Candidate Q&A Now Available – 2016

Candidate Q&A Now Available – 2016

i Oct 18th No Comments by
The fall ballots will appear soon in your mail.  We are writing to encourage you to study the ballot issues and races this fall and vote!

We sent a list of questions to all the candidates for State Representative, Kitsap County Commissioner, and KPUD Commissioner, and we have posted all the responses returned to us.

You can read the questions we asked and candidates’ answers online.

Kitsap County Commissioner:
Charlotte Garrido
Christopher Tibbs

State Representative, District 23, Position 1:
Sherry Appleton
Loretta Byrnes

State Representative, District 23, Position 2:
Drew Hansen
Unopposed

KPUD Commissioner
John Armstrong
Debra Lester

More information about the KPUD Commissioner race

 

2016 Drew Hansen responses

i Oct 18th No Comments by

State Representative, Position 2, 23rd District
Drew Hansen

https://drewhansen.com/

1. Do you favor the Legislature increasing the state budget for public schools to meet the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the state’s constitutional mandate to adequately fund local public school districts like Bainbridge Island’s?
YES

2. Do you support the state maintaining medical and mental health care for eligible seniors and other needy citizens?
YES

3. Describe the ways you have, to date, researched issues important to Bainbridge Island and talked with voters from Bainbridge.
I’VE WORKED VERY CLOSELY WITH THE BAINBRIDGE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMANDING ACTION ON GUN VIOLENCE ON ISSUES OF GUN SAFETY

4. What distinctions and accomplishments do you consider to be most significant during your recent professional career.
I WAS VERY PROUD TO BE THE CHAMPION OF THE LANDMARK BILLS (HB 1472 AND HB 1813) EXPANDING COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCAITON IN WASHINGTON STATE. I WAS ALSO PROUD TO FUND THE NEW ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND CYBERSECURITY BACHELOR’S DEGREE PROGRAMS AT OLYMPIC COLLEGE SO THAT STUDENTS ON BAINBRIDGE AND ELSEWHERE IN KITSAP COUNTY HAVE ACCESS TO MORE HIGH-QUALITY DEGREE OPPORTUNITIES.

5. Please give examples of the appropriate role of the state in preserving and protecting the environment?
I WAS THE PRIME SPONSOR OF TWO SIGNIFICANT BILLS OVERHAULING OUR STATE’S SYSTEM FOR PROTECTING OUR WATERS FROM DERELICT AND ABANDONED BOATS; THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM, AS THE SINKING OF THE CHICKAMAUGA AT EAGLE HARBOR MARINA DEMONSTRATES.

6. In the next two years, what are your priorities for our State as it applies to issues of significance to local communities like Bainbridge Island?
I WANT OUR STATE TO AMPLY FUND BASIC EDUCATION, FIRST AND FOREMOST, WHICH WILL HELP BAINBRIDGE SCHOOLS, PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND EDUCATORS.

2016 Sherry Appleton responses

i Oct 18th No Comments by

State Representative, Position 1, 23rd District
Sherry Appleton

http://sherryappleton.com/

1. Do you favor the Legislature increasing the state budget for public schools to meet the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the state’s constitutional mandate to adequately fund local public school districts like Bainbridge Island’s?
Yes.

2. Do you support the state maintaining medical and mental health care for eligible seniors and other needy citizens?
Absolutely.

3. Describe the ways you have, to date, researched issues important to Bainbridge Island and talked with voters from Bainbridge.
We have met at coffee shops and I try to go to all the events on Bainbridge. I also try to be available to Bainbridge Island as different issues surface.

4. What distinctions and accomplishments do you consider to be most significant during your recent professional career.
I passed the Silver Alert this past year which will help us rescue older citizens who have dementia or Alzheimers when they have wandered. This is an emergency notification system that will work just like the Amber Alert.

5. Please give examples of the appropriate role of the state in preserving and protecting the environment?
The Shoreline Hearings board, The Puget Sound Partnership, The Growth Management Act, SEPA, the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. The state has to be stewards of our environment and enforce the rules and regulations.

6. In the next two years, what are your priorities for our State as it applies to issues of significance to local communities like Bainbridge Island?
As Chair of Local Government, I am working very hard on The Growth Management Act. I believe it should be tweaked after 26 years, but not destroyed, as our friends across the mountains would like. Bainbridge being surrounded by water, it is important that we take care of our environment.

