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pen your new city hall and all the nice things that were said about those who took part in Poulsbo’s history. It was also nice to see the things they had to say about “Mitch” and his passing.
A name that always seems to be left off of any of the accomplishments of Poulsbo is Mayor June Atack. For some of you Newcomers, this is a name that is just passed over, as that is, or was, a real downer for the City of Poulsbo. Our last three elected mayors are all women, but June Atack was the first woman to run and be elected to this office. Previous to her election, it was only a “good old boys” job. How dare she should run, much less be elected! How could she, a grocery store checker, be Mayor of Poulsbo? June was elected and with all her heart and soul tried her best to make Poulsbo something we would all be proud of. Picture this: a new woman mayor and an-all-male council. More than a few noses were out of place. To be fair to all, the council did work with her, but it was never smooth. June had a lot of energy and was determined to do her job, but she was a lousy politician. She wasn’t the phony smile and handshake; she felt she had a job to do – let’s do it.
For years I think my wife thought I was having an affair with Muriel Williams (just joking!) as we were at every council and planning department meeting. I saw firsthand over many years how our new mayor was running things. I was mired in a rezone with the city over Poulsbo Village. At this time Silverdale Mall was under construction, and this was happening because the so-called business leaders in Bremerton had put road blocks in any future development in town. The “Chicken Capital” of Kitsap County was now going to be the retail center because the “good old boys” of Bremerton had stopped everything.
June could see this same thing happening to Poulsbo if they didn’t get off the dime and start finding ways to approve this rezone instead of stalling. I took almost four years to complete the rezone. None of us like change but she recognized a city that never changes, dies; and she was not going to let this happen on her watch. Yes, she did get the rezone done, and yes, she had to give in to some of the “good old boys of Poulsbo.” Many of you newer residents may not even know this, but Iverson Street did not go into Poulsbo Village. It was seven or eight years after it opened that the road was extended. It was not until Mitch was mayor that he was able (at my expense), to talk the council into some sense and approve the connections. Donna Jean Bruce, Kathryn Quade and Becky Erickson, you should remember maybe more than anyone, June opened the doors for you. I am sure some of you remember at a meeting in town hall where a frustrated community member told “you women” that “you don’t belong here, the Bible says you belong home with your families.” Progress has been made. So let’s not forget those who made it happen.