On Rushing to Judgment — UPDATED

Steven Gardner writes:

Mike Eliason, association executive for the Kitsap County Association of Realtors, sent a letter to the two county commissioners to not hurry in picking a third commissioner.

Some activists are now publicly calling for an immediate vote by the county commissioners to appoint the replacement. To do so, however, would be a mistake. . . .

As former County Commissioner Patty Lent once said, “Commissioners represent all citizens – not just their political parties.” Please respect the intent of the sixty day period and allow yourselves and the public the opportunity to fully consider the qualifications of all three candidates.

You can click below to read the entire letter.

UPDATE: Chris Henry attended the commissioners’ meeting Monday and Commissioner Jan Angel wants to take her time.

“I’d like to think through what the steps should be and get them in writing.” (Angel said) Brown, on the other hand, said, “I think we should work through it as soon as reasonably possible. If we wait until mid-August to make a decision, we’re losing critical time here.”

Angel, unswayed by Brown’s impatience, noted that she hadn’t had the same chance to learn about the candidates that he had. She said the decision was too important for her to rush into.

“I’ve got my homework to do here,” Angel said.

“So I guess we just wait and wait and wait,” said Brown.

Working as a board of two, Angel and Brown could end up in more stalemates until the new North Kitsap Commissioner is appointed.

“Obviously a lot of votes will be stalled until we get someone,” Brown said.

“I’m not sure,” said Angel. “There won’t be a stall if we agree.”

Some may read Eliason’s request as asking the commissioners to use all 60 days. That’s what I thought when I first read it. The obvious problem with that is if you allow for 60 days and a problem arises on day 59, the question automatically goes to the governor.

On reading the letter again, however, I think his basic request is to let there be some public vetting before a decision. Each current commissioner will get to meet one-on-one with the three candidates. The spirit of this letter would seem to suggest some sort of public interview as well. The local Democratic Party had the right to select three Democratic nominees for the post, but once that process was complete it was no longer a party issue. If the two commissioners and the governor were Republicans, Democrats would have nothing to say about the final choice.

So do you think the commissioners should make their pick known on July 2, or should they allow for more public vetting?

Commissioners Angel and Brown,

As you know, the Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee recently concluded its portion of the appointment process to fill the soon-to-be vacated county commissioner seat. After committing considerable time during the course of the past two months to evaluate 11 candidates, Democrat party activists are excited to complete the appointment process after reducing eleven candidates down to three finalists. Some activists are now publicly calling for an immediate vote by the county commissioners to appoint the replacement. To do so, however, would be a mistake.

While Democrat Party activists have first-hand relationships with the three finalists and a two month “jump-start” on the selection process, the vast majority of Kitsap’s citizens – representing Independents, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Non-Partisans, and Non-Politicos – have just begun to consider the qualifications of the candidates.

State law authorizes the Board up to sixty days (60) to select the replacement. The time period may seem like an eternity for Democrat Party activists who began their involvement in late April of this year, but it’s just the beginning for the vast majority of Kitsap’s citizens who also have a vested interest in the outcome of the decision.

As former County Commissioner Patty Lent once said, “Commissioners represent all citizens – not just their political parties.” Please respect the intent of the sixty day period and allow yourselves and the public the opportunity to fully consider the qualifications of all three candidates.

Respectfully submitted,

Mike Eliason
Association Executive
Kitsap County Association of REALTORS

38 thoughts on “On Rushing to Judgment — UPDATED

  1. “Elections have consequences.” – Senator Boxer.

    Frankly slumlord Mike Eliason is showing his bias by using the insulting and dramatically incorrect slam “Democrat Party”

    The Democratic Party won that election in 2004 and should be the only ones to determine who represents our ticket for that seat.

  2. Steve you really should write about the condescending insulting term “Democrat Party” in that letter.

  3. I’m sorry Mr. Metcalf is offended by my reference to the “Democratic” Party as the “Democrat” Party. No offense was intended.

    Many years ago — long before Mr. Metcalf joined the party — we used to call it the Democrat Party.

