There are four good candidates for Kitsap County Commission, and we appreciate the discussion of issues that have emerged from the campaigns.
In the end, though, Rob Gelder and Charlotte Garrido have shown to have the best understanding of the issues and track record for developing solutions. We endorse Gelder and Garrido for reelection in districts 1 and 2, respectively.
Linda Simpson and Chris Tibbs say county government must control spending, improve customer service, be more business friendly and do more to create private sector jobs. No one – including the incumbents — disputes that. In fact, that’s been Gelder and Garrido’s focus during their tenure.
Gelder and Garrido have worked to simplify the permit process and change policies to support small business. Garrido spearheaded a plan that is being developed to create zoning that will allow certain ag-related and home-based businesses not provided for in the county code.
In July, the Department of Community Development teamed up with a manufacturing non-profit to analyze the single-family residence permit process, identify wasted steps and develop ideas to improve the process. After the exercise, four of nine permits submitted were issued the same day.
Residents can file and track permits online. District Court is a paperless court now. More major retailers — among them Bev Mo and Trader Joe’s — have located here in the last 16 months.
Simpson and Tibbs want an independent performance audit to identify what is working and not working in county government. But the county already pays the state auditor for an extensive audit to ensure accountability, fiscal integrity and openness in government. (Audits are available online at www.sao.wa.gov/EN/Audits/Pages/Search/AuditReportSearch.aspx).
Simpson and Tibbs haven’t presented any ideas that warrant a change in the commission. We believe voters should let Gelder and Garrido complete the work they’ve started.
We encourage voters to reelect Gelder and Garrido.
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Ballots must be postmarked by election day in order to be counted. Ballot drop boxes are open 24 hours a day now until 8 p.m. on election night. In North Kitsap, a drop box is located at the Poulsbo Fire Station, 911 NE Liberty Road, Poulsbo.
An Online Voter Guide is also available at www.kitsapgov.com/aud/elections. It provides all of the information in the printed voters’ pamphlet and is fully accessible for use by all voters.