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A clear message from voters | IN OUR OPINION
Bainbridge Island wants a city hall that works, and a city council that works together.
That’s the undeniable message from Election Day, after three candidates who ran on platforms of cooperation, consensus and a commitment to finding positive solutions were voted into office by landslide proportions.
But it was more than a message: It was a mandate. And what’s more, it was also a referendum on the current character of the city council.
During the election season, some unfairly charged that the candidates who turned out to be this week’s big winners — council candidates Val Tollefson, Roger Townsend and Wayne Roth — represented the “old guard,” or the “status quo.” They are neither.
Indeed, the status quo that’s currently represented on the city council is exactly what voters have rejected. The status quo since the last council election, the 2011 changeover, has been two years of discord, a lack of compromise, and the easy abandonment of public process and the essentials of good and proper city governance. The lawsuit against the city over council members conducting city business in secret through their private email accounts is the latest, most glaring example.
Bainbridge voters have said, “Enough.” Enough of the drama. Enough of the infighting. Enough of the pettiness, personal agendas and polarization.
With Tollefson, Townsend and Roth joining Councilwoman Anne Blair — a pragmatic peacemaker and quiet leader committed to good government — a new majority will come to the council in January.
The newly elected council members have a mandate, but now, so does the rest of the council.
Bainbridge wants a city government that works together, for all of the island, that residents can be proud of. Now comes an opportunity for Bainbridge Island City Hall to be just that.