and federal offices; and at the Kitsap County Elections Office, 619 Division St., Port Orchard.

Each Poulsbo City Council term is four years, and members each receive $6,000 a year. The City Council is the legislative branch of city government; members approve the budget, make laws, set policies, and serve on committees.

Linda Berry-Maraist, Position 1, is completing her first term. Connie Lord, Position 2, is completing her second term. Jeff Bauman, Position 3, was appointed in January 2010 to complete the term of Becky Erickson, who was elected mayor. Jeff McGinty, Position 4, is completing his fifth term. David Musgrove, Position 5, was appointed in January to complete the term of Dale Rudolph, who resigned.

On its website, the council lists the completion of the new City Hall and adoption of a Comprehensive Plan among its accomplishments. Among its goals for 2011: Identifying and implementing the best use for the old city hall site, the former museum site and other city-owned properties; establishing a community vision for downtown, Poulsbo Village, and other town centers; further developing the city’s recreation offerings; and revitalization of Viking Avenue.

North Kitsap School Board members serve four-year terms. The school board is authorized to approve compensation for its members, but has chosen to not do so. Dan Weedin, District 2, was appointed in November 2009; his predecessor, Dan Delaney, resigned because of health issues. Val Torrens, District 4, is completing her first term. Ed Strickland, District 5, is completing his second term. The school board has been grappling with budget cuts forced by declines in enrollment and state and federal support for smaller class sizes.

Fire district commissioners serve six-year terms. In the Poulsbo Fire District (officially known as Kitsap County Fire District 18), Martin Sullivan, Position 3, is completing a term to which he was appointed in December 2007. David Ellingson, Position 4, is completing his second term.

In the North Kitsap Fire & Rescue District, Steve Neupert of Kingston is completing his first term. Fernando Espinosa of Suquamish is completing his fourth term; he was a Fire District 4 commissioner before that district merged into what is now the North Kitsap district.

Port commissioners also serve six-year terms. On the ballot are positions held by David Roberts, Eglon; Jeff Henderson, Indianola; Brian Watne, Keyport; Thomas A. Coultas, Kingston; Arnold Bockus, Poulsbo. Among the most notable port district issues this year: The Kingston Port District's subsidy of, and impending relaunch of, the SoundRunner passenger ferry service.

Last August, Kingston voters created the Village Green Metropolitan Park District and elected five commissioners who serve six-year terms. Jason Manges' position will be the first up to get a system of staggered terms in place.

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