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What will this next election be about?

Ballots for November’s General Election will start arriving in Bainbridge Island mailboxes at the end of next week.

Voters across the island will vote for three new council members, pick three new board members for the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, and choose a school board member in a contested race for the Bainbridge Island School District.

But what will this election be about? That’s the most pressing question in the city council races.

Will it be about the city’s controversial update to its Shoreline Master Program?

Though the city council committed last week to finishing the work on the SMP before the next council is seated, some on the island are still making political hay of the issue, and one candidate continues to fundraise using the promise to kill the SMP however possible.

Will this election be about money? A record amount of money has already been raised by the candidates this year, and this election also marks the entrance of a political action committee that is expected to pump thousands of dollars into a campaign to support a slate of candidates.

This council election features no incumbents, but will the election be about problems at city hall from long ago, or will this election be about the future?

Will this election be about creating a majority that represents the interests of one group of islanders over another, or an election that creates the potential for greater harmony, cooperation and compromise on the council?

Next week, ballots arrive. And Bainbridge voters will start to answer those questions.


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