Well, I can’t blame Regina Hill for the circumstances that forced her to withdraw from the Central Kitsap School Board race for Position 1, but I have to once again express disappointment that a school board member in Central Kitsap will, yet again, be chosen without a contest.
After being on a waiting list for base housing for two years, Hill received a surprise placement recently and as a result moved out of the geographic area that defines the residence requirement for the Position 1 board seat. As a result, Bruce J. Richards will be unopposed for the seat in the November election.
You can check out previous blog postings on the recent history with the CK board elections. This would have been the first election in more than a decade that all board seats that were up would have been contested. For several elections, there were no contests at all, and outgoing school board member Carl Johnson, who wanted to retire from the board two years ago, was forced to keep his position in 2007 because no one filed to run for the board seat.
Richards is an incumbent board member, and I have no doubt that he is a well qualified and honorable candidate. As I’ve said before, the fact that an incumbent is doing a decent job doesn’t eliminate the value of having a contest for an elective office. It was really a breath of fresh air to see the three candidates in the race for position 5 have to talk to the voters and answer questions on the Kitsap Sun’s election’s web site. I ended up voting for the incumbent in that race. But too often when there’s no opposition, the incumbents don’t ask the voters for their support and don’t have to state their positions on the issues facing the school district, the city council, or whatever office they are seeking.
So I have to express my sorrow that Hill will not be able to provide the voters of Central Kitsap with that most valuable of commodities in a democracy — a contested election.