Rotary donation going once, going twice, sold to council

POULSBO — Look for Little Norway to be the next poster child for Mastercard.

POULSBO — Look for Little Norway to be the next poster child for Mastercard.

“One evening — $500. The opportunity — priceless,” commented Councilman Ed Stern after the Poulsbo City Council unanimously agreed to donate the chance to be an honorary council member for one night to the Rotary’s annual auction at its April 2 meeting.

Stern had originally suggested the donation at the council’s March 12 meeting, but had met some opposition from fellow council members. Questions were raised over whether such an opportunity would be legal.

When asked his opinion of the item, City Attorney Jim Haney said last month that he felt it was legal to allow someone to sit at the council table, as long as the person did not vote.

Councilman Mike Regis also questioned whether it was an ethical thing to offer up since council members are elected by the public.

“Actually, these seats aren’t for sale,” Regis commented at Wednesday’s meeting. “We don’t own any of this, it belongs to the public. The public owns this whole thing and they own this whole process.”

Regis had also raised concerns about the suggestion at the March 12 meeting, but agreed to support the donation this week as long as the item was worded “Honorary Council Member for a Night,” instead of the earlier “Council Member for a Night.”

The approved “Honorary Council Member for a Night” item indicates that the winner may not vote or interfere with the proceedings.

The estimated value of the item is about $500, a fact that prompted a number of council members to joke about during the April 2 meeting about their “$500-a-night jobs.”

Rotary member and auction co-organizer Dan Weedin was also on hand Wednesday to urge council members to make the donation. He said proceeds from the auction, which is the organization’s largest fund-raiser of the year, have allowed Rotarians to support things like Fishline Food Bank, scholarship opportunities for local students and even the construction of Oyster Plant Park.

“I know this would be an awesome contribution to our auction and would bring us a lot of money,” Weedin said. “It is unique items such as this that make auctions successful.”

The Poulsbo North Kitsap Rotary’s Annual Auction begins at 5:30 p.m. April 26 at the Sons of Norway. Silent auction is 5:30-7 p.m. Tickets are $40 and include champagne, reception, dinner, dessert and wine. Tickets are available by contacting Jana Salman at (360) 779-8513 or