The Central Kitsap Reporter endorses the following candidates in the Nov. 7 general election.
Mayor of Bremerton: Patty Lent. Lent had a formidable challenger in Greg Wheeler, the City Council president. But as the campaign nears an end, we see no reason to replace Lent. She has a good record. She has unique ideas for creating affordable housing. She has more ideas for improving government efficiency and spreading the tax base to ease the tax burden on residents. She wants Bremerton to rejoin the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, which would give Bremerton a voice on countywide planning policies required by the state Growth Management Act, and a voice on how federal transportation funding is allocated here. Bremerton left KRCC because of concerns about its voting structure, something we believe Lent can help resolve with the prospect of Bremerton’s return to the organization. She’s also been the biggest voice in opposition to the closure of Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, and will work to ensure those who live and work in Bremerton have access to local medical care. Re-elect Patty Lent.
Bremerton City Council: Suzanne Griffith, District 1; Kevin Gorman, District 3; Michael Goodnow, District 5. Griffith, Gorman and Goodnow would bring a street- and neighborhood-level perspective to the City Council. Their priorities are collaborating with other agencies to create affordable housing, protecting access to health care, luring new businesses to the city, balancing the tax burden between residents and developers, streamlining the permitting process, and improving public transportation. We encourage a vote for Griffith, Gorman and Goodnow for City Council.
Bremerton Port Commission: Robert C. Perkins, District 3. Our endorsement is not a slight on the incumbent, Axel Strakeljahn, who has done a good job over the last six years. Like Strakeljahn, Perkins understands and supports the port district’s economic development and environmental protection goals; his background as a NASA contractor and program manager for the Office of Naval Research would contribute technological understanding to a port district that is dealing with growing technological diversity. He would also bring fresh ideas to the port. With access to rail and shipping, he believes the Port of Bremerton is “the best-kept secret in Washington state.” He wants to recruit aerospace manufacturing to the industrial park; and develop a youth mentorship and summer employment program, in which young people could learn more about aviation and maritime — two career fields that are in demand in Kitsap (Bremerton High School now has a program through which students can become certified as drone operators). And he supports moving Port Commission meetings from the airport to a central location to make it easier for residents to attend. We encourage a vote for Perkins.
Central Kitsap School Board: Eric Greene, District 5. Two good candidates, but Greene has the more focused vision for the next four years: Expand the use of technology to increase opportunities for students to earn credit; use technology so teachers can work more efficiently, resulting in more time for quality instruction; identify the root cause of issues and make corrections in the most cost-effective manner; promote co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The district has strategic goals in place that influence their continuous work to improve fiscal and operational efficiency, and increase engagement with community members and school families. Reelect Greene.
Silverdale Water District Board of Commissioners: Marcus Hoffman, Position 3. He’s doing the work. He’s actively campaigning and reaching out to voters. He deserves another term.