    I should know — I served as an elected Democrat (Democratic) Party PCO, Executive Board Member, and Vice Chairperson! I left, however, when Scoop Jackson-Warren Magnuson-Norm Dicks’ “Shipyard” Democrats were being replaced by today’s Democrats. It’s certainly not the same Democrat(ic) Party that it used to be!

  4. It’s been the Democratic Party since President Jackson’s era and the insult of “Democrat Party” is a well orchestrated plan that’s use can be traced to the far-right Wing media framing of Frank Luntz echoed by the far-rightwing media sphere.

  5. Wow Jake,

    You are one bitter dude. My advice is to take a chill pill, and stay away from the forum for the week.

    Also, I am sure the fact that newly elected Democratic controlled congress has a whopping 14% approval rating from the Gallup.

    Calling Mike a slumlord isn’t exactly very professional from someone who represents the Democratic Party. Agree or disagree with him, he deserves the same respect as you do !

  6. Jacob Metcalf referred to me as a slumlord. Sorry, Jacob. I don’t own any rental properties. You must have me confused with someone else.

  7. Jan Angel could have attended the forum in Poulsbo and she could have attended the Democratic meeting last Monday. Some of her advisors were there.

    Two weeks is enough time to get the information on three people. If she can’t do it, maybe she should resign and let the Republicans go through the process to replace her.
    I would like to see how the GOP would handle the replacement process.

  8. Eliason says, “Many years ago — long before Mr. Metcalf joined the party — we used to call it the Democrat Party.”

    No, we didn’t. President Hoover did so, and so did Joseph McCarthy, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Ellen Craswell, George Bush, Tom DeLay and other Republicans, but members of the Democratic Party have used our correct name.

    The last time that I can remember Mike Eliason doing anything with the Democratic Party was in 1988, when he supported a Democrat who tried to unseat Ellen Craswell as the 23rd LD Senator. That’s nineteen years ago.

  9. I’m confused. As I read the law, the two remaining county commissioners have only five days from when the vacancy occurs (June 28th). That would mean that they have until July 2nd (or possibly July 3rd, depending on whether one counts June 28th) to make a decision before it gets turned over to the governor.


    RCW 36.32.070
    (3) Whenever there is one vacancy in the office of county commissioner, the two remaining commissioners shall fill the vacancy. If the two commissioners fail to agree upon a selection after the expiration of five days from the day the vacancy occurred, the governor shall appoint the third commissioner.

    If I’m missing something, please clue me in.

    Kathryn Simpson

  10. I am sure a person representing the realtors of Kitsap County , especially considering many are democrats , would insult the party in an open letter .

    Jacob , your are just a knee jerk rude person . What always gets me is you never apologize , obviously you realize you have a problem . You must do this often to people who are close to you . You must have no friends unless they share your nasty rhetoric of people you have no knowledge of unless they have another political opinion then you .

    Your an embarassment to working people and others who support the democratic party .

  11. “So do you think the commissioners should make their pick known on July 2, or should they allow for more public vetting?

    YES–please get on with it. Mr. Eliason, by writing that letter and using the insulting term “activist”, has revealed his own activism for his private profit-making enterprises. That is enough public vetting, since he claims to speak for a “vast majority”. Quit stalling already!

    Emilie Garcia
    Port Orchard, WA —

  12. Mike Eliason,
    Jacob may not be the most polite of posters, but he’s right – it’s been called the “Democratic Party” at least as long as I’ve been aware (since way back in the late 1950’s). Individuals or groups of individuals are “Democrats”, but the party itself is and has always been referred to as the “Democratic Party”.

    Calling it the “Democrat” party has been, as Jacob said (in his usual none-too-subtle way), a Republican way of trying to insult and annoy Democrats recently. Judging from his reaction, it’s working.

    I hope it was unintentional on your part.

    Take it from someone who’s on your side more than on the Republic side (oops, make that Republican side).

    You need to calm down.