2016 Charlotte Garrido responses

i Oct 18th No Comments by

County Commissioner
Charlotte Garrido

(http://charlottegarrido.com)

  1. During your campaign, describe the ways you have, to date, met Bainbridge voters.

My relationships with Bainbridge voters have developed over many years, as I have been a county commissioner since 2009 (and for another term in the late 1990s). During this re-election campaign, attending meetings of the 23rd District Democrats (which includes Bainbridge) has offered opportunities to outline my goals and successes for the members. I am deeply grateful for the strong support this group has given me.

My preference for meeting voters during the campaign season is to “doorbell,” at the homes of registered voters – which I have done in several Bainbridge Island precincts since the primary election. Bainbridge Island supporters have often volunteered to accompany me.

I also received gracious invitations to meet with Bainbridge Island friends and neighbors. And, invitations to visit specific functions, such as the recent ‘Bainbridge Prepares Expo’ at City Hall gave me a chance to chat with many long-time friends and to meet some new ones.

Of course, business meetings as a commissioner bring me into contact with Bainbridge residents, too. For example, I chaired the Puget Sound Partnership “West Sound Local Integrating Organization,” held at City Hall on September 29.

  1. What Bainbridge Island activities and associations have you engaged in during recent years.

My husband Ray and I have many friends on Bainbridge, and we like the welcoming Island environment. My past, employment, activism, friendships, and Bainbridge culture have opened many opportunities for me. For example,

— as North Kitsap Director for the YWCA ALIVE program about 10-12 years ago, I maintained an office at the Bainbridge Courts building, and worked Bainbridge human services agencies and law enforcement. I particularly enjoyed collaborating with the Bainbridge Health, Housing and Human Services Committee that met monthly at the Marge Williams Center.

— a local foodie, I have a long-time friendship with the Gerard and Joanne Bentryn and with Betsey Wittick, and have supported Friends of the Farms for many years. I participated with Kitsap residents interested in sustainability when many communities in the region, including Bainbridge, sought to work toward a more positive future, and eventually became Sustainable Bainbridge. We dubbed the regional group Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound (SCALLOPS). Sustainable Bainbridge and the innovative Sound Food initiative emerged from Sustainable Bainbridge.

–In 2007-8, I worked with local businesses and educators to coordinate a plan for a four-year university in Kitsap County. Bainbridge businesses and educational institutions figured in this project.   In particular, BGI (the name at the time) and Yes! were valuable allies.

  1. What do you see as the most significant upcoming County Commissioner issues and activities that will affect Bainbridge Island residents?

Most Bainbridge residents’ governmental concerns are addressed by the City of Bainbridge Island. The County Commissioners are responsible for the health, welfare, and safety of all County residents, and particularly within unincorporated Kitsap County. Yet our regional responsibilities bring us together to participate on regional boards such as the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, Kitsap Public Health, Kitsap Transit, Kitsap 911, and Housing Kitsap.

There are two significant issues that affect us all. One is opioids. And the recent introduction of fentanyl here has only made the situation more serious. As someone begins using, the need for more of the drug increases, which often leads to related concerns such as thefts to maintain the habit, and increased demands on medical emergency services and on jails. The Kitsap County Commissioners approved a .1% sales tax for mental health, substance abuse and therapeutic courts in 2013. The ability to seek grants to address these important issues is available to Bainbridge agencies, too. Our experience has been that creative “collective impact” approaches have introduced new prevention and intervention methods that are making a difference in our community.

Second, the effects of climate change impact us all. We can observe sea level rise, increased flooding in certain areas during rain events, and less snow pack on the Olympic mountains. We recently learned that the temperature of Puget Sound has risen, to the detriment of marine habitats. These issues cross jurisdictional boundaries and require multidisciplinary attention!

  1. What are recent County issues and activities at the County Commissioner level that affect Bainbridge Island, and how did you vote or engage on those issues?

The Board of Commissioners approves applications for open space taxation in partnership with the City of Bainbridge Island. We also recently voted to transfer County titles for some Bainbridge shoreline to City ownership.   The City Planning Department does a great job of preparing the applications they present to us. When the Board of County Commissioners and the City Council hold a joint meeting, I ask questions if necessary, and vote in the affirmative for them.

