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Candidates are slow to reveal their intentions

There are only two announced candidates for the four City Council seats that are up for election this year, but there figures to be more aspirants after Saturday’s Workshop for Candidates at the Bainbridge Island Commons.

The three-hour event, sponsored by the League of Women’s Voters, is designed to provide information and hopefully a degree of motivation for potential candidates who are still sitting on the proverbial fence.

Developer John Green and sitting Councilor Barry Peters have announced their candidacy for the council, though neither have declared whether they will seek the Central Ward seat or at-large, which is the position Peters holds after running unopposed during the 2007 election.

Both Peters and Green have said they’ll wait until other candidates announce their intentions.

There likely will be a few new council candidates coming out in May when the jockeying for positions plays out. The filing period for the August Primary Election is scheduled for June 6-10.

Besides the council’s four positions, there are several others open for filing: Bainbridge Island School District positions 1, 3 and 4; Metro Park & Recreation District position 5; Fire District position 3; Crystal Springs Water District No. 3 positions 1, 2 and 3; Kitsap County Sewer District No. 7 positions 1 and 2.

Incumbents Patty Field-ing, John Tawresey and Tim Kinkead have all indicated they will seek re-election for the school board. Incumbent Kirk Robinson is still undecided on whether or not he will run for the Park District board again.

Peters said he decided to seek a second term because: “The next couple of years will really be critical for the city’s transition to the new form of government and its financial stability. I think I can add value.”

He believes the city needs to continue to focus on making itself stable and credible to the public.

“The last year or so has been a constructive period,” he said, “but the city needs a government that takes a step-by-step approach back to the basics in order to work through the financial problems that we and so many other cities are experiencing now.”

He said he is leaning toward filing for the at-large position again, “but I haven’t decided yet because I want to be flexible on who steps forward. As I understand the law, we’re eligible to pick the ward you live in or run at-large.”

Green, who also lives in the Central Ward, indicated he wanted to wait to see if Central Ward’s three-term Councilor Bill Knobloch decides to run again before making his decision on which position to seek.

Green, a member of the city’s Design Review Board, said he will be seeking political office for the first time because he believes the city needs to run more like a business, especially during this period of economic strife.

“The city’s direction right now is on a slippery slope and it needs to change the way it’s doing business,” he said. The city needs to downsize and I support contracting out as much as possible without hurting its ability to serve the public.”

He said he’s been self-employed all of his life and knows how to operate a business, “which is exactly what the city is.”

He also would like to see the city raise the height limits on new buildings in the Winslow core area.

“We need to revitalize the downtown and the only way to do that is to bring in new revenue in the city’s major commercial sector,” he said. “Having people living downtown with retail on the bottom floor is the best way to do that here.”

Peters said he wants to run a “positive and meaningful campaign” that focuses on four standards:

• Limit his campaign donations to $100 per supporter;

• Post no road-side campaign signs;

• Contribute at least 5 percent of his donations toward funding a series of candidates’ forums;

• Participate in small, neighbor-to-neighbor meetings.

Peters said his goals include maintaining safe roads and trails; timely response to emergencies, etc.; sustainability; policies encouraging local farming and gardening; and growing the community’s trust in local government through good service and cost-effective management.

The workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon April 30 at the Bainbridge Commons:

9:10 a.m. – Introduction by Nancy Quitslund;

9:15 a.m. – Kitsap County Elections Supervisor Delores Gilmore will offer important election information for candidates;

10:00 a.m. – City Council: Mayor Kirsten Hytopoulos;

10:15 a.m. – Running a Campaign: Lin Kamer-Walker;

10:30 a.m. – School District: Bruce Weiland, former board president;

10:45 a.m. – Fire District: Maureen Halligan, current commissioner;

11:10 a.m. – Park District: Ken DeWitt, current commissioner;

11:15 a.m. – Other open offices;

11:30 a.m.-noon – Current issues with open question/answer session.

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