Opinion

The North Kitsap Herald endorses ... | Editorial

The North Kitsap Herald recommends the following candidates in the Nov. 8 general election.

Kitsap County Commission, District 1: Rob Gelder. Since being appointed to the commission in March, Gelder mediated an agreement on the Point No Point boat launch, identified ways to make permitting easier for residents (the county will initiate an online permitting system in January), began discussing with mayors ways cities and the county can avoid duplicating equipment purchases, and developed a forest stewardship plan that will help pay for maintenance of our forested public spaces. Let’s let him continue the work.

Poulsbo City Council, Position 2: Connie Lord. Lord has experience as a business owner and city official in Bainbridge and Poulsbo. She wants to assist in the revitalization of Viking Avenue, preserve view corridors, improve the appearance of Anderson Parkway, and collaborate with the county to avoid duplication of services and equipment purchases. She’s worked on behalf of parks and open space protection. She deserves another term.

Poulsbo City Council, Position 3: Gary Nystul. Nystul is alone on the ballot but is being challenged by a write-in candidate. We endorse Nystul. His experience as finance director and city councilman in Kalispell, Mont., as a certified public accountant, and as independent auditor of the City of Bremerton will serve Poulsbo well as it grapples with budgetary contraints. His audits in Bremerton have prompted changes. And in Kalispell he dealt with issues similar to those he’ll face on the Poulsbo council. His experience will serve him, and us, well.

North Kitsap School Board, District 4: Val Torrens. Changes need to be made in the school district. And school board president Torrens is leading the board as it makes those changes. During her first term, the district cut administration costs, balanced the budget amid declining enrollment and revenues, and began the process of hiring a new superintendent. After the enrollment fiasco in 2010-11, the district returned to its traditional method of estimating enrollment, with positive results. She looks forward to hiring a new superintendent, improving the budget, and, as she said, “getting us focused on advancing student achievement.” She deserves another term to continue the work.

Port of Kingston Commission, District 3: Walt Elliott. Elliott, chairman of the Kingston Ferry Advisory Committee, has spent years building community and legislative relationships that will prove invaluable in the next six years, particularly regarding SoundRunner. There’s not much his involvement hasn’t touched — parks, passenger ferries, state ferries. He has solid ideas on how to improve parking, improve the availability of moorage and anchorages, improve the port’s impact on the marine environment, and improve public access to information. He has the right combination of business, community, and maritime experience for the job.

Port of Poulsbo Commission, Position 3: Arnold “Arnie” Bockus. In Bockus’s first term, the commission acquired the old armory site for soon-to-be-developed public parking, and improved its relationship with the City of Poulsbo; commissioners and council members attend each other’s meetings, and the commission and council jointly meet periodically to discuss issues of mutual interest. Bockus wants to expand the port’s role in economic development; he supports marina expansion to accommodate tour boats and more seaplanes (our seaplane dock is one of nine sanctioned by the FAA in the state). A big challenge looming: Stopping erosion of Anderson Parkway, which is built on fill. The city and the port are working together on possible solutions. Voters should give Bockus six more years.


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