Four candidates for appointment to City Council will be interviewed Jan. 28

Four Poulsbo residents are candidates for appointment to the City Council seat being vacated by Linda Berry-Maraist. The Poulsbo City Council will meet Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. to interview each candidate; the special meeting is open to the public. The council will deliberate after the interviews and could vote to appoint the new council member at that time. The term ends after the results of the Nov. 3 general election are certified.

POULSBO — Four Poulsbo residents are candidates for appointment to the City Council seat being vacated by Linda Berry-Maraist.

The Poulsbo City Council will meet Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. to interview each candidate; the special meeting is open to the public. (The meeting was originally scheduled for Jan. 24 but was rescheduled because of scheduling conflicts, according to the city clerk’s office.)

The council will deliberate after the interviews and could vote to appoint the new council member at that time. The term ends after the results of the Nov. 3 general election are certified.

Boone Eidsmoe, Hunter McIntosh, Shane Skelley and Kenneth Thomas are a diverse representation of Poulsbo — Eidsmoe is 18, McIntosh runs a company that does environmental education tours, Skelley is a planning commissioner, and Thomas once served as a city council member in an Arizona city. Each has said that, if appointed, he would run for a full term in November.

Council members are elected to four-year terms; approve city laws, policies, and the annual budget; and represent the city on local and regional committees. Council members receive $6,000 a year.

“I’ve lived in Poulsbo all my life,” said Eidsmoe, a second-generation Poulsbo resident. “This town has given me everything I have, so now I figured it was time to give back to the town.”

Skelley, a local businessman, said he has lived in North Kitsap for 39 years, during which time he grew Skelley Works, a company that bids on public works projects. “Living in this area so long and hearing the citizens’ needs, I think I can be a good liaison between people and the city,” Skelley said.

Thomas and McIntosh are fresher faces to Poulsbo, though McIntosh’s family business, The Boat Company, has had an office in Poulsbo for 35 years. Thomas is a retired naval officer and educator. He served on the city council in Goodyear, Arizona, in 1977-78.

“I was a city councilman years ago. I was a young man,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in city government. Wherever I have been, I’ve always been interested in municipal government.”


Revitalization of Viking Avenue is one topic each candidate mentioned. Eidsmoe would like to use his influence from the dais to encourage youth-oriented businesses to locate there.

“I don’t think there is enough stuff in this town for youth,” he said. “If we had something on Viking [Avenue] for youth, we could bring businesses back to Viking [Avenue] and keep the youth occupied.”

Others have a more family-oriented vision for the thoroughfare which until the Great Recession had thrived as an auto row.

“There are families that live off of Viking, and I’d love to see this side of town, after years of neglect, revitalized with some positive growth, whether it be mixed-use development or restaurants that my wife and daughter and I can walk to,” McIntosh said, noting that he lives off of Viking Avenue.

“It’s overdue, after watching Safeway and CVS appear on the other side of town.”

Skelley also set his sights on Viking Avenue.

“The Viking [Avenue] corridor has been long coming to be revitalized,” Skelley said. “Maybe we should look at the annexation of properties that are in the urban growth area and therefore make a bigger population there. That would help with the business.”

Skelley said a larger westside population would create the need for services along Viking Avenue.

The general economic health of Poulsbo is also on the agenda for the candidates.

“Poulsbo as a destination really could see an uptick from a small-ship cruising standpoint, or from a cruisers’ standpoint — people coming in for things like small, local breweries. There’s a market for that,” McIntosh said. “There’s some potential business growth for downtown and Poulsbo as a whole, and I think I’m uniquely qualified to help the council.”

Growth and the economy led Thomas and Skelley to bring up Poulsbo’s boundaries, which may need adjusting.

“I was involved with a lot of annexation and growth-management plans,” Thomas said. “Here in Poulsbo, that is something that I think is looming over the horizon. The current growth plan is up for review next year. The city needs to take a look at the natural boundaries of Poulsbo and perhaps adjust the planning boundaries. I know that sounds like a boring thing, but it has a lot of impact on the future.”

Skelley noted that annexation may play a role in the revitalization of Viking Avenue by adding development in the urban growth area to increase population in the region.

Skelley also brought up the environment, something that McIntosh mentioned. McIntosh said his career has touched upon policy, including environmental policy. His business, The Boat Company, provides tours of southeast Alaska. Skelley said he often addresses environmental concerns through his work as a contractor.

“I’m really passionate about he environment,” he said. “I like to find ways to make things better, like collecting oil.” Skelley said he encourages developers to put in catch basins that separate oil and water. “I push folks to spend the extra $100 to do that,” he said.

Thomas and Eidsmoe mentioned drugs as a concern.

