Poulsbo City Council candidate apologizes for use of N-word in letter to editor

POULSBO — Poulsbo City Council write-in candidate Fred Springsteel apologized Oct. 10 for his use of the N-word in a letter to the editor of the Herald.

His use of the word was reported in a story about his candidacy for council Position 3; Gary Nystul, Bremerton’s city auditor who served on the Kalispell, Mont., city council in the 1980s and 1990s, is the only candidate on the ballot.

In response to the report, the North Kitsap Eagles removed Springsteel as its civic education chairman.

“This is a hard letter to write, as it’s always hard to admit you messed up. Well, I’m fessing up, to indiscretion,” Springsteel wrote in a letter he delivered to the editor Oct. 10.

In the letter, Springsteel repeated earlier concerns about the lack of publication of his letters. A review of back issues showed the Herald published letters by Springsteel in the June 17, Aug. 5, Aug. 19, Sept. 2 and Sept. 30 editions. A press release he submitted about the formation of Citizens for Poulsbo’s Future was published Aug. 26.

In his hand-delivered letter, he admitted that his earlier letter “contained a word most people find offensive … What I should have said was that you seemed niggardly in your use of well-written letters, and that word is, still today, acceptable and in any dictionary.”

Springsteel is retired. He was a computer science professor at University of Missouri, where he was active on the Faculty Council. He is a member of Poulsbo Friends of the Library and North Kitsap League of Women Voters.

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