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Rudolph seeks a fourth term on city council

POULSBO — While Poulsbo City Councilman Dale Rudolph supports the latest round of “visioning” talks for Little Norway, he believes that talk alone is not enough.

A plan is necessary, but more importantly, the city needs to find ways to implement that plan and make things progress, said Rudolph, who is seeking his fourth term on the council this fall.

“I want to see us take action and not just wish it to happen,” he remarked.

One of the ways to make that occur would be to selectively review the city’s comprehensive plan, which was completed in 1994, he said, noting that he worked on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee during Poulsbo’s comprehensive plan process.

“We need to go back and review it, but the problem is that our staff is so overwhelmed with growth right now,” Rudolph said. “It would be a good place to start.”

That comprehensive plan allowed for the Olhava development and Wal-Mart, even though the giant retailer ignited a lingering controversy, he said.

“When you look at the ‘94 comp plan, the Olhava development is going along the lines it was intended to be,” he explained.

Because nothing in the city’s zoning code or ordinance prohibited big box stores like Wal-Mart, nothing could be done to stop them from coming to Poulsbo, Rudolph continued.

“It’s like arresting somebody just because you think they might do something,” he said. “You just can’t do that because it’s illegal.”

The time to take steps to keep stores like Wal-Mart out of the city was during the public process involved in the creation of the comprehensive plan, Rudolph explained.

“I think it would be good for us to find a way to help people understand the process and once they understand the process then, they can find ways to get what they want,” he said.

In addition to helping people comprehend how their city government works, Rudolph said he is concerned about the infrastructure required as the city continues to expand into its Urban Growth Area.

“We have a lot of infrastructure replacements, improvements and upgrades to be done in the next several years,” he said.

In order to ensure those projects go smoothly, the city needs to have a clearly defined plan to provide guidance for growth, Rudolph added.

“We have to decide how and what we want our urban boundary to be and that’s going to require a plan,” he said.

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