"Bruce, Appleton make bids for Poulsbo mayor's seat"

"POULSBO - Two hats have been thrown into the 2001 election ring for the position Mayor of Poulsbo. Thursday morning former city councilwoman Sherry Appleton and incumbent Mayor Donna Jean Bruce announced their intentions to seek the high seat and while both said they are running to make Poulsbo a better place to live, they are running for very different reasons. Bruce's and Appleton's respective concepts about how the city should be run are pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrum. While the incumbent said she planned to continue her low key leadership style, the challenger said she would push for a strong government. Appleton served on council from 1985 to 1993 and has spent the last eight years as a lobbyist in Olympia. She is currently a Kitsap County freeholder and a member of the League of Women Voters as well. Concerns that the city had a part-time leader and voters' desire to keep the mayoral system intact, are what Appleton said prompted her to seek the office. I respect Donna Jean Bruce but I see a lack of leadership, Appleton explained, noting that in her estimation city staff had too much power. I believe I can bring leadership. When I make a commitment, it's a full-time commitment. Although progress has been made in some areas, Appleton said she felt the city lacked vision concerning future water and sewer needs. She also said a more definitive infrastructure plan was needed and different transportation options for Poulsbo should definitely be reviewed. We need to take back the bay, Appleton said, noting that the city should take the driver's seat in efforts to revive the polluted waters of Liberty Bay. In terms of growth, Appleton said she would push for a better partnership between the city and county while leaving the Finn Hill area out of the proposed Urban Growth Area. The UGA, which has been in the works for eight years, is also something Mayor Bruce said she would like to see wrapped up in the near future. We have a lot of projects hanging in the wind, Bruce said, noting that she would like to see the municipal campus, the Lindvig Bridge, Olympic College and other works in progress through to completion. Bruce was elected to the Poulsbo City Council in 1988 and served 11 years before she was appointed mayor in 1999 when Mitch Mitchusson retired. She ran unopposed last year, filling out the remainder of Mitchusson's unexpired term. I think we've got a very competent group of department heads and a very competent group on city council, she said. I want to continue to make sure council's decisions are carried out - that's the mayor's role. I think the mayor's job is to keep the city running smoothly. This doesn't mean micro-management of the city departments but rather a working with attitude toward staff and council, she said. I'm not doing this to further my political future - I'm doing this because I like it, Bruce explained. My main concern is what's best for the city. "

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