Tag Archives: Carolyn Powers

PO Council: Some Jostling for Finance Committee Slots

At Tuesday’s work study meeting, Port Orchard City Council members parceled out committee assignments. Most of the time, this is a process of seeing who steps forward to volunteer for a committee, but in the case of the finance committee, there were more applicants (five) than slots (three).

The reason, Mayor Lary Coppola said after the meeting, boils down to: money is power. “It’s the decision-making committee,” Coppola said. “So many decisions that happen on the council are driven by money.”

Councilman Fred Chang, one of the five contenders, put it this way, “For those of us not on it, we feel there’s a lot of information discussed there, and by the time it gets to the council, there’s already three of the four votes we need (out of seven council members to make a majority). … It’s not so much that they make decisions against what the rest of the council would agree with, it’s just that we’re not privy to information we need.”

Council members do receive minutes of committee meetings, not quite the same as being in on the discussion, I would guess.

Council members who have served on the finance committee for the past two years include John Clauson (chairman), Rob Putaansuu and Carolyn Powers. Besides the three incumbents and Chang, Councilman Jerry Childs threw his hat into the ring for the upcoming term.

Council members each wrote their three top recommendations for the committee on slips of paper. City Clerk Patti Kirkpatrick tallied the winners: John Clauson (who also was chosen by the council to remain chair), Rob Putaansuu and Jerry Childs.

The process seemed to me a little old school and had shades of a fourth grade popularity contest. But, according to City Attorney Greg Jacoby, it was all above board. I had the misconception that no action could be taken at a work study meeting. That’s not true, Jacoby said. State statutes allow final action to be taken on items at properly publicized work study meetings, as long as the item is on the agenda and as long as it doesn’t involve approval of contracts or bills for payment. Jacoby said it is customary for Port Orchard (and most other local jurisdictions) to use study sessions for in-depth discussions and briefing on issues that will come before them at regular council meetings.

Furthermore, said Jacoby, the paper slip voting did not constitute final action. The council will entertain a resolution at its regular meeting Jan. 26 regarding committee membership. Terms run two years. Writing the names on paper was a way to come to consensus on the council’s recommendations for the finance committee.

Information on committees and boards can be found on the city’s Web site. Upcoming committee meetings, which are open to the public, are listed on the regular council meeting agenda, which is available on the city’s Web site and by request by calling City Hall, (360) 876-4407.

Recount in Powers-Lucarelli Race a Go

By Chris Henry
It’s official. There will be a recount in the race for Port Orchard City Council Position 2.
In official results, posted Monday afternoon by the Kitsap County Auditor’s office, incumbent Carolyn Powers, with 49.88 percent of the vote, was 12 votes ahead of challenger Cindy Lucarelli, with 49.38 percent.
An automatic machine recount is triggered by a margin of half a percentage point or less.
Write-in votes are not counted for purposes of determining if a recount is needed. Without the 18 write-ins the margin widens negligibly (three thousandths of a percentage point to be exact), but is still within recount range.
A difference of one ballot would have deep-sixed the possibility of a recount, according to Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore.
On Tuesday, the auditor’s office will begin reprogramming and testing its equipment, as mandated by law. Between now and the recount date, likely Dec. 3, elections officials must pull all ballots within the City of Port Orchard. They must give legal notice of the recount, and they must contact the candidates and local political parties, who will have the right to observe proceedings.
The recount must be certified by the county’s canvas board. Members include Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington, Kitsap County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Charlotte Garrido, and the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s designee, Deputy Prosecutor Jacquelyn Aufderheide.
If the vote count remains the same, Powers wins the election. If the margin narrows to within a quarter of a percentage point, there will be a hand recount.
The most recent recount in Kitsap County’s elections history was the 2004 governor’s race.

PO Council Race: Lucarelli Closes in on Powers

Challenger is within recount range.

