This is the second in a series of editorials exploring ideas from the campaign trail.
NARROW THE DIVIDE
The election is over. We hope the better angels of our nature can now turn to the challenge of working together for the common good.
We were disturbed by the acrimony we saw during the campaign. Social media dialogue between House candidate James Olsen and his neighbors was again marked by bitter, personal attacks. We’d like to see them rise above it: Express and accept your differences without getting petty and personal, or engage in a way that contributes something.
We are disturbed by what we see today on the national front: Online petitions calling for secession from the United States. Petitions from three states – Texas, Louisiana and Florida – have passed the 25,000 mark and will receive responses from the White House.
In other words, I didn’t get what I want, so I want a way out. That’s silly.
The beauty of our way of life in our community, state and nation is that there is a place for disparate voices. Our strength as a community, state and nation is that those disparate voices can come together and achieve consensus on issues in which we all have a stake.
Candidates who won and candidates who didn’t win each contributed ideas that make sense and deserve our attention: Charter government, which would empower Kitsap residents to create a system of county government that is non-partisan, more efficient and subject to more review. Tax reform that would shift the state’s reliance on sales tax to a less volatile source, and would eliminate the business and occupations tax, bolstering business activity. Continuing to expand training programs at our community colleges in fields that are in high demand locally. Modernize the way Washington State Ferries is operated: WSF suffers from excessive oversight that’s tremendously costly, no other ferry operator has as large a staff of in-house engineers and designers, no other ferry operator in the U.S. has a requirement for instate construction.
The election’s over. Now it’s time for us to get to work — together.
A MESSAGE TO FORMER CANDIDATES
Making a difference in the community, county or legislative district doesn’t require getting elected to office.
Consider serving on a county board or committee. Created by the Board of County Commissioners or Washington law, each board or committee provides opportunities for residents to participate in and promote the effective and efficient delivery of public services. Most of these deal with issues that we heard candidates talk about during the campaign.
The following county boards or committees need members:Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council, Central Kitsap Community Council, Commission on Children and Youth, Food & Farm Policy Council, Kitsap County Fair Board, Manchester Citizen Advisory Committee, Solid Waste Advisory Committee District 1, Southworth Ferry Advisory Committee, Substance Abuse Advisory Board, Suquamish Citizens Advisory Council, Veterans Advisory Board.
For more information on how you can get involved and make a difference, go to www.kitsapgov.com/volunteer/current.htm. Or contact Rebecca Pirtle, Kitsap Couny’s volunteer program coordinator, at (360) 337-4650. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.