Poulsbo in FOCUS

Researching for this article, I found that the year 2019 should prove to be quite interesting politically in that five of the seven Poulsbo council districts will be up for re-election, hopefully opening the door for new aspirants to serve their community.

And that is the fundamental purpose of this continuing column — to instill Poulsbo citizens with an interest in becoming involved in its government. Deposing current leadership is not my goal, but fresh ideas come from new insights and through changes in leadership. Poulsbo’s current leadership has set growth as a priority in the coming years, so it is not without merit to seek fresh ideas for that planned growth, in my view.

I encourage men and women of all ages, backgrounds, occupations and education living within the city boundaries of Poulsbo to take an interest in our city and county governments with an eye to becoming involved in a leadership role.

Becoming a council member is not the only way to get involved. There are numerous commissions and boards that cover all aspects of life in our city, which are filled through council appointment by the City Council. The following are listed on the city’s homepage: Civil Service Commission, Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning Commission and Poulsbo Tree Board.

The city’s newest council member, Abby Garland, is a good example of a fairly new and relatively young resident of Poulsbo who stepped forward to serve even though she is a mother of three children ages 2, 3 and 6 years old. With a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and nutrition and a master’s of arts in teaching, Garland is actively employed as a dietitian. I hope to interview Ms. Garland soon.

The nationwide ‘March For Our Lives’ organized by the youth of America and conducted on March 24 was a great success and the beginning of an effort to force local and national legislators into addressing the seriousness of protecting our schools and the children within them.

CBS Morning News on March 19 featured the two 18-year old leaders of the ‘Never Again’ national movement that incorporated students from 700 school districts nationwide who marched under the banner: “March for Our Lives.”

During that interview, they declared their intent to promote registration and subsequent voting to “throw out congressional leaders who oppose gun laws.”

The tragedy at Parkland High School has also awakened youth here in Kitsap, and most particularly at North Kitsap High school in Poulsbo, where students participated in the 17-minute walkout on March 14 as documented by this newspaper.

These young Americans are already — or soon will be — eligible voters who vow to vote out of office legislators who are not responsive to their cause. Legislators who ignore their message do so at the risk of losing their seat in Congress.

The following is what retired Associate John Paul Stevens had to say on the issue in a New York Times opinion piece on March 27: “Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society … ”

My readers are urged to participate in this column by sharing their thoughts, volunteering to be interviewed, suggesting new and different topics and people you feel would like to share their experiences to be interviewed in the coming weeks and months.

— Bill Effinger can be reached at bill@billeffinger.net or Twitter @WREPro