POULSBO — City councilor Kenneth Thomas has announced that he will not seek re-election when his current term expires in December 2019.
Thomas said he’s announcing his intentions early so that prospective candidates have ample time to begin campaigning.
“At the end of my term, I will have served five years as a city council member – half a decade. I am not in favor of term limits and concede the value of having some continuity on the city council with long-serving council members such as my wise colleague, Jeff McGinty,” Thomas said. “However, my own political philosophy is that generally public offices should be filled by citizens who step forward, represent their fellow citizens, do their duty for a term and then step aside for fresh perspectives and new talent. To fairly allow any potential candidate enough time to prepare to fill the Position 1 seat on the Poulsbo City Council, I think this is a good time to announce that I will not be running for re-election.”
Thomas said that during his time as councilor, he’s found the work to be fulfilling and worthy of the time required to carry out its duties. He also lauded his fellow councilors, the mayor and city staff for their dedication to the city.
“It is with a good deal of pride that I look back on projects and goals we have achieved as an organization since February 2015 when I was first appointed by the council to fill a vacancy within their ranks,” he said.
One source of pride for Thomas is the financial status of the city. He said that he was proud of his role in helping to build consensus for a bi-annual budget, as well as staying conservative with both investments and borrowing.
One thing he would have liked to seen accomplished during his time was improvements to the cemetery. He said a citizens group has come a long way toward that end, however.
“It’s not an area where people want to spend a lot of tax money,” he said. “There’s been some movement on the project, but there’s plenty more to do. I hope to be involved with that in the future.”
As for advice to anyone looking to fill his seat, Thomas said they should go into the election prepared.
“Attend all the meetings before the election,” he said. “Be up to speed on what’s going on and who the other council members are and what the city staff does.”
Thomas said that after his term is up, he plans to take a yearlong break to travel before returning to public service.