  13. Kathryn,

    I’ve read the law you referenced and discussed it with Christopher Dunagan. He said the county was for a short time going to use the process you brought up, then realized the state law conflicts with the state constitution. The process the county is following is mandated in the constitution, which trumps the RCW. I’m not sure why the wrong law has not been pulled from the books.

  14. What’s in a name? There seems to be plenty to go around these days.
    But you’re point is well taken. All citizens should be represented, and given the time to do so. If the matter goes to the governor, what of it? Worst that could come of that is she appoints someone who has only King Co. interests in mind. This is a matter that effects all Kitsap residents regardless of their political affiliations. They all should be made aware of it and given the time and means to have their say.

  15. It’s troubling to me, but it’s seems like Jan Angel is more intent on “doing her homework” about a Commissioner vacancy than she was about the whole NASCAR debacle. The worst a commissioner could do is muck things up for a couple of years. The NASCAR track would , for good or bad, changed Kitsap County forever. This is pure politics. How long would it take to “learn” about 3 candidates? Seriously?

  16. Regarding Rich’s question, “How long would it take to learn about three candidates?” Candidates for public office start years in advance. Races for county commissioner typically commence 9 to 14 months prior to election day. So, what’s wrong with allowing up to 2 months to consider applicants for a vacancy? If anything, the public deserves more time. We’re not filling a water district commissioner seat here, folks. It’s the swing vote on the county’s governing body.

    If you want an example of “pure politics,” perhaps you should look at who and what caused this problem. Jan Angel did not resign from office. Chris Endresen did! It’s not the first time for Chris, either. Many years ago, she created a vacancy on the Poulsbo City Council and did not fulfill her elected term.

    Do you realize that Chris could have resigned three weeks earlier (by June 4) and the PUBLIC — rather than her party — could have elected a new commissioner?

    So, who is playing politics?!

    To Jacob Metcalf: You’re wrong. The Democratic Party does not own this commissioner seat. It belongs to the public. Do you believe the Democratic Party owns Tim Sheldon seat as well, despite the fact that you and they tried several times to defeat him? I doubt Senator Sheldon and the voters would want your party to fill his seat.

    To Linda: Who are you? I don’t know you from Adam, so I am surprised you think you know so much about my past service with the Democrat(ic) Party. Your argument that I haven’t been involved in the party for 19 years — which, by the way, is false — is irrelevant to the underlying issue at hand.

    To: Emily. You are insulted because I used the term “activist?” Wow! I consider the term “activist” to be a compliment.

    I’m amazed how most of you are easily offended, but then are the first to go on the attack.

  17. Honestly Mike you just want to draw this out for as long as you can so KAPO can start to dig dirt and get their smear campaigns started for 2008 early. I hope that Comissioner Brown forces a vote soon and if Lame Duck Angel wants to be annoying then Governor Gregoire will step in. The voters of Kitsap county deserve a full time comissioner and I hope the Governor and Senior Commissioner Brown stop the obscructionist radical right wing activists.

  18. Jacob. In the interest of full disclosure, weren’t you Josh Brown’s campaign manager?

    KAPO does not support or oppose candidates. Please discontinue publishing erroneous claims.

    Josh Brown is not the “senior commissioner.” He’s held public office for less than six MONTHS. Jan Angel, on the other hand, has held office for more than six YEARS! Big difference!

    Why are you and Brown so anxious to complete the appointment? Endresen has been out of office for ONE DAY and you’d think the sky had fallen.

    Despite our disagreements, I thank you for not calling names this time. Now I’ve just got to get you and the junior commissioner to stop going on the attack.

  19. Endresen is resigning just when the county needs continuity in leadership the most. She is also choosing to resign instead of work through the fiscal problems that will be facing the county in the coming months. These fiscal issues have creeped up on Kitsap County over the past 10 years of her tenure. The timing is extremely disappointing!

    Regarding who will replace her, that has obviously already been decided… just not made public yet. Brown acknowledged that earlier this week. I just hope the new commissioner files their PDC campaign declaration documents within two weeks of being seated, as required, since all three potential candidates have declared that they will run for the seat, if appointed.

