Before there was a Quality Bainbridge nonprofit or political committee, there was simply a small group of Bainbridge residents (including some of those who now serve on our Steering Committee listed below) who came together to stand up for good smart local government and the preservation of our widely-shared community values.
In September 2013, that informal Quality Bainbridge group created a Facebook page and an earlier version of this QualityBainbridge.org website, simply to educate and speak up for those values.
The community response was positive and encouraging. By the first week in October, with no paid advertising, there were 400 visits to the Facebook page and dozens of likes. The number of Likes has now grown to over 500.
The importance of the Fall 2013 elections for three City Council positions helped to crystallize our little group’s decision to form a Washington nonprofit corporation (Quality Bainbridge) and a political committee by the same name, which is registered with the Public Disclosure Commission. That step allows the Quality Bainbridge nonprofit to endorse candidates. We believe in openness, and make full disclosures at the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.
Quality Bainbridge is a political committee that simply wants to raise awareness. We aren’t asking for public donations. Our Steering Committee members are donating simply to cover our communications costs.
In the Fall 2013 elections, Quality Bainbridge announced its enthusiastic endorsement of three extraordinarily well qualified candidates for City Council: Wayne Roth, Val Tollefson and Roger Townsend, and an experienced and highly qualified candidate for re-election to the School Board, Mike Spence.
In Fall 2013, we began publishing eNewsletters via email to many island residents, and that activity continues from time to time when an important issue presents itself.
In the Fall 2014 elections, Quality Bainbridge endorsed incumbent County Commissioner Linda Streissguth for re-election to that position.
Gloria Sayler has lived on the Island since 1992, commuting into her job at Group Health for many of those years. She has been involved in setting up an emergency network in her North End neighborhood, and since she now works on the Island, she coordinated various speakers’ series for the Bainbridge Public Library in recent years. Gloria also served as VP and now serves as President of the Quality Bainbridge nonprofit.
John Kenyon Ellis has been mostly involved in the arts community on Bainbridge, serving on the board of Bainbridge Performing Arts board in the past and currently on the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. He first became active in local politics helping to defeat the efforts to move our City’s municipal court to Poulsbo. John also served as President of the Quality Bainbridge nonprofit.
Maradel Gale has been active in community and environmental affairs throughout her lifetime. She is a retired professor from the University of Oregon, where she taught land use law and developed and ran a program to provide technical assistance in the Pacific Islands. She is the organizer of Bainbridge Beach Naturalists.
Juliet has been active in supporting the schools and community on Bainbridge Island for almost 20 years, most recently serving on the board of the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council. She has two children in elementary school and owns a small business on the island.
Anita is one of the newest members of the Quality Bainbridge Steering Committee, having joined in 2015.
Randal Samstag is an active observer of City governance. He volunteered and served on the Utility Advisory Committee — a citizen advisory committee to the City Council.
Delight has lived on Bainbridge since 1974. In recent years she has served as the president of the Bainbridge Public Library Board and and President of PAWS of Bainbridge and North Kitsap.These volunteer activities follow an extensive career in graduate education including teaching in the Doctoral Program in Leadership, and in the Masters’ Degrees in Adult Education and Training and in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
For too long, the conversation has been dominated by a handful of people who have only one focus, fiscal restraint. While fiscal responsibility is vital, it is not the place to begin. We need to focus the conversation about what’s important here to guide the discussion of what, where and how to spend our monetary resources.
We all came or stayed here because Bainbridge is a fantastic community to live in. The physical beauty, the schools, the proximity to the big city, the arts, the farming community, the open spaces, the Grand Forest, quality infrastructure (like extensive walking paths, bike paths, safe roadways, working sewer and water systems), the friendships and family, are among the many elements that make us Bainbridge.
We’re inviting you, our friends and neighbors, to join in the conversation, let our voices be heard, and take back the email airwaves from the naysayers.
At Quality Bainbridge, along with hundreds of you who have “liked” us on Facebook, our interests and passions may be diverse, but our shared community values are similar:
We are here to support the government of Bainbridge Island, both elected and staff in their efforts to ensure we are living in the best environment in the world and give them protection from those who would only focus on NO.
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