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Knobloch and Brackett prevail
City spending issues were decisive, the incumbent says in winning a third term.
After an intense campaign season, Kim Brackett and Bill Knobloch secured City Council seats by comfortable margins in Tuesdays general election.
Knobloch was elected to a third term as Central Ward council member, defeating challenger John Waldo with a handy 57 percent of the vote. Brackett won the South Ward seat, earning 53 percent of votes to top Curt Winston.
Brackett, Knobloch and unopposed candidates Hilary Franz and Barry Peters will join Chris Snow, Kjell Stoknes and Debbie Vancil when the new council is seated in January.
Its very exciting when I think of the new council, Knobloch said. We have youth, we have professionalism, and a sense of collegiality to get things done.
Knobloch said his race with Waldo had been decided on issues of financial responsibility.
He said his campaign represented islanders concerns about city spending plans including Winslow Tomorrow and the proposed parking garage. He wants to focus on engaging the community through surveys and town hall meetings to help set city priorities for spending taxpayer money.
People are very concerned about how their money is being spent, and that showed in the result, he said.
Money wasnt enough to sustain Waldos bid to unseat the incumbent.
He spent $10,585, nearly twice Knoblochs war chest, and agreed that the issues had settled the score. Waldos support for Winslow Tomorrow and his experience on the 2025 growth planning committee were central to his campaign.
People on the other side said no to Winslow Tommorow and no to 2025, and that seemed to carry the day, he said.
Waldo, a Winslow attorney, said he has no plans to seek public office in the near future.
He said the new council has the opportunity to be a unifying body, but worries it may under-represent the business and development community while favoring an environmentalist base.
I think that they need to reach out I think that they need to reach out beyond their core of green supporters, and if they can do that they will be successful, Waldo said. Theyre all good folks, including my opponent.
Brackett, who will take a seat vacated by Jim Llewellyn, said the council has fairly represented the business community and she will continue to work for an inclusive government.
As far as Im concerned, the door is open and I look forward to meeting so very many people, she said.
Brackett said meeting a wide range of islanders was the most rewarding part of her campaign, which overcame turbulence, including a negative ad campaign by a local developer. Her run to City Hall had been a growing experience, she said, and she is excited to be a part of what she believes will be a positive and productive council.
It will be a real dream team for the island, she said.
Affordable housing, the Senior Center and safe non-motorized trails top Bracketts priority list along with protecting the islands environment while maintaining a vibrant downtown.
Winston said he was pleased at how well his campaign had done considering Brackett had the endorsement of 23rd Legislative District Democrats, Bainbridge Conservation Voters and the Review, and despite his campaign spending less than $3,000 compared to Bracketts $11,546.
He was glad that he had at least brought attention to public concerns about Winslow Tomorrow, which was the base issue of his platform.
I think what this election has said is that the people have said no to this $20 million for Winslow Tomorrow, he said.
Winston hopes the council will live up to the expectation of greater community involvement by putting Winslow Tomorrow and other large capital projects to an island-wide vote.
Winston, who had a long career in government, most recently with the Department of Transportation, and made an unsuccessful bid for city council in the early 1990s, said this would be his last run for a public office.
The people have spoken and they usually make wise decisions, he said.
Environmental and land use attorney Hilary Franz, and Barry Peters, a former attorney and business consultant and the president of Sustainable Bainbridge, were elected unopposed.
Peters said he shares optimism for the new council.
I think its a watershed election, he said. Our community is crying out for a new start, and I think we have one.
Lee Cross swept up nearly 60 percent of the vote and a seat on the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District commission in Tuesdays election.
She said she was delighted by the results but also mindful of the message sent by 1,964 voters who sided with her opponent Nancy Jacques.
Jacques ran as an advocate for ball fields and other recreation facilities and Cross said the vote made her realize how important the issue is to islanders.
I think that shows that ball fields are more important to people on the island than has been shown in the past, Cross said. I would hate to think that her supporters think their message hasnt gotten through, because it has.
Cross said addressing ball fields will be one of her priorities, along with freeing up more space on the Park District budget, and working with the city to advance the senior center project and secure open space in Winslow.
Tom Swolgaard retained a his spot on the park commission, running unopposed.
Paul Bang-Knudsen won a spot on the Bainbridge Island Fire Commission, earning 62 percent of votes to overcome Paul Topper.
Scott Isenman and Maureen Halligan were unopposed in their bids for reelection.
Position 1, At large
Barry Peters 4,186 98.15%
Position 2, North Ward
Hilary Franz 4,069 98.76%
Position 4, Central Ward
Bill Knobloch 3,311 57.84%
John Waldo 2,396 41.86%
Position 6, South Ward
Kim Brackett 2,961 53.11%
Curt Winston 2,585 46.37%
Lee Cross 2,900 59.38%
Nancy Jacques 1,964 40.21%
Tom Swolgaard 3,833 99.17%
Scott Isenman 4,953 99.40%
Paul Bang-Knudsen 3,559 61.92%
Paul Topper 2,175 37.84%
Maureen Halligan 4,717 99.49%
Bainbridge voter turnout: 9,598 ballots returned; 61.23% of registered voters. For full Kitsap results go to www.kitsapgov.com