    Kathryn Simpson

  20. I am curious as to why Jan Angel won’t show up to public events, like the commissioner candidate forums that would have provided her with the information she insists she seeks.

    She never comes to Washington Conservation Voters forums, where she could meet constituents that she represents. Why? Because she won’t talk to people she doesn’t agree with?

    Even a going away party for a colleague doesn’t merit her attention. She skipped Chris Endresen’s party on Tuesday, which was well attended by people from both parties. Her absence was noted by all and taken as an example of her divisive, partisan nature.

    She is seen as a partisan divider, who really doesn’t care about anyone with opinions different than hers. She has shown time and time again that she won’t work with people from across the aisle. She won’t meet with them, won’t show up when she is invited to forums, won’t even acknowledge the good work of her sworn “enemies.”

    So, now we are to believe that her efforts to push for “public forums” are done on our behalf?

    Yes, sure. We buy that. Just like we bought a NASCAR track.

  21. Steven,

    Thanks. It seems that little in politics is straightforward anymore. :=/

    Kathryn Simpson

  22. No I was not Josh Brown campaign manager. That is what Ron Ross’s hired incompetent PI goon and lawyers thought and that is why his goon camped outside my place and his hired lawyer suppenaed me for his frivolous suit. But no I was not his campaign manager. I was in the same Camp Welstone class as Josh and I supported him in the primary but he didn’t have any full time staff. He just worked himself to the point of collapse only to have his victory attempted to be stolen by wealthy sour grapes.

    Again your only showing more of your political affiliation by continuing to make that statement.

    Your right Josh is only the future Senior Commissioner in 2009.

    Kitsap county deserves their new commissioner. There is a lot of work to do and lame duck Angel wants to run out the clock with her quacking and delays.

    “KAPO does not support or oppose candidates.” You really should take a look at Jack Hamilton’s resume a bit. If you believe that KAPO is non-partisan I have a bridge in Gig Harbor to sell you. It’s almost done being built. Much of KAPO is running the local Republicans.

  23. To Mike,
    You don’t know me because I was under Hatch Act restrictions while you were still a member of the Democratic Party. I contributed money, attended parties and picnics and voted “D”, but did not participate otherwise until about five or six years after you left.
    I did pay attention during those years, however.

  24. Linda — Thanks for the clarification.

    Jacob — I have empathy for you if an investigator camped outside your place. I wouldn’t want them looking through my garbage can or windows, either.

    Observer– You must be an insider, not an observer, considering your attendance at Chris Endresen’s party and other events. I suspect Jan Angel didn’t attend the event because she has been treated like DIRT by Chris Endresen. Perhaps you should read Adele Ferguson’s column on the subject, or speak to county employees and observers who have witnessed it first-hand.

    Chris Endresen has been an effective county commissioner, but it certainly doesn’t make her a saint. She’s ruthless towards her political opponents, and many county employees over the years have been sent packing — all at the hands of Chris.

    Observer, do you truly think Jan Angel would feel welcome attending the Kitsap Democratic Party PCO meeting? Get real! Has Chris Endresen ever attended a Republican Party gathering? How about a KAPO meeting? Again, doubtful.

    Why should Jan Angel attend the West Sound Conservation Council when they issue a scorecard suggesting her “environmental” voting record is 22 percent and then send attack pieces to voters about her? Again, give us a break!

    Observer — If we gathered the 1,300+ county employees who have worked with both Jan Angel and Chris Endresen over the years, I trust we’d learn the following: Between the two, Jan Angel is a nice person. Chris Endresen has been much more effective, but she’s ruthless.

  25. Mike we welcomed Vivian Henderson and her friends at the very KCDCC meeting and she attended. The local Democratic Party has open general meetings and open elections. There were no smoke filled rooms.

  26. Jacob — Agreed. The KCDCC had an open process and deserves credit.

    The issue is not whether KCDCC would have been warm and welcoming, but whether Jan Angel would have felt welcome.

    Did KCDCC send Jan Angel a personal invitation to the event, or was she expected to attend after reading about it in the newspaper like the rest of us?

