Opinion

Let’s hear from the candidates on the issues | IN OUR OPINION

With the close of Candidate Filing Week on May 20, local elections on the island have seen a spate of candidates step up to serve the community.

In these disparate, partisan times, it is heartening to see seven contested local races, a sign that some islanders, at least, have not lost faith in the democratic process.

Indeed, two of the competitive races will ensure an August Primary Election (in the City Council’s District 3 South Ward position and Bainbridge Island Fire Department Position 2 race).

But it seems that current officeholders in the city council do not hold this faith. Each seat up for election this fall will be left without an incumbent, as Kirsten Hytopoulos, Debbi Lester and Bob Scales have one after another said they will not seek re-election when their four-year terms expire.

With almost half of the council facing turnaround by the year’s end, those islanders who filed as candidates for the council last week are tasked not only with sustaining their commitment to serve the island, but also with the weighty duty of determining “Who gets what, when and how,” in the words of political scientist Harold Lasswell.

This definition of politics appears especially pertinent in the wake of the proposed outsourcing of the water system to the Kitsap Public Utilities District.

The reasoning behind this outsourcing, however, remains untenable. The new council candidates especially must explain why this proposal, which would cost more than the current system, would benefit the community, particularly to those taxpayers who do not rely on the system — something the current proponents of the offshoring idea have failed to articulate.

While it is possible, and indeed likely, that the issue will be resolved one way or another before the new council takes their seats at the dais, the proposed KPUD outsource will continue to be an issue.

 

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