Transportation is an important way that Kitsap County advocates on behalf of Bainbridge Island. The West Sound Alliance coalition of jurisdictions recommends priority transportation projects for Kitsap County, as well as all Kitsap cities , Mason County, and Gig Harbor. This group then advocates in Olympia during the legislative session for funding of top-ranked projects.   The ad hoc Ferry Community Partnership (on which I serve along with Mayor Lent and Ferry Advisory Committee representatives) meets monthly throughout the year to support WSF service and vessel improvements. We meet weekly during the legislative session to push for bills of interest to ferry riders. emergency prep

  1. What’s your record as a champion of the environment?

I became an activist in the early 1980s because I did not want our beautiful county to take the natural assets for granted and continue developing at one unit per acre across the landscape. That took me back to graduate school to research methods to respect and sustain rural lands while maintaining livable communities. Over the years I have served on countless volunteer committees for open space, rural policy, water quality, and more. I co-founded the Port Orchard Farmers’ Market in 1978, and that led to initiating many more, known as the Farmers’ Market Association (although now the markets within Kitsap and cities are individual rather than collective). More recently, I have participated on the four-county Regional Open Space Strategies, and traveled to Washington, D.C. last year to support a Puget Sound Save Our Sound (SOS) bill. Sponsored by Congressmen Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck, this bill is to name Puget Sound as a national estuary so that this region will receive similar recognition and funding as the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes. I also host a monthly “Sustainable Cinema” program at Port Orchard’s Dragonfly theater. Each month a film about environmental or social issues is shown, simply to stimulate discourse about issues of importance to us. We live in a beautiful location, surrounded by breathtaking vistas, and are responsible to support the continued healthy functions of our natural systems.

  1. What are your priorities for the County in the next 4 years?

My priorities as a commissioner and a candidate for re-election have remained similar since my activist days: a strong economy, a healthy environment, and helping people work together on issues that enhance our quality of life in Kitsap County. For example:

Strong Economy. I am passionate about workforce development, and have been chair of the Olympic Consortium (Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap) for many years. Our purpose is to establish pathways to careers in this region. We can strengthen local businesses and coordinate training that helps assure jobs for residents to work in our communities. I also served on a Washington State steering committee to implement the national Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

Healthy Environment. I actively participate in outreach about Kitsap County Water Trails. Our County is officially designated as part of the national water trails system. This encourages recreational water travel – and appreciation – of this important asset.

Neighborhood Programs. I initiated the pilot for a Neighborhood Partnership program in the Commissioners’ Office, which will be presented to Commissioners Gelder and Wolfe on October 10. The purpose for the program is that Kitsap County will work in partnership with neighborhood groups – they offer expertise about their community and we coordinate community-serving functions available to them. The chief focal points of the program include 1) enhanced access to Kitsap County information, 2) assistance with Organizing Your Neighborhood, 3) mapping neighborhood assets, and 4) potential small grants for community projects.

 

2016 KPUD Candidate Questions

i Oct 18th No Comments by

KPUD Commissioner

KPUD is playing an increasing role in our Island community – serving 3 water systems – North Bainbridge which it has “owned” and served for many years, as well as 2 others. It also provides broadband internet to schools, libraries, government offices, and first responder buildings. It collects taxes from all County residents, but many of us on the Island know very little about it. KPUD was actually formed during the 1940 general election by a vote of the county’s electorate to explore providing electrical service as a public special purpose District instead of a private company. U.S. entry into World War II and rapid growth in and around the naval shipyard at Bremerton initially delayed and eventually precluded assumption of electric service in Kitsap County by KPUD. Since 1959, the District has studied and instituted planning for regional water resources in Kitsap County. (Adapted from the KPUD webpage:

1) What do you see as the role of a KPUD commissioner?

2) What approach would you take to support the growing business areas (e.g. broadband internet, wastewater, and perhaps public electric service or other utilities) of the PUD while recognizing it is a not-for-profit public utility that must be managed in a way that is in the best interest of the tax payers and rate payers?

3) The PUD collects tax money from the entire county. It’s not a lot of money per homeowner, so many of us may not give the PUD much thought. KPUD uses those tax dollars for a variety of programs (free public wireless service in certain County population centers, classroom education in Kitsap schools, stream gauging, well monitoring, precipitation level tracking, and other co-jurisdictional activities in the County such as the Kitsap Water Festival, stream tours). What ideas do you have to further publicize these programs as well as ensure they continue for generations to come?

