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Thank you for your service | IN OUR OPINION
With just a few remaining city council meetings for three of the city’s council members, it seems a fitting time to give thanks for their selfless service and sacrifice and commitment to our community.
Council members Debbi Lester, Kirsten Hytopoulos and Bob Scales will step down from the dais at the end of December. They deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for their public service in one of the toughest jobs there is on Bainbridge Island.
Life as a city council member is a demanding and often thankless job. It requires a tremendous commitment of time and energy, plus patience and a thick skin. Council members are subject to the slings and arrows of intense public criticism even when they are taking a vote from a position that seems inherently right.
The three departing council members — Lester, Hytopoulos and Scales — can also no doubt recall some editions of the local newspaper in recent years where they have been singled out for criticism for one thing or another, or lumped together with the rest of the council as it tackled some contentious issue, or blasted by public comments at the start of their council meetings, or battered by blog posts where they have been picked apart online by unhappy islanders or others from off-island.
We expect much from our public servants, and too often, we may be quick to criticize but slow to offer praise or encouragement.
We believe people step up to serve on the council because they want to give back to the community and make a positive contribution to life on Bainbridge. Lester, Hytopoulos and Scales have done just that, and our community has been made better by their dedicated service to the city.