UPDATE | Pollock dethrones longtime incumbent in parks board race

Having successfully ended a dynasty, unseating longtime incumbent Kirk Robinson and claiming the Commissioner Position 5 of the board for the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District, Michael Pollock’s celebration was much less involved than his campaign.

“I just chatted with a few of the other elected officials, the ones that made it, and had a drink and went to bed,” Pollock said. “A raging party on Bainbridge is one that’s over by 9 o’clock.”

Pollock claimed victory with an immediate, commanding lead in the parks board race Tuesday. He received 54.9 percent of the vote, while Robinson locked up just 45 percent. Pollock had 2,733 votes to Robinson’s 2,243 in the last vote count.

The position on the five-member board carries a six-year term.

Pollock — a former member of the Bainbridge Island City Council, but a new face in the arena of parks — easily outpaced Robinson in the race, who has held the job since 2003.

“Definitely, change is in the air,” Pollock said, referencing both his own victory and the several other newcomers voted in during Tuesday’s election.

Sheila Jakubik was, in fact, the only incumbent on the Bainbridge ballot this year to win another term, obtaining a second go-round in the District 5 position on the Bainbridge Island School Board. Incumbent City Councilman Wayne Roth lost in his re-election bid.

“People felt it was time for a change,” Pollock said. “Kirk’s done a lot of good things, and he’s to be congratulated for that.”

Island voters, Pollock said, seemed to have “caught a little bit of the national mood.”

Pollock ran on a platform extolling the need for improved transparency and communication by the board, and also more liberal off-leash dog rules.

“I was thinking about it and I felt the people that prevailed, myself included, were really running more uplifting, optimistic, forward-looking campaigns,” Pollock said.

Certain critical, or even negative, campaign materials he saw online or in letters to the editor, Pollock said, seem to have “backfired.”

“The community rejected negative politics,” he said. “They embraced a positive vision for the future.”

Pollock said he felt his concerns regarding the development of the Sakai property and his pledge to improve relations between the parks board and the city and other governing bodies were the major areas in which he was able to connect with most islanders.

“I think the public would like the different districts to work together and recognize we’re all one community and we’re all one big taxing district,” Pollock said.

Though going up against such a well known incumbent was obviously an extra challenge, Pollock said he had no zero hour crisis moment Tuesday, was satisfied with the effort he and his supporters put forth.

“I felt like we did pretty much what we needed to do,” he said. “It definitely was a bit daunting going in, because somebody that’s been there that long has a lot of connections, a lot of political connections.

“But, nothing ventured, nothing gained,” he said.

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