4) What steps would you (have you) take (n) to ensure and enhance continued collaboration among the County and various Kitsap cities with the KPUD?

5) What are your thoughts on collaborating – or even creating an intertie – with other water districts on the Island to improve efficiency and conserve water resources and streamline water supply infrastructure and distribution?

2016 Debra Lester responses

i Oct 18th No Comments by

KPUD Commissioner
Debra Lester

1) What do you see as the role of a KPUD commissioner?

KPUD Commissioner’s primary role is to ensure that KPUD provides cost-effective and reliable utility services.

Other responsibilities include:
Setting utility rates
Overseeing the operation of KPUD, primarily through the one employee held accountable to the KPUD board—the general manager
Ensuring that KPUD’s service is responsive and welcoming to input and concerns of customers – valuing the community we serve and the local control of the utility
Making policy decisions on behalf of its constituents consistent with state law
Controlling finances primarily through the budget process
Meeting in open sessions where the public can participate in and observe the decision-making process

2) What approach would you take to support the growing business areas (e.g. broadband internet, wastewater, and perhaps public electric service or other utilities) of the PUD while recognizing it is a not-for-profit public utility that must be managed in a way that is in the best interest of the tax payers and rate payers?

Should KPUD be petitioned by communities, private water systems, or by a vote of the people, to expand its utility service(s), it is the responsibility of the board to do so in a cost-effective manner.

Just recently KPUD, by a vote of the people, was given the authority to own community wastewater treatment plant(s). Currently KPUD has a project underway with the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant at Port Gamble. The plant’s effluent will be redirected from being discharged in the Hood Canal to a large, upland drainfield. This project will recharge up to 100,000 gallons/day of high-quality water to the Port Gamble groundwater system. This helps the environment in several ways—in addition to recharging aquifers, it helps improve the health of the Hood Canal by not having wastewater discharged into it, and the project will open up approximately 90 acres of now-closed shellfish areas for harvesting. A good course of action would be to make sure this new plant is up and running properly before KPUD takes on its next wastewater treatment project.

With broadband, focus should be placed on looking for public/private options for expanding the service. As well, KPUD should look for grant opportunities available to help expand the service in the rural areas. Previously, KPUD received federal funding for putting in the original fiber-optic backbone for Kitsap County. KPUD should research what other state or federal grant opportunities are available to specifically fulfill that mission to provide broadband to underserved and rural areas.

3) The PUD collects tax money from the entire county. It’s not a lot of money per homeowner, so many of us may not give the PUD much thought. KPUD uses those tax dollars for a variety of programs (free public wireless service in certain County population centers, classroom education in Kitsap schools, stream gauging, well monitoring, precipitation level tracking, and other co-jurisdictional activities in the County such as the Kitsap Water Festival, stream tours). What ideas do you have to further publicize these programs as well as ensure they continue for generations to come?

The amount of money collected from Kitsap taxpayers is about $2.3 million. $850,000 of that amount goes for water resource management (stream gauging, education, monitoring, events) and remaining $1.5 million goes to paying on debt on fiber capital—part of the 2001 fiber backbone buildout that was done throughout Kitsap County. I agree these programs mentioned above in this question should continue for generations to come. KPUD should also ensure that these programs such as the free public wireless, “Community Wifi,” are functioning properly and as expected. To further publicize these programs, information should be included in customer notices/bills, promoted on the KPUD website, as well as asked to be promoted by KPUD’s community partners with cities and unincoporated areas of Kitsap County in a joint effort to spread the word widely about these programs. KPUD could also use social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and local news sources to promote information about KPUD’s events and programs.

4) What steps would you (have you) take (n) to ensure and enhance continued collaboration among the County and various Kitsap cities with the KPUD?

Under a Memorandum of Understanding with Kitsap County, KPUD serves as lead manager for the Kitsap County’s groundwater resources. It is KPUD’s obligation to work collaboratively with the County and various Kitsap cities.

As KPUD Commissioner, I would take seriously KPUD’s responsibility to be an excellent steward of our critical community resources—water, wastewater treatment, telecommunications.

