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Stoknes will not seek a second term
Bainbridge City Council member Kjell Stoknes has announced he will not run for a second term.
His announcement comes on the opening day for candidates to file for elected office with the Kitsap County Auditor. On Bainbridge, there are 13 positions across four taxing districts that will be voted on during a Nov. 3 general election, including three slots on the City Council.
"I'm not going to file," Stoknes said Monday. "Day by day I have been following my own indecisiveness... I'm definitely not going to run."
Last week, Stoknes said he was considering another run for office because he wanted bring a positive attitude to City Hall. He also said he wanted to let voters express the issues behind their dissatisfaction with government, a dissatisfaction illustrated last month, when nearly 70 percent of voting islanders chose to abolish the position of mayor.
Since then, Stoknes has renewed his commercial general appraisers license and said he will seek work as an appraiser after his term expires. If he remains involved with the city it will be in a citizen capacity, perhaps as a member of the Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee, he said.
Stoknes said failures of communication and a divided council have tainted the positive work of the government, and overall, the public process.
"I don't see the representative form of government working very well," he said. "There is a lot of influence with legal actions and other means, and the representative form seems very stymied."
Stoknes cites the near completion of the waste water treatment plant on Hawley Lane and the approaching Winslow Way reconstruction project as positive developments that have been mired in unending debate and legal action.
"It's nice to get something done, and now that work on the treatment plant is being challenged (by the Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance)," he said. "And I'm hoping the community won't allow the city to lose $6 million in grants for Winslow Way."
Council member Chris Snow said he understood Stoknes' decision and that it would be hard to replace his knowledge on the council.
"Well I’m disappoint to see any qualified candidate or incumbent step down," Snow said. "Especially without knowing who is in the running to succeed him."
By nodding out, the Central Ward has only one potential candidate thus far, Dee DuMont. Stoknes called her earlier today to say he would not be running against her if she filed.
"I'm kind of a fatalist, this community will get what they vote for," he said. "I'm letting go, and the community will decide what happens based on who runs."