Vacant Bainbridge council seat now has 11 applicants

Three more people have stepped forward as candidates for the vacant Central Ward seat on the Bainbridge Island City Council.

The three new candidates means there are now 11 islanders interested in serving on the council.

The newest council hopefuls are Tamarah Rockwood, Monica Aufrecht and Debbie Hollyer.

Rockwood is a social media contractor and self-employed freelance writer/blogger. She has been a Bainbridge resident for the past three years.

In her application packet, Rockwood said the city’s top three priorities are:

“The rapidly increasing cost of living and how it affects families on the island;

“The health and well being of our forests and environment;

“The continued sustaining of Bainbridge Island culture through outreach, Parks & Rec, community building activities and inclusiveness of diversity on the island.”

Rockwood has a bachelor’s degree from California State University, East Bay (2004) and is a master’s candidate in the Harvard Extension School.

“During my time as a Bainbridge Island City Council member, I would like to see a greater voice from the public be heard,” she wrote in her cover letter. “I believe our island has a great collective voice with many perspectives. It is imperative that the voices of those who have lived here for 40 years are just as heard as those who have lived here for one year: Bainbridge Island will only prosper with both.”

Aufrecht is an online instructor at Bellevue College, where she teaches environmental ethics and biomedical ethics. She moved to the island in 2012.

“The city council has been dealing with important, and at times controversial, issues. Many of these — traffic, housing shortages, urban development — are due to new arrivals like me: young parents who are attracted to the beauty and rural small-town feel of Bainbridge, plus retirees coming for similar reasons,” Aufrecht wrote in her cover letter. “As Bainbridge continues to grow, it is important that we newcomers help to preserve those very things that made us want to move here.”

Aufrecht holds a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy from Wellesley College (2000), a master’s in philosophy from the University of Washington (2005), and a doctorate’s in philosophy, also from UW (2010).

Aufrecht said the city’s top three priorities should be housing, traffic and traffic safety, and Puget Sound pollution and aquifer recharge.

Hollyer is a 12-year resident of the Central Ward and retired in January from her design/build company, Hollyer Design and Remodeling.

“My interest in serving on the council has everything to do with my heightened sense of individual responsibility to civic engagement since the November 2016 election,” Hollyer wrote in her application packet.

“That moment was a wakeup call to increase my awareness and understanding of what led our nation to the election of D. Trump,” she added. “Since then I’ve been immersed in political activism by forming, leading and being a member of a number of activist groups on the island, in our Legislative District 23, and in Kitsap County.”

When asked about the city’s top priorities, Hollyer said: “Engaging and informing citizens by implementing a variety of consistent communications about the city council’s top priorities for 2018, citizen FAQs and what is seen by citizens as hidden agendas. There are reasons why attendees at council meetings consist primarily of 50+ year olds.”

She added that the city should have a “full commitment and plan toward a carbon free Bainbridge Island that in turn will influence state priorities.”

Hollyer also said she wanted to help decide the proposed infrastructure ballot measure planned in November, and supported using the grant money the city has received for a pedestrian bridge over Highway 305.

Other applicants for the vacant council seat are Rob Evans, Nathan Daum, Marshall Tappen, Mark Jordan, Leslie Schneider, Mark A. Epstein, Wayne Roth and Robert L. Drury.

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