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Dunphy touts 'new perspective,' Lord touts experience | Poulsbo City Council, Position 2
POULSBO — Mike Dunphy wants to bring a new perspective to the Poulsbo City Council — one from the outside, but with experience working with those on the inside.
Dunphy is running for Position 2 against incumbent Connie Lord, who said her 12 years of experience on the council speak for itself.
Lord, who is running for her fourth term — her third consecutive — said she has a lot more to contribute as a council member.
Both have ideas on how to bring economic stability to Poulsbo, and what services and projects the city should focus more effort on.
Poulsbo City Council members serve four-year terms and receive $6,000 per year. The City Council is the legislative branch of city government; members approve the budget, make laws, set policies, and serve on committees. The general election is Nov. 8.
Dunphy has been involved with city government as a land surveyor with ADA Engineering and as resident. He moved from spectator to contributor when he learned the city planned to sell Mitchusson Park to help pay for the new city hall.
He was already well-versed in zoning laws, having worked in design and construction in the area, including Poulsbo Place and the 6th Avenue and Fjord Drive projects.
Dunphy has lived and worked in Poulsbo for 20 years, moving from Alaska where he met his wife Kristin, by way of his native Oregon. He coached girls softball through the city parks and recreation department for eight years when his daughter was playing.
As head of ADA’s survey department, Dunphy is aware of the impacts of development.
“Some people think Poulsbo is growing too quickly,” he said. “[But] growth is still going to come to Poulsbo.” He said he would work to keep a balance — maintaining the area’s Norwegian heritage and attracting small businesses to “keep young people here.”
Viking Way is an area most agree desperately needs development, but don’t agree on what. Dunphy wants to tap into more tourism, bringing hotels to Viking Avenue and maybe finding a space for the farmers market to be located year-round.
The city’s shrinking budget is another concern Dunphy would address if elected. He shared various options, possibly implementing a four-day work week. Although Dunphy recognizes the city’s employees work hard, he doesn’t agree with Mayor Becky Erickson’s proposal to increase salaries this year.
Dunphy’s passion point, however, is environmental protection.
“I’m really concerned about pollution ... As a surveyor, I see [the effects] quite a bit,” he said. He’d like to continue the work that led to Poulsbo’s award-winning comprehensive plan; the city’s 2009 plan won Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Smart Vision Award. In continuing that work, he said, education is key — letting the public know the small things they can do to reduce stormwater runoff or help clean up Liberty Bay.
“I think I bring a new perspective,” he said.
Lord, on the other hand, believes she understands the whole picture: from her experience on the council, as a businesswoman and previous work as a government official on Bainbridge Island.
Previously an art instructor and owner of an art gallery, Lord now works independently in insurance. She serves on the Finance, Economic Development and Capital Improvement committees as a council member, and is alternate deputy mayor.
Lord became apprised in development and land use as the city clerk for the City of Winslow from 1980-88. She moved to Poulsbo in 1990 with her husband, Kent, and won a seat on the City Council in 1997. She took a break after her mother died, then won another term in 2003 and was reelected in 2007. She ran unsuccessfully for 23rd District state Senate against Phil Rockefeller in 2008.
Lord is liaison to the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association, and a member of the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce, Sons of Norway, Poulsbo Rotary Club, the Poulsbo Yacht Club.
As part of her council duties, Lord said she is especially proud to have chaired the Centennial Committee, and was involved in the design of Waterfront Park. The welcome sign under the foot bridge, as seen by incoming boaters on the water? That’s Lord’s design.
To revitalize business in Poulsbo, Lord believes it’s the council’s duty to support regulation that promotes development, and not create “road blocks.” If the development is appropriate for the area, the city should be standing by to process permits and applications in a timely fashion. She added it is a balancing act to ensure developers “pay their fair share” and stay a viable city, but make sure fees and development don’t adversely impact residents.
As a member of three economy-focused council committees, Lord said the committees are going over next year’s budget with a “fine-toothed comb.”“It’s intimidating. We don’t want to take away what citizens are used to having,” she said.
Like Dunphy, Lord has considered office closures to save money, closing one day a week or over lunch. However, she said even with cuts, the council must “make sure core services stay intact.”
“Every [dollar] we get comes from citizens one way or another,” she said. “[We] make sure we’re very frugal and very wise on how we spend it.”