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Bauer named new county commissioner

Hansville consultant Stephen Bauer was selected as the next North Kitsap County Commissioner on Monday to fill the unexpired term of Chris Endresen, who is now state director for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

“I really appreciate this opportunity to work on the challenges we face,” Bauer said after the motion to approve him was passed. “This is a way bigger job than anyone expects. It will probably be the biggest job I will ever do.”

Bauer will be sworn in at the beginning of the commissioners’ next regular meeting, at 10 a.m. on July 9 in their chambers. Bauer received a briefing book for the meeting on Monday, and said he will study it this week.

He will, however, recuse himself on any vote that he is not comfortable addressing.

The motion to approve Bauer was made by South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, who as late as Thursday was pushing for a public meeting where the three commissioner hopefuls would meet the voters.

However, after learning that two of the three candidates would not participate in such a meeting without the consent of both commissioners — and that Central Commissioner Josh Brown was against the idea — Angel withdrew her request and threw her support to Bauer based on his resume.

After Monday’s meeting, Brown said, “I knew that we would be able to agree on someone.”

In her nominating statement, Angel lauded Bauer for his belief that local government can have the greatest impact on the community, and that local government should be accountable to the public and have the ability to work as a team.

Several county staff members are now assembling materials for Bauer for use in his orientation, which will be less thorough and elaborate than the service provided for elected incoming commissioners.

After his planned July 9 swearing in, Bauer will spend the remainder of the week familiarizing himself with issues.

Brown and Angel will be out of town for a conference on the week of July 16, at which time Bauer will take a planned sailing vacation.

During this week, Sheriff Steve Boyer will make any necessary executive decisions.

Brown took Bauer through several county departments, introducing the new commissioner to employees. They met with Auditor Karen Flynn, who provided Bauer with a copy of the oath of office as well as the opportunity to choose a specific judge for the swearing-in ceremony.

During this meeting, Brown recalled how his own swearing in hit a snag when the judge administering the oath read an entire sentence and required Brown to repeat it word for word.

Brown said giving Bauer a copy of the entire oath prior to the ceremony would save him a similar embarrassing situation.

Bauer was one of three candidates selected by Democratic Precinct Officers on June 18. The other candidates, Kitsap County Planning Commissioner Tom Nevins and County Spokesman Clarence Moriwaki, attended Monday”s meeting.

“We had three good candidates for this position,” Moriwaki said. “And the good news is that all three of us are working for the county.”

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