Issues that need to be discussed in this election | In Our Opinion

Congratulations to those residents who stepped forward to run for office in the Aug. 6 primary and the Nov. 5 general election.

No matter which candidates prevail at the polls, all will have contributed to the improvement of the community by bringing forth ideas and fostering dialogue about issues.

We are, however, discouraged by the lack of candidates. Of 21 races in North Kitsap, only five have more than one candidate and only one has enough candidates to warrant a primary election. Each of these offices has the authority and power to make decisions that affect the delivery of services – and the cost of those services — in the city, the classroom, the fire station, the port, in your tap, and on the playground. Attaining one of those positions should require more effort than just signing on the dotted line.

For Poulsbo City Council, Position 7, incumbent Jim Henry faces Silverdale branch library manager Melody Sky Eisler. We hope to hear their ideas for economic development, revitalization of Viking Avenue, and preservation of natural resources and open space.

Cindy Webster-Martinson and Steve Hancock are running for North Kitsap School Board, District 1. Ken Ames, Beth Worthington and Doug Prichard are running for North Kitsap School Board, District 3. Voters need to hear their ideas of how the district can stem the enrollment decline, build partnerships that can preserve arts and music education, and heal the wounds from the closure of Breidablik Elementary School.

Patrick Hatchel and John Lane are running for Port of Indianola, District 3. Nels Sultan and Bruce MacIntyre are running for Port of Kingston, District 1. Voters need to hear their ideas of how their port districts can improve community life. Under state law, port districts are empowered to acquire property, lease property, engage in economic development, improve land for commercial and industrial use, and establish local improvement districts. Ports can invest in park and recreation facilities, and in roads and streets that serve port facilities; acquire, maintain and operate passenger-carrying vessels; and promote tourism.

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Deadline for online voter registration updates and new registrations is July 7. Deadline to register in person as a new voter is July 29. Registration deadlines do not apply to military and overseas voters who may register through Election Day.

Registering to vote is easy. Registration forms are available at city halls, libraries, schools, fire stations, and most state and federal agencies. Register online at www.kitsapgov.com/aud/elections/voterreg.htm. Mail in your voter registration form to, or register in person at, Kitsap County Auditor, 619 Division St., Port Orchard 98366-4687.

To register to vote in Washington, you must be:
— A citizen of the United States.
— A legal resident of the state of Washington.
— 18 years of age by the next election.
— Not under the authority of the Department of Corrections for a Washington felony conviction.

You do not have to register by political party to vote in Washington state.


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