Daily Archives: June 4, 2009

Winston enters race for South Ward City Council seat

Blakely Harbor resident Curt Winston is the third candidate to enter the race for the City Council’s South Ward position.

Winston, who has lived on Bainbridge for 26 years, will face community activist Kirsten Hytopoulos and accountant Tim Jacobsen for the seat currently held by Chris Snow, who was elected unopposed four years ago.

Snow has not made a formal announcement about whether he’ll seek reelection.

Winston, 68, said his campaign will focus on restoring the city’s financial stability.

“The council has to set measurable goals for our new city manager, especially in the financial area where we’ve hit a wall,” he said.

Winston will also focus on maintaining roads and sewers.

“We need to pay particular attention to our infrastructure,” he said. “The pipe failure in the harbor really pointed to that.”

The city should shift away from the “esoteric” issues the council has paid too much attention to in recent years, including large parkland purchases, he said.

“They got all touchy-feely and nobody was minding the bank account,” he said.

Winston was the administrator of the U.S Department of Transportation’s Northwest region before he retired a few years ago.

He ran unsuccessfully for Bainbridge City Council in 1991 and 2007, when he lost to Kim Brackett.

He took aim at current opponent Hytopoulos.

“I decided to run when I got to looking at the skill set Kirsten has,” he said. “She’s a lawyer and had been some kind of prosecutor and runs a website about ‘green’ something-or-other and she’s a mom. I’m a manager. That’s my skill set.”

Winston was also critical of Snow.

“He’s a guy that never voted against a spending measure,” Winston said. “I hold Mr. Snow responsible for a lot because he was the chair of the finance committee.”

Snow is expected to announce whether he’ll run tomorrow morning.

Stay cool, Bainbridge

It’s going to get hot today, possibly hitting 90 degrees.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for near-record high temperatures in Kitsap County and the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett area. The advisory ends at 6 p.m. tonight, when temperatures are expected to drop a bit as marine air surges across the state.

The state health department advises people to take a few common sense precautions: drink plenty of fluids, don’t leave pets locked in vehicles, check in on your elderly friends and family members, plan strenuous outdoor activity for early or late in the day and check your prescription drugs for sun exposure cautions.

Scales announces bid for City Council

Former mayoral candidate Bob Scales today announced his candidacy for the North Ward City Council seat currently held by Debbie Vancil.

Scales, who served a recent four-year term for the second North Ward council seat, said he hopes to help the city’s transition to a council-manager form of government and ease tensions on the council.

“It is time to give the people what they voted for – real change and reform in City Hall,” Scales said in a statement.

Scales’ bid for mayor was cut short on May 19 when voters opted to eliminate the mayor position.

“While the voters probably had many different reasons for wanting a different type of government, one thing is very clear – there is widespread dissatisfaction with the way our city is currently being run,” he said.

Voters, he said, must also alter the current make-up of the council to initiate a new era of efficiency and public trust.

“A city cannot function well when there is constant infighting on the City Council,” he said. “When major decisions are made with one- vote margins, it produces uncertainty and anxiety.”

The 47-year-old North Madison Avenue resident works as a senior policy analyst for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. Scales moved to Bainbridge in 1999 after working as a King County deputy prosecutor.

Scales’ council term and his run for mayor focused on non-motorized transportation improvements, environmental preservation affordable housing and boosting cost-effectiveness in City Hall.

Vancil, who has served two terms on the council, has not decided whether she’ll seek reelection. Aware that Scales may run for her seat, Vancil noted late last month that she has a longer track record of community service on Bainbridge and is more of a consensus-builder than her potential opponent.