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Poulsbo council newcomers seen as 'visionary' leaders
POULSBO The Poulsbo City Council can officially welcome two new members to the ranks of civic leadership with the last of the ballots counted and election results finalized.
Linda Berry-Maraist unseated two-term incumbent Mike Regis, whos work with the city stems from the 1970s, with nearly 57 percent of the vote in the battle for Position 1. Becky Erickson extinguished two-term incumbent Jim Henrys hopes for a third round in Position 3 with 61 percent of voters approval.
Elected to her third term, Connie Lord will continue serving in Position 2, beating out opponent Joseph Price with nearly 70 percent of votes. Position 4 incumbent Jeff McGinty ran unchallenged, and was reelected with close to 96 percent of votes.
Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade said the change in council dynamics with the additions of Berry-Maraist and Erickson should prove interesting, and shes excited to see what the group will accomplish.
Im looking forward to working with the newly-elected, she said. Its going to be a busy year.
She expressed great appreciation for the work conducted by Regis and Henry, and said of Henrys connections with area tribes that she hopes the city can continue to benefit from what hes established. The transportation baton long carried by Henry is a facet she doesnt yet know who will take over.
Councilwoman Kim Crowder said she looks forward to working with the councils newest elects, but also hopes to see Regis and Henry continue in their involvement, as their contributions have been valuable ones.
We are losing a lot of knowledge with Mike leaving, but were gaining somebody thats really excited about the future, she said, adding of Henrys relationship with the tribes and transportation agencies, He built bridges to different areas. Im hoping we dont lose that.
She said she feels positively about both Berry-Mariasts and Ericksons instrumental interests in moving the city ahead of its own development, a focus the council has centered on in the last few years.
Definitely theres a loss, she said. But theres an energy coming with Linda and Becky... Theyre hardworking. For that I think it will be great.
Councilman Ed Stern said the voters choices sent clear communication to the council, and he believes both Berry-Maraist and Erickson will be proactive as the council works to map out the direction, scope and costs of growth.
Its a message from the voters about attending to growth as the top priority in Poulsbo over and above transportation, over and above simple infrastructure, he said. It has to do with the big picture of growth... This is going to accelerate that level of thinking.
Councilman Dale Rudolph agreed, and said the resumes of qualifications and prior work brought by both new electorates packed a punch.
They both brought some credentials to the table and then they worked very hard during the election and thats a powerful combination, he said. When you put those two things together, that really says a lot.
Rudolph said hes worked with Berry-Maraist and Erickson throughout the citys process of redeveloping the Critical Areas Ordinance and Planned Residential Development codes, during which he was impressed by the efforts of each.
Theres going to be more of us that are investing in land use in a proactive way, he said. Were going to see a lot more energy going into that I am confident.
Rudolph said Regis knowledge of Poulsbos history from both working for the city and being a longtime council member will be a loss.
With Mike we lose a lot of corporate knowledge particularly in the planning arena, he said.
Henrys enthusiasm and dedication to transportation issues, too, may vacate with the exiting councilman.
He was working specifically on passenger ferries coming into Poulsbo and Lev-X and I seriously doubt if anybodys going to pick up that mantle, he said.
When it comes to the councils new dynamic, Rudolph said he anticipates the January process of seeing how all the pieces fit together to form the new team.
Im sad to see the two guys go, but Im delighted with the quality of the replacements, he said. Losing two incumbents, it looks kind of dramatic but I just think its the quality of the opponents that allowed them to win. I think it was very positive and very clean because people ran on their merits and their efforts... Its really one of the best elections Ive seen with quality on both sides. Good people stepped up and thats good for Poulsbo.