  27. Mike it was not as “annoying” as when they tried to overturn the election of my county commissioner and to disenfranchise my vote. The word “annoying” does not even begin to start to describe it.

  28. As Mick Sheldon wrote in his letter to the editor, the Republican Party PCOs got to select her successor, so the same process should be used to select Endresen’s replacement.

    And there’s already a method in place to allow the public to have a voice in the process. I guess Jan and Mike haven’t heard about it, because it’s so obscure.

    It’s called an “election.”

  29. Patty Lent was quite welcome at the goodbye party for Chris last night.

    I believe the KCDCC did not send out special invitations to anyone. Anyone in Kitsap county was free to attend regardless if they are a county commissioner or work fast food. Anyone was also free to attend the public candidate forum that they had before the caucus. All of the candidates were open to meeting with the public and I believe Jan knows all three of the candidates considering they are not strangers to the 614 Division Street.

  30. Jake,

    So, when compliance with the law is challenged by Republicans then voters are being disinfranchised and when a Democrat challenges compliance then they are just being good Americans?

    My oh my.

    Is that why Governor Gregoire only wanted to ensure that King County’s vote was “right” instead of the vote in other counties that might have swayed Republican? Gimme a break.

    Kathryn Simpson

  31. The Washington State Democratic Party has not challenged the validity of an election in 2004 or 2005. We wanted to make sure that every vote was counted and that the person that won both elections was the people that got more votes. In lawsuit challenges to both elections were demed without merit in both cases and dismissed.

    Twice in two years Republicans have tried to steal elections that they lost at the ballot box with their high priced lawyers.

  32. Jacob — You may be surprised to learn that Vivian Henderson of KAPO was adamantly opposed to the lawsuit against Josh Brown. I personally witnessed arguments in which she took people to task. Lesson: Don’t lump everyone into the same box.

    Elliott — I answered your post on the other blog. We COULD have had an election this year (vice next year) IF Chris Endresen had done the right thing and resigned three weeks earlier. So, who is avoiding public participation via election?!

  33. Mike,
    “Insider” hardly. Observer, yes. The forums that were held were open to the public and were not restricted to PCO’s. Jan would most certainly have been welcome there, as an observer, like myself.

    You are obviously completely biased in your view of Jan’s behavior. I think if you were to poll those 1,300+ employees, you would find an exceptional number who do not consider Ms. Angel an angel at all.

    Once again, I reiterate, she is a partisan divider. Her supporters number in the minority. It’s obvious to everyone that KAPO would support her, as she supports them in all her judgments.

    What I was trying to say is that she fails to represent the REST of her consitutency, which includes a huge majority of others. Not only does she FAIL to represent them, but she treats them like enemies as well.

    Even if Chris Endresen had treated her like “Dirt,” which I don’t believe, it would have showed good grace, form and courtesy for Jan to attend the going away event. It was free and open to the public, not just to insiders.

    You can defend her all you want, but no one agrees with you.

  34. Whether or not Jan and Chris got on well, and they didn’t, professional decorum dictates a civil send-off. If Jan truly couldn’t make it, that’s one thing. But to avoid events out of personal pique isn’t the way to go. Grin through it and move on like a trooper and professional operative.

    Patty Lent showed up because that’s her style, and she became good friends with Chris despite some of their differences.

    In either case, the no-show isn’t something over which anyone should lose sleep.

  35. Observer — Regarding your statement, “You can believe her all you want, but NO ONE AGREES WITH YOU.”

    Since “no one” is universal, I suspect you never learned the various fallacies (composition, hasty generalization, etc)

    I trust I could find one soul on the planet who would agree with me. Come to think of it, Jan Angel twice won election in Kitsap County. Perhaps I could find more than one.

    Dona — How would you know whether Jan had a legitimate “excuse” for missing the Endresen Bon Voyage?

  36. Mike,

    I believe your actual question is how would one know whether or not Jan had a legitimate excuse. Clearly, the responce is one would have to ask her or consult with her assistant.

    My comment covered both possibilities without asserting either as a matter of fact.

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