Chris Henry
Cindy Lucarelli, challenging long-time incumbent Carolyn Powers, for Port Orchard City Council position 2, moved within recount range in unofficial results Thursday. The two candidates are now separated by 10 votes.
Powers has held a whisker of a lead since the election Nov. 3. She was besting Lucarelli by .58 percentage points as of Nov. 9
In revised results, released Thursday afternoon by the Kitsap County Auditor, Powers, with 1,207 votes, had 49.83 percent of the total vote. Lucarelli had 1,197 votes for 49.42 percent of the vote. That .41 percentage point difference puts Lucarelli within the range for an automatic recount, triggered under state law by a margin of less than half a percentage point.
There are currently 18 write-in votes.
Results of the election will not be certified until Tuesday, and Kitsap County elections manager Dolores Gilmore cautioned that things still could change. The county has a total of 14 challenged ballots received from the City of Port Orchard. These are unsigned ballots or ballots in which the signature does not match up with the voter registration. Voters have the chance to verify their signature by affidavit or in person, but it must be done by Monday afternoon. There are also military votes that could arrive before the final count, Gilmore said.
Powers is on a trip out of the country and was unavailable for comment.
Lucarelli is encouraged and eager to see the final count Tuesday.
“I have nothing to lose at this point,” she said. “It’s very exciting for me. I can’t wait to see what happens. … Hope springs eternal.”
Lucarelli is having a bit of deja vu. In 2007, she came within 3.12 percentage points of beating incumbent John Clauson, who has been on the council for more than 26 years. Powers was appointed to the council in 1988 to fulfill an unexpired term and has been reelected five times.

PO Council: One Vote Could Mean a Recount in Powers-Lucarelli Race

After Thursday’s election’s update, a single vote could trigger an automatic recount in the race for Port Orchard City Council Position 2.
Incumbent Carolyn Powers has 1,206 votes and 49.90 percent of 2,417 votes total, including 18 write-ins. Cindy Lucarelli has 1,193 votes and 49.36 percent of the grand total.
An automatic recount is triggered when the certified vote count, due Nov. 24, shows candidates within .5 percentage points of one another. According to Kitsap County Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore, write-in votes by law are not factored into calculations to determine if an automatic recount is in order.
Without the write-ins, Powers has 50.27 percent of the vote, and Lucarelli has 49.73. If Lucarelli earned at least one more vote (and Powers earned none), those percentages would change to 50.25 and 49.75 respectively, giving a margin of .5 percent.
Granted, with an estimated 50 votes left to count county-wide, there are still a number of scenarios that could produce other results.
Gilmore said races this close are notable but certainly not unheard-of.
“We’ve seen it where it’s been very close. We’ve had tie races and tossed coins,” she said.
A coin toss occurs if, after the recount, the race is still tied. Such situations typically occur in smaller districts, where the number of votes have a bigger impact percentage-wise. Gilmore has seen five coin toss races during her career in elections.
Votes are recounted by machine if candidates are within .5 percentage points of each other. They are manually recounted if the margin is .25 percentage points or fewer.
Stayed tuned for our follow-up coverage of this and other races in Election 2009.

Lucarelli-Powers Race Too Close to Call

Incumbent Fred Chang is beating challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno, despite her heavy investment in the campaign. Igloi-Matsuno spent $18,662 to Chang’s $9,212, for a total of more than $27,000. I’d say it’s safe to say that’s a record for campaign spending in a Port Orchard council race. In unofficial results, Chang had 54.57 percent of votes counted to Igloi-Matsuno’s 45.10 percent.

Kitsap County Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore on Tuesday evening reported that 35.77 percent of votes in the City of Port Orchard have been counted so far. There are 5,082 registered voters in the city. The county auditor’s office is expecting a 50 percent turnout, Gilmore said.

In the race for city council position 2, incumbent Carolyn Powers, seeking a sixth term on the council, held a sliver of a lead over challenger Cindy Lucarelli.
Powers had 50.35 percent of the vote to Lucarelli’s 49.01 percent.
“I don’t think I have any choice but to wait and see what comes tomorrow,” said Powers, who has served on the council since 1988.
Lucarelli, who was defeated in 2007 in a race against veteran councilman John Clauson, was optimistic about the results.
“I’d like to have it the other way around but, hay, that’s pretty close, and there were a lot of ballots that were mailed in late. I’m hoping it gets turned around,” she said.

The auditor’s office will post revised counts daily at 5 p.m.
“By Friday, we should have the majority of the ballots to be counted,” Gilmore said.