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Community advocate makes council push

POULSBO — After being a longtime community advocate and city council observer, Herbert Kai decided the time was right to offer voters an alternative.

Kai, who is running against current Councilman Dale Rudolph for Position 6, expressed his desire to bring a new perspective to the council’s current way of thinking.

Instead of locking itself into a single-minded vision for a project, the city should also look at other possibilities, he explained.

“We have a vision, we have a project and we have a couple of alternatives,” he said, elaborating on his way of thinking. “Nobody discusses like that.”

Discussion should involve things such as money and manpower available and alternatives should be based upon those assets, he said.

As the city moves toward the possible construction of a new city hall or municipal campus, priorities need to be set based on the needs of each component, Kai remarked.

“I would really like to see an efficient structure built and (one) that depends on what functions we want it to perform,” he said.

Each department has different needs and the police department and courts have additional public safety issues that need to be addressed as well, Kai explained.

“To put the police and courts into the new city hall raises the issue of public safety,” he said, noting that current court configuration is inadequate. “We need to put things in perspective.”

As the city continues to grow, certain changes will have to be made to accommodate it, especially in the public safety area, he said.

“It’s changing from hard patrolling to becoming very proactive and emphasizing more crime prevention and education,” Kai explained.

As part of that growth, the city needs to work toward linking the Olhava development with the rest of the city, he said.

“The City of Poulsbo needs to be faithful and provide all the services it needs to make sure that a barrier doesn’t come up,” he said, noting the clear possibility for two separate Poulsbos: one in Olhava and the rest of the city.

While Poulsbo is proud of its Norwegian heritage, it is becoming an increasingly diverse city, he commented.

“This is now an international town and it’s important to me to be accountable to everybody,” Kai said, explaining the importance of establishing ties with the various groups within the city.

That accountability will ultimately benefit the council as it becomes more representative of its constituents, he said.

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