"Endresen, Angel, yes on charter govt."
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:17 PM
"So, why should Bainbridge Island care about the races for Kitsap County commissioner? Well...10 percent of your property tax bill still goes to county government, to support courts, election services and what not; commissioners serve on various regional planning boards whose decisions impact the island; and we are, after all, still Kitsap, not King.In the north-end race, we think the incumbent commissioner, Democrat Chris Endresen is as sharp as they come, and we urge voters to support her at the polls Nov. 7.Some of Endresen's efforts:* Worked with state Department of Ecology officials to get the Vincent Road dump cleaned up, once and for all;* Kicked in county funds to the drive that created Blakely Harbor Park; * A strong supporter of county-wide affordable housing programs, open space preservation, environmental stewardship and public shoreline access.She also gets high marks from Bainbridge officials for improving relations between city and county, and as an advocate for sound transportation and ferry planning.As to her challenger, we'll be frank: Kingston electrician Scott Henden doesn't offer much in the way of credentials beyond having paid the filing fee. And if you want some measure of what's at stake here, Public Disclosure Commission records show that among the nickel-and-dime contributions from private citizens, Henden's war chest has been fattened up by Kitsap construction interests. Wonder how they expect him to come down on land-use issues? We don't.It pays to have a friend in the Kitsap County Courthouse, and Bainbridge Island has a fine one now. We'll stick with Endresen, a proven and effective leader.In the south-county commission race between Republican Jan Angel and Democrat Dusty Wiley, we'll take Angel. There's clearly anxiety in other parts of the county about pending salmon-related shoreline regulations, and Angel, a property-rights cheerleader, should allay those concerns and bring an interesting dynamic as the county drafts its salmon plan.* * * * *Now, as to Proposition 1, for Kitsap County charter government: We'll offer a tepid yes, primarily because the county has grown enough to warrant a board of more than three commissioners; other changes, like making the county's elected offices non-partisan, would also be an improvement. And who will draft the charter? We suspect that with 21 voices on the freeholder board, there will be ample diversity of perspective and opinion, regardless of who is elected. We will note that freeholder candidates Andy Maron and George McKinney are Bainbridge residents, and would give islanders a conduit for input. Elect them.As we said, our endorsement of this proposition is tepid at best, and here's the big caveat: When, in a year or two, the freeholders put their draft charter on the ballot, voters should be ready and willing to throw the whole thing out if it's unacceptable. We remain opposed to the idea of adding local initiative powers, increasingly the tool of narrow special interests, and other silliness that may be included.* * * * *Wednesday: Federal races "