UPDATED: Kordonowy confirms new role as 8th council member

Wednesday night’s City Council meeting was Darlene Kordonowy’s last as mayor of Bainbridge Island.

Next week, she’ll return to the dais as the council’s eighth member, Kordonowy announced at the meeting.

“It’s a very important time and transition for the city, and I know I can help make a difference,” she said.

A large majority of islanders voted on May 19 to eliminate the mayor’s office and turn over administrative duties to a city manager directed by the council. State law allows a mayor to become a temporary council member if a change-of-government happens during the mayor’s term.

Kordonowy had considered not taking on the new role, noting that many islanders voted for a council-manager government in an effort to remove her.

But her supporters urged her to reconsider, she said.

“I would have been giving up my voice and important representation for the community, and that didn’t feel right,” she said.

Kordonowy’s council term ends Jan. 1, the same day her mayoral term would have ended.

Her decision elicited mixed responses from the council.

“I’m very disappointed Darlene chose to sit on the council,” Councilman Bill Knobloch said. “I hope she will reconsider.”

The nearly 70 percent approval of the change-of-government measure is a clear message that islanders want big changes at City Hall, he said.

“They no longer accept what happened in the past and want change,” Knobloch said. “Does Darlene sitting on the council (match) that message? I think not.”

“I think the subtle implication is that there will be a continued attempt at business-as-usual, and that has a negative effect on the community.”

Council Chair Kjell Stoknes, who supported the change-of-government measure, said Kordonowy’s presence won’t have much impact.

“I see no problems,” he said. “She’s not in a position where she can control how the city operates.”

Kordonowy’s position on key issues usually matches that of the council majority. Future council voting may follow a five-to-three split rather than the typical four-to-three divide.

Stoknes said the council should focus less on Kordonowy and more on the work of transitioning to a new government.

“We’ve got to get over ourselves,” he said. “All of us have the best interests of the city in mind. Let’s try to be nice to each other while we do our business.”

The new form of government goes into effect when the election is certified on June 3. The council is expected to formally adopt the council-manager system on June 10 and appoint a ceremonial mayor from its ranks on June 17.
The council plans to appoint a ceremonial mayor on June 17.

7 thoughts on “UPDATED: Kordonowy confirms new role as 8th council member

  1. It is hard to believe that the soon to be ex-Mayor did not get the very very clear message sent by the voters. Her votes obviously mean something but few are interested if at all in anything she would add to any conversation. To personally subject herself to the backround smirks and laughts shows stupidity.

    Darlene would be so much smarter to saddle up and to ride into the sunset.

  2. But Ariel, if you read the preposterous statements from Ms. Owen, the campaign manager for FOG, the issue was not Mayor K but better government. Of course that is silly and a lie. However, Mayor K hosed up government with full and complete help from Council. Mayor K is not the problem, only part of the problem.

  3. James

    The Mayor and you are right, four Council people are the whole problem but as one writer put it sometime back, The Mayor put the four under a spell. She lead the crowd of five as the four referred to hear were always in step with her. Maybe I should have said the five should ride into the sunset!

  4. Since nobody is riding off into the sunset and nobody cares what Jim Olsen says, how about focusing on something more constructive than the usual moan and whine. The council is now what it is and I wish them all well. There are plenty of problems that need to be dealt with that far transcend the points that you seem unable to get over. The constant barrage against these fine people who have devoted their time and energy to try and do what they think is right, is not only counterproductive, but helps foment further divisivenes. Let’s support them all,with thoughtful, helpful input instead of the usual bs, and if you want further change, exercise your voting privilege’s in November, or better yet, throw your little hat into the ring and let’s all see how you do in the unlikely event that you are elected to represent.

  5. You have got to be kidding. The only part above that smacks of reality is the Council is what it is. These very same five people have in fact never listened will not in the future. What do you think prompted what in fact was the recall? You can’t be naive enough to think the change in Gov’t. was the real reason? The five should saddle up and ride into the sunset, the sooner the better. And you are right November will bring the next big change. Oldtimer you have forgotten allot about what we have witnessed here on the Island the last few years and nothing will get any better until the big personnel changes are made. We have done the Mayor next the four. And by the way how do you know that my hat won’t be thrown into the ring? Where is yours?

  6. I fully support your possible intention to toss your hat in. The more the merrier. Let’s hope your platform will encompass more than complaining about the current state of affairs.Personnel changes may come in November, for better or for worse, but I fail to see the value of constantly revisiting the ‘ride into the sunset’ theme. As for tossing my hat in, I did that years ago and served for years. I am now too old and feeble to do much more than call out the bitchers and with a growing list of participants and the fact that I am suffering from ‘oldtimers disease’ it’s a wonder that I can even remember who the worst offenders are. But I will do my best.

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