Saturday will quite possibly be the last time the words Charles Melton, Staff Writer, will appear on the pages of the North Kitsap Herald as on July 2 I will officially become the new editor of the Bremerton Patriot, the Kitsap News Group’s weekly presence in the big city.
As I write my final words for the Herald, I need to thank my wife Edna and my son CJ for being with me every step of the way as we’ve moved from Port Orchard to Bremerton to Kingston and now back to Bremerton. Without them none of this success would have happened. They are my biggest fans and strong supporters. Thank you, Lovie and CJ.
The past two years have been educational, exciting, frustrating, fun, heartbreaking, joyous and then some, but I wouldn’t trade a day of them for all the money in the world.
From the day I arrived to my final days behind this desk and out in the community, things haven’t slowed down, and I don’t foresee them doing so anytime soon. Little Norway isn’t so little, and it’s only going to get bigger and hopefully better.
From three Viking Fests to two Third of Julys and a combined four lutefisk dinners, the people not the events have made my stay in the North End better than I initially thought it would be.
For all that I’ve been given from the community, my hope is that generosity has been reciprocated on my end.
Although city hall has been the one story that has haunted me since July 2005, and it’s still up in the air as I leave, it’s made for some interesting learning experiences. Maybe I’ll return for the groundbreaking with my AARP membership card in hand.
Just when I’m ready to utter the foolhardy phrase, “I’ve seen it all now,” something always seems to pop up to remind me that no, I haven’t seen it all just yet. This is Poulsbo after all, and it’s a different world; but that’s not a bad thing.
Covering small-town politics have been more fun than trying to catch a greased hog, but at times it’s been more painful than running headfirst into a blackberry thicket. Thankfuly, there’s been more to my job than just polititics.
At the risk of leaving someone out, I’d like to use this remaining space to say a personal thank you to those who have left indelible impression on me.
When it comes to the background and history of the city, Muriel Williams is at the top of the list. Mrs. Williams is a true jewel of a person, who is not only a city government watchdog, but a real community asset. Thank you, Mrs. Williams, for keeping me on my toes and letting me know when I got it right and even when I made a misstep on occasion.
Coming from a nine-member city council to a seven-member body with the mayor presiding over meetings instead of the council president was a bit of culture shock. Fortunately everyone, and that means mayors Donna Jean Bruce and Kathryn Quade and council members Jeff McGinty, Mike Regis, Jim Henry, Dale Rudolph, Ed Stern, Connie Lord and Kimberlee Crowder gave me a chance to find my way through it, and it has been quite a ride for the past two years.
The city staff from the department heads to the clerks are among the friendliest, most helpful and knowledgeable anywhere. I know I didn’t always make life easy for them, but they were always happy to help and did so with a smile.
To the remainder of the Herald staff, the Poulsbo Noon Lions, the Sons of Norway, Bill Austin, Stuart Leidner, Becky Erickson, the Overbys, Bev Lyons, Glenn Anderson, Herb Kai, Hugh Nelson, the Mitchussons, Sherry White, Sherry Appleton, Bev Woods, Kathy Hogan, Kathi Foresee, the Nilsen family, Adele Heinrich, Mark Zenger, Mike Eliason, Jeff Bauman and the entire public works department staff, Glenn Anderson, Jim Wise, Interim Chief Jake Evans, Sgt. Playter and the rest of the Poulsbo Police Department, especially Senior Airman Jarred Taylor and everyone else who has made my time in Little Norway special, I say a heartfelt, “Thank you.”