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The North Kitsap Herald endorses ... | In Our Opinion
The North Kitsap Herald endorses the following candidates in the Nov. 5 election.
The endorsements are based on research done for candidate profiles, including fact checking, Q&As, and issues discussions.
Poulsbo City Council, Position 7: Jim Henry. We appreciate Melody Sky Eisler’s campaign and the issue discussions that have resulted. But in those discussions, Jim Henry is more specific on what he sees as priorities — improving neighborhood roads, cleaning storm water before it reaches Liberty Bay, and luring new businesses to Viking Avenue — and how he would accomplish them.
North Kitsap School District, District 1: Cindy Webster-Martinson. Steve Hancock dropped out of the race, but his name will still be on the ballot. Regardless, Webster-Martinson has the education and experience we should expect from a school board member: She has degrees in education and education administration, is certified to teach in grades K-8, taught in grades K-6 for three years and for the past five years has worked as a teacher in the Suquamish Tribe Education Department. As a former Suquamish Tribal Council member, she has government experience. She sees art, music, drama and sports as “important to student growth … and a well-rounded education.” She wants more transparency in board decisions, and increased board member consideration of “educational research and practice, classroom conditions, and the community’s educational concerns.”
North Kitsap School District, District 3: Beth Worthington. A senior systems engineer for a Navy contractor, she would contribute a systems analyst’s mind to the process of figuring out how to stem declining enrollment and make the district more efficient. She also brings a commitment to improving dialogue between the district and residents, and she’s gained some insight into district operations through her involvement as a member of the district’s budget committee and as an examiner, judge and board member for the Washington State Quality Award.
Indianola Port Commission, District 2: Eric B. Cookson. Write-in candidate Matthew Smith has some unique ideas on how to generate revenue for the improvement and maintenance of the dock. But Cookson has the experience, knowledge of port operations, and the right priorities for this time. He has advanced degrees in leadership and management from City University in Seattle, is a retired Coast Guard senior chief petty officer, and is a civilian command duty officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Joint Harbor Operations Center. He wants to complete the process of determining the extent of the repairs that are necessary for the dock, and determine how it’s going to be paid for, and won’t settle for a short-term fix. He’s familiar with state and federal environmental standards — and funding sources — for docks and piers. He’s also committed to improved communication between the district and residents.
Indianola Port Commission, District 3: Patrick Hatchel. Hatchel knows local government on different levels: As a city police detective, and as a member of the Kitsap Public Facilities District Board of Directors. His priority is dock improvement and maintenance. He would start a dedicated capital improvement fund, funded by the property tax increase and money currently paid to the Indianola Beach Improvement Club for dock security. He would not accept the $100 a meeting that is budgeted for commissioners starting Jan. 1; commissioner pay will cost the district at least $3,600 a year — money Hatchel believes should go toward capital improvement.
Kingston Port Commission, District 1: Bruce MacIntyre. A retired business lawyer, MacIntyre has done his homework, studied the port budget and other documents, and regularly attended port commission meetings. His spirit of collaboration and understanding of a wide array of business models and financial structures will help the port district achieve economic development goals without detracting from Kingston’s uniqueness and charm.
North Kitsap Fire & Rescue EMS levy: Yes. The ballot measure continues for another six years the property tax levy that supports emergency medical services provided by our firefighter/EMTs and paramedics. A no-brainer.
Poulsbo Fire Department EMS levy: Yes; same as above.
Indianola Port Commission tax levy increase: Yes. The average property owner’s tax increase would be approximately $21 per year — $1.75 a month. But collectively it would increase the port’s annual tax revenue to approximately $62,000 — money that will be vital for the improvement and continued maintenance of the historic dock.