“I think drugs is a major problem with our youth right now,” Eidsmoe said. “I graduated from high school in 2014 and you couldn’t go a day without hearing about someone doing heroin or meth or marijuana. It’s a shame for a community to not know that’s going on.”

Eidsmoe said informing residents about the realities of local drug use would go a long way to solve the problem.

Thomas said crime is one result of the drug problem. “One thing that concerns me is the general rise in heroin in Kitsap and all of Washington and the impact that it’s having on crime rates, property crimes more than anything,” he said. “My feeling is that the city is on top if it but I feel we should still keep a close eye on that.”


Eidsmoe is a recent graduate of North Kitsap High School, a 16-year resident of the community, and works at Dahlquist Fine Jewelry in Poulsbo. He recently became the youngest member of the Poulsbo Lions Club.

“With my link to the Lions Club here in Poulsbo, I would be able to get insight on what citizens think on certain issues,” Eidsmoe wrote in his application. Eidsmoe noted that he was 2013-14 NKHS drama president and received an academic achievement award from the science department.

“A combo of acting in plays and being a senior sales associate has destroyed any chance of me getting ‘stage fright’ while talking to anyone,” he noted in his application.

Eidsmoe’s three highest priorities as a council member: drugs, homelessness and lack of businesses on Viking Avenue. He said he wants to work with Fishline to address the homeless issue. He also wants to work with the rest of the council to find new ideas to bring businesses back to Viking Avenue.

“My vision for this town is short and sweet,” his application states. “A community that still feels like the small-town Poulsbo that we all love, but with an economy that shows the rapid growth that we are having.”

McIntosh’s application states he has lived in Poulsbo for two years, but has worked in the area for much longer, mostly through his family business, The Boat Company, whose offices are located in the city.

“As a new member to the community, I believe that I bring a fresh perspective with a bit of historical knowledge mixed in,” he wrote in his application. “My family’s business has been based in Poulsbo for 30-plus years.”

McIntosh’s vision for Poulsbo includes it growing into a small college town, as well as a place for young families. He wrote in his application that Poulsbo’s economic potential is great, and that the redevelopment of Viking Avenue is an important part of this. But it has to be done well, he wrote.

“Another car dealership, or feed store, or smoke shop is not going to help the community,” he wrote. Bringing in attractions such as chain restaurants that local families can walk to would be beneficial, he added.

McIntosh is managing director of The Boat Company, and previously was vice president and chief operating officer. Earlier in his career, he was director of communications for the Computer & Communications Industry Association, and owned and managed a tennis academy. McIntosh has degrees in political science, and communication and marketing.

Skelley has a background in construction and commercial fishing, and is a 1993 graduate of North Kitsap High School. He went to Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon.

Skelley is a member of the Poulsbo Planning Commission. His community involvement has included the Poulsbo Rotary Club, School Infrastructure Assessment Committee, Port of Poulsbo Citizen Advisory Committee, and the Chamber of Commerce. He noted that as a contractor he frequently works with neighboring governments such as the Suquamish Tribe, Kitsap County and the Washington Department of Transportation

Skelley wrote that his three highest priorities as a council member would be keeping ahead of new stormwater regulations, reduce stormwater fees for commercial and residential properties that install pervious surfaces, and streamlining the permitting process.

Skelley wrote that the character of Poulsbo is part of his vision of the community. “My vision for our city would be to help Poulsbo become known for its supreme environmental stewardship,” he wrote. “By continuing to put high priority on trails, nature observing areas and habitat restoration, we will inevitably draw more tourists and outdoor enthusiasts to our town.”

Thomas, a three-year resident of Poulsbo, noted in his application that he previously served on the City Council in Goodyear, Arizona, and has experience in private industry, government, as a farmer and as an educator.

“My experience in private industry and various levels of government has given me insight into key organizational principles applicable to city government,” he wrote in his application. “I want to bring my experience and knowledge to the City Council, in order to maintain the character of this city, preserve the heritage, and deal with the impacts that inevitable outside change will have on Poulsbo.”

Thomas has degrees in political science and public administration. He served in the Navy from the 1980s through 2003 in a variety of positions, from training officer to executive officer, with assignments involving emergency and disaster preparedness.

Thomas wrote that tourism is one economic factor in Poulsbo, but should not be the only one, and that residents should also be able to have what they need close to home. Thomas wrote that he would like to maintain Poulsbo’s personality.

“Sometimes people move to a community and immediately desire to change it to conform to the place from which they’ve came,” Thomas wrote in his application. “That is not my intention, I can assure you. My vision is to retain, as much as possible, all the positive characteristics that make Poulsbo exceptional.”