POULSBO — It’s a Friday afternoon, four days before the general election, and the usually gregarious Ricky Moon is subdued.
Moon stopped by the Herald office to chat about his experience as a candidate for mayor of Poulsbo. At the beginning of his campaign, he quipped that if he doesn’t win, he can at least say he came in second place.
Now, the contractor-turned-candidate thinks politics is a dirty business.
He showed photos of campaign signs for the incumbent, Becky Erickson, that had been placed in front of his (the Herald left messages on her cell phone Oct. 3 and 6). He showed other photos that showed his signs laying on the ground.
He feels he hasn’t been given a fair shake by the press. Why is his court record from one and two decades ago important today?
He said he wasn’t given an opportunity to give his side of the story about two of the offenses that were reported (the Herald had reached out to Moon and his campaign manager/daughter, but did not get a response), and as a result has been called a thief by someone in the community.
About the third-degree theft in 2007, for which he said he paid $500 in court costs: A delivery truck’s refrigeration unit had struck a power line behind the Boehm’s Chocolate building, which he manages, and two power poles were now leaning. He went to Rent-A-Center to rent a barricade to keep vehicles from entering the parking lot and, finding Rent-A-Center closed, borrowed what he needed, and left his card. It was an emergency, he said. But by the time he arrived the next day to explain what happened, the owner of the business had already called police.
About the 1994 assault and resisting arrest charges: All he had wanted to do after a long day at work was relax and watch the Lakers in the NBA finals. But his wife and daughter were arguing and wouldn’t let him have the room — the master bedroom — so he took his daughter by her shoulders and guided her to her room.
The next thing he knew, a sheriff’s deputy was knocking on the door to the master bedroom, asking him to come so they could talk. Moon told the officer to come on in and sit and talk but he wasn’t getting up and he wasn’t going anywhere. The officer asked again and, when Moon declined, the officer grabbed him. Moon said he punched the officer and the two wrestled, knocking over an aquarium. The charge was dropped to fourth-degree assault after Moon attended an anger management course, Moon said.
There’s been no pattern of behavior, he said (between 2002-07, he was penalized for several driving violations, including a DUI that was dropped to negligent driving). He made his mistakes, made amends and moved on, he said.
He said he’s been misquoted. The Herald reported on Oct. 13 that he was opposed to a roundabout at Highway 305 and Suquamish Way; he said he was talking about the proposed roundabout at Highway 305 and Johnson Road, to be funded by federal money through the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council. (The Herald acknowledges the error.)
For Moon, it was a perfect segue to the issues that matter most to him.
The roundabout is part of a larger project that will provide a new connection between Highway 305 and Lincoln Road via Noll Road/Languanet Lane/Maranatha Road, in order to accommodate residential growth in that area. The project will include new street lighting, sidewalks, bike lanes and a shared-use path, according to https://cityofpoulsbo.com/noll-road-corridor-project/.
Moon believes the city is growing too much, too fast. The Growth Management Act doesn’t require, but suggest, that cities take on growth, he said. He can’t imagine that the state would require cities to take on growth without considering the impacts on infrastructure — and the local costs of installing the roads, sewers and water lines required to serve a growing population.
Actually, counties and cities are required to plan for growth in a way that prevents urban sprawl. Here’s what the law says: Any county of 50,000 or more population at the time of the law’s passage in 1990, “and the cities located within such county, shall conform with all of the requirements of this chapter” and adopt comprehensive land-use plans and development regulations. The City of Poulsbo plans and budgets for infrastructure improvements to accommodate growth for up to 20 years ahead, as required by the Growth Management Act.
Still, Moon fears growth will mean Poulsbo will lose the character that makes it unique. He said visitors who are dropped off downtown are left to explore on their own (the Poulsbo Historical Museum provides walking tours). He said the mayor of Poulsbo should be there to greet and welcome visitors, and downtown businesses should be open to accommodate them.
Moon believes Poulsbo can remain a small town, a place with the accompanying charm and comforts. A place, perhaps, (these are my words) that forgives and believes in second chances.
Moon said he didn’t come in for a story. Then he left, got into his truck, and drove off to check his campaign signs.
— Richard Walker is managing editor of Kitsap News Group. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.