Continued collaboration among the County and various Kitsap cities with KPUD is of great importance to me. As a former elected official, I have been able to personally and directly work with the Kitsap County Commissioners, Suquamish Tribe, as well as with the mayors and council members of the cities throughout Kitsap County often serving side-by-side on various boards (Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, Housing Kitsap, Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council Transportation Policy Committee, and the Puget Sound Regional Coordinating Council Transportation Committee). Having served on these diverse boards, one is able to see how things should/could be more interconnected such as how utilities effect land use and broadband service can impact and improve work from home options or business expansion. We can no longer have “silo” thinking, it must be replaced by whole system and global thinking. My focus is to build stronger Kitsap community alliances so that together we carefully plan and manage our water resources, treat wastewater so as to retain more water in our freshwater systems, and extend broadband service.

5) What are your thoughts on collaborating – or even creating an intertie – with other water districts on the Island to improve efficiency and conserve water resources and streamline water supply infrastructure and distribution?

Collaboration is key to ensuring safe drinking water. As some wells on Bainbridge Island and in Kitsap County have experienced salt water intrusion, are facing very expensive upgrades, and/or are failing due to deferred maintenance, many have turned to KPUD for assistance be it management, take over, or creating an inter-tie if need be. Certainly, KPUD in discussion with the City of Bainbridge Island, would determine whether an inter-tie with the City of Bainbridge Island’s water system or an inter-tie with a KPUD water system would be in the best for the water district in need.

2016 John Armstrong responses

i Oct 18th No Comments by

KPUD Commissioner
John Armstrong

1) What do you see as the role of a KPUD commissioner?
•      Set policy for the services and costs that the KPUD provides,
•      Monitor l expenditures  and develop strategic plans for aquifer protection,
•      Develop fiber optic  broadband services to not served or underserved areas of the County
•      Inform the citizens of our County with up-to-date information on the KPUD actions,
•      Get out and about  with our customers and tax payers.          
2) What approach would you take to support the growing business areas (e.g. broadband internet, wastewater, and perhaps public electric service or other utilities) of the PUD while recognizing it is a not-for-profit public utility that must be managed in a way that is in the best interest of the tax payers and rate payers?

• The KPUD Board of Commissioner Policy is founded upon response to the public requests as evidenced by our embarking upon the Port Gamble Wastewater Aquifer Recharge project and ongoing discussions with other Homeowner groups. Our Broadband system has been funded by the use of our tax revenue that also supports the function detailed in Question Number 3. The KPUD staff has developed a proposal to support a “Fiber to the Home and Business” that will be supported by Local Utility District (LUD) formulation, If requested by the beneficiaries of the LUD service.      

3) The PUD collects tax money from the entire county. It’s not a lot of money per homeowner, so many of us may not give the PUD much thought.  KPUD uses those tax dollars for a variety of programs (free public wireless service in certain County population centers, classroom education in Kitsap schools, stream gauging, well monitoring, precipitation level tracking, and other co-jurisdictional activities in the County such as the Kitsap Water Festival, stream tours). What ideas do you have to further publicize these programs as well as ensure they continue for generations to come?

• The present board has approved the staffing that will support these functions for it’s budgetary future. The incumbent Commissioners see wisdom of this effort and the benefit to the Community. I hope that future KPUD Boards will keep  the programs going. 
 
4) What steps would you (have you) take (n) to ensure and enhance continued collaboration among the County and various Kitsap cities with the KPUD?

• Our KPUD Board of Commissioners details to each of its Commissioners assignments to each of the countywide coordinating activities. we meet individually with the Kitsap Economic Development Association Chambers of Commerce and Kitsap Water Purveyor’s Association to exchange ideas of concern. The County Board of Commissioners and the KPUD Board of Commissioners meet each year to educate each other on joint issues of interest to each.      
 
5) What are your thoughts on collaborating – or even creating an intertie – with other water districts on the Island to improve efficiency and conserve water resources and streamline water supply infrastructure and distribution?

• Formal water intertie contracts with all our Cities are needed. There are ongoing discussions between the COBI and the KPUD Management shared water supply to the Rockaway Beach Water system.

• The COBI, PWD has requested that the KPUD rerun the USGS water Aquifer Model study for the Island. The COBI manager and the KPUD Manager are in involved in an ongoing exchange of ideas regarding water services between the several water providers on the island. I have been a BI Chamber of Commerce  Member  in assisting with fiber optic issues of benefits to the Community.