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General election endorsements, comment | Letters | Oct. 28
Problem-solver with a proven track record
We have known Anne Blair for several years and have been extremely impressed with her energy, intellect and experience.
Both of us have gone through Leadership Tomorrow Seattle-King County and know what it has done for that community. Anne was on the group’s board in the mid 1980s.
She saw the tremendous value in the program and was instrumental in bringing Leadership Kitsap into fruition in 1990 as a founding board member and chair.
Anne has dedicated her life to leading and making a positive difference in her work and community. We have seen her in action first hand on the Bainbridge Community Foundation’s board where she has been a major contributor and leader.
Anne is always positive and has a proven record of solving complex and challenging problems. We are thankful she has stepped forward to bring her vast experience and leadership to her hometown of 34 years.
Len Beil and Stella Ley, Bainbridge Island
Finally, a candidate with island perspective
My friends know that I have been an opponent of this experiment we call the City of Bainbridge Island.
As a lifetime islander my concerns were not limited to the lack of professionalism, the ignoring of the actual infrastructure (roads) and oversized bureaucracy.
Special interests have caused taxpayers to buy property that can’t be used while continuing to espouse a private agenda. Worst of all, the actual history of the island is being changed.
At long last I can recommend you vote for an actual islander who has the historical perspective, the business acumen and an open mind that is so sorely needed to help guide our local government back to some sort of reality.
I am voting for Sarah and I encourage others to do the same.
Walter F. Ball, The Mayor of Eagledale
Add a little common sense to next council
We have known Sarah Blossom for more than two years and have found her to be honest, smart, informed and extremely capable.
She is knowledgeable about Bainbridge and the law, having been born and raised here and earning a law degree at the Seattle University School of Law.
She has been involved in the management of two businesses here, and has been a participant in the city agriculture code update and the Lynwood Center Neighborhood Association.
All of the above give her the expertise to be an asset to the city. But the real reason she is the best choice for council is that we would all benefit by electing her because of her most compelling feature and the one thing that will greatly improve life for all of us. That’s her abundance of a sometimes rare commodity – common sense.
Jim and Vicki Reilly, Bainbridge Island
Bonkowski is a refreshingly well-rounded candidate
Between academic, civic, volunteer and professional pursuits, I have served on enough committees to last at least two lifetimes.
My most recent committee endeavor was surprisingly refreshing. Serving on the committee was Steven Bonkowski, candidate for Bainbridge City Council.
I was incredibly impressed by his contributions. He was always prepared, a very thoughtful and polite listener, succinct and to the point with his comment. He’s also open minded, willing to find and offer appropriate solutions, and trustworthy in following through on his assigned tasks.
I feel it would be Bainbridge Island’s great gain to take advantage of Steven’s willingness to serve his community on the city council. Please vote for this man of intelligence, wisdom and integrity.
Patty Smith, Bainbridge Island
Robinson: A careful steward of park land
We support the re-election of Kirk Robinson as a commissioner of the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District.
Over the last several years, we have had the opportunity to work closely with the park board in the negotiation and implementation of a public-private project that will result in a major addition to the park district’s wonderful portfolio of public open space and trails.
Mr. Robinson, most notably as president of the board during this past year, has been generous and cooperative in the pursuit of our common goal, while at the same time being a careful steward of the district’s resources, and of the need to allocate those resources across the broad spectrum of programs they serve.
To our eyes, the relationship between the Park Board and Staff seems to be solid, another indication of his effective leadership. We encourage voters to give Kirk the opportunity to continue his valuable public service.
Val Tollefson, Asha Rehnberg,
Bainbridge Island Land Trust
Luke: Commission needs new ideas, community input
Bainbridge Island residents have been quite vocal to me in their sentiments regarding the value they place on our parks, open spaces and the opportunities provided by an outstanding recreation program.
Kirk Robinson and I are seeking your vote to be the next Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District commissioner for Position 5, but we sure have a difference in opinion about the value added during his incumbency.
In the 2011 Voter Elections pamphlet, Mr. Robinson defines his job as “primarily managing budgets, grants, contracts, accountability systems and oversight of State programs,” and in his candidate statement he promises to “continue prudent management of our budget and accountability to the community.”
The reality of his management track record during the last six years is $30 million spent, $4 million in debt and an accruing pension liability for 43 full-time employees.
Obviously, a park system such as ours requires and deserves adequately compensated personnel to keep it functioning.
But even when a simple employee credit card accountability system was adopted eight years ago, it took until April of this year for the resolution to be approved. (See Resolution 2011-04 adopted April 21, 2011.)
This is not responsive fiscal management nor oversight in my view and it is certainly not the continued prudent management I would like to look forward to as a taxpayer.
While inspection of the Park District’s organizational chart does reflect my opponent’s years of bureaucratic government management background, it does not explain why $34 million does not even entitle islanders to a single bench or picnic table on a 40-acre park and shoreline.
Blakely Harbor Park, for example, has been a park gem for over 20 years but something as simple as displaying mention of its historic lumber mill and shipping grandeur could provide some tangible sense of value added that Bainbridge Islanders could relate to with pride.
I stand with islanders who value our parks and the natural beauty that abounds in the Northwest and I offer renewed concern to reinvigorate the ideas and thinking on the board.
I am running for commissioner so that together we may begin a path to sustaining our parks and their historical heritage for future generations.
Ron Luke, Bainbridge Island
Key port issue is working with community
Previous articles and letters in local newspapers have included complaints about the dangers of port districts using borrowing processes and getting into trouble. These processes are available to all 73 such agencies in the state.
Opponents also mention a long list of things wanted or needed by all islanders and that they are expenditures that will increase our taxes.
The 12 existing port districts in Kitsap County consist of three – Poulsbo, Kingston and Brownsville – that bring large amounts of income to their respective cities. Then there is Bremerton, with its marina fiasco, and eight other smaller districts with maybe a small dock or launch ramp to take care of.
All except Bremerton are getting what they need or want in an economical and conservative manner.
The concept is defined and controlled by the state. There is the possibility that any (PD) can purchase a bad property and the economy can go bad.
Some are worried that if the Port of Bainbridge Island is approved and its five commissioners want to spend money, we might be in trouble. Chances should be zero of that happening. The elected commissioners and their advisory group will work with citizens and come up with a business plan of sorts. Factors including affordability, practicality, and priority will be part of the process.
Tom Kane, POBI Commission candidate
Lots of questions; answers to all is no
The Port of Bainbridge Island? Why? Do we really need more boat traffic coming into our quaint little harbor looking for gas and disrupting cherished island activities like sculling, kayaking and sailing classes?
Do we want more power boats coming into and leaving our harbor disrupting these long honored activities? Do we really need to have taxpayer-funded water taxis to make the short trip across the harbor? These are not cheap to buy, maintain or operate. Fares will not cover expenditures.
Do we need a gas dock to add more pollutants to our harbor? It’s an accident just waiting to happen on our environmentally friendly island. Do we need a new government authority with the power to tax and quadruple taxes on homeowners?
Do we need to raise taxes in a time of economic difficulties for many and the threat of a recession?
The answer is no. Help keep Eagle Harbor the great little harbor it is. Vote no on Proposition 1.
Brad Helder, Bainbridge Island