League of Women Voters of Kitsap

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PO Council Candidates Want to Keep Small-Town Character

October 15th, 2009 by lwvkitsap

Candidates for Port Orchard City Council all agree that the city needs to preserve its small-town character and historical flavor while improving its downtown and annexing some new territory.
The main differences revealed in Wednesday’s League of Women Voters of Kitsap forum were in style and approach. Ann Smith, chair of voter education, moderated the forum.
Cindy Lucarelli, a former flower shop owner in Madison, Wis., who is challenging longtime council member Carolyn Powers for Position 3, emphasized her dedication to making Port Orchard a tourist destination. She served as executive director of Cedar Cove Days, a festival that brought people from 42 states to the area and inspired local business owners to spruce up their buildings.
Powers, a five-term veteran on the council and widow of former mayor Paul Powers, emphasized her long history of service and her devotion to fiscal responsibility. Port Orchard is the only city in the county that has not had to furlough or lay off employees, she noted.
On the subject of a full-time versus a part-time mayor, the candidates seemed to agree that Port Orchard needs a full-timer, but disagreed on exactly how to achieve the goal.
Fred Chang, the incumbent in Position 6, said he voted against a temporary full-time assignment for Mayor Lary Coppola (who sat in the audience) because he’d like to see citizens get a chance to vote on the change.
Amy Igloi-Matsuno, Chang’s challenger and owner of Amy’s on the Bay restaurant, said the city needs a full-time mayor and that she did not favor a public vote.
Jerry Childs, running unopposed for reelection to the At Large position, noted that Port Orchard is the only city in the county with a part-time mayor.
All the candidates said they would be voting against Initiative 1033, the anti-property tax initiative sponsored by Tim Eyman.
“I don’t like taxes either,” said Robert Putaansuu, running unopposed for Position 3, “but if I have to call 911, I want them — firefighters, medics or police — to be there.”
Most of the candidates would like to see the city agree on a vision for downtown that includes getting parking off the waterfront and probably building an underground parking structure on Prospect Street with the library on top. And they want to annex and develop the Bethel Corridor.
BKAT will air the forum several times in the coming days. See the schedule at www.bkat.org for exact times.
For more information on the statewide initiatives, be sure to attend the League of Women Voters of Kitsap’s forum on Oct. 21. It will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Eagles Nest, near the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Speakers on both sides of the issues will discuss the ballot issue and answer questions.

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2 Responses to “PO Council Candidates Want to Keep Small-Town Character”

  1. Karen Says:

    If Port Orchard wants to maintain its small town feel, they should put some kind of a moratorium on residential development. You can’t keep approving building permits to spur economic activity and generate property tax revenue and then say to the people who buy those homes, “We’ve got nothing for you. No room at the school, relatively few services, nothing for young families or outsiders. We are trying to maintain our small town feel.” You can’t have it both ways.

  2. Mary Colborn Says:

    Is that what happened, Karen? I didn’t realize that it has been so hard for the new residents of that housing development off Old Clifton Rd.

    I imagine it will be an even bigger problem as the City annexs more areas. Fred Chang brought the issue up at the last Council meeting when he discussed the needed adjustments in personnel. We’ll be shifting resources around significantly. What the County offered, the City will have to absorb.

    You are right, the City is probably not ready.