Get ready for a new government, Bainbridge…

Jim and Louise Mooney cheer as election returns show voters approving a new form of government for Bainbridge Island. Photo: Carolyn Yaschur
Jim and Louise Mooney cheer as election returns show voters approving a new form of government for Bainbridge Island.
Declaring a mandate for change, supporters of a new form of city government cheered early election results showing over 70 percent of island voters no longer want a mayor at City Hall.

“This is absolutely huge,” said Linda Owens to a crowd of about 50 people gathered to watch election results at the Treehouse pub on Tuesday night. “This vote to adopt the council-manager form of government…is a clear and direct message from an aware and aroused citizenry that they want a sweeping and profound change in how city business is carried out.”

Owens, manager for the Vote Council-Manager ’09 campaign, said the strong support in early returns all but guarantees that the island’s mayor will be replaced with a hired manager.

“It’s a mandate,” said Councilman Bill Knobloch, a supporter of the council-manager form. “It sends a definite message to the government – including the council – and we’d better listen.”

The city’s management now falls under the authority of the City Council.

Supporters say the new form of government will heal many of the city’s ills, making it more transparent, responsive, cost-effective and efficient.

The Kitsap County Auditor’s office reported 71 percent support for the council-manager form shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday. About 44 percent of the island’s voters had cast a ballot on the change-of-government question.

Council-manager supporter Elise Wright celebrated the results but girded herself for the transition ahead.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “But now we really have a lot of work to do.”

Wright said the council, which now takes the reins of city government, must find a way to work more collaboratively.

“They have a lot of new responsibilities,” she said. “They really are in charge now.”

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy, who now has the option of becoming an eighth council member until her term ends, announced on the eve of the election that she’d not seek reelection.

“The early results are pretty definitive,” Kordonowy said shortly after the results were announced. “It’s sad to see this change. I expected (the measure) to win, but not by that margin.

It’s time to step aside. That’s what voters are saying.”

8 thoughts on “Get ready for a new government, Bainbridge…

  1. fl

    Hooray, hooray, the Wicked Witch is DEAD. Bainbridge had their tornado and the swirling house landed squarely on Mayor Kordonowy. Who is going to steal her ruby slippers, Councilman Knobloch or Councilman Stocknes?

    We’re off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Bainbridge.

    Caveat Emptor Bainbridge !!

    Voters: Good call on the NO to the bloated and arrogant $42,000,000 bond. Next time BISD asks for money it will be starting from the point where the money is in the hands of the taxpayers and not this keep the bond coming because you are already paying big time.

  2. TOO bad the Mayor did not get the message a long time ago before she and the four Councilors led the City down the wrong and costly path. Somewhere she and the other four got the idea that their agenda was of impoortance and that of the citzen taxpayers meant nothing. Now we need to vote out Kjell and Snow and then the other two. Maybe we could even ask both Peters and Hillary to resign, pack their tents and let a Council whose interest is to support the peoples priorities.

  3. Absolutely, the gang of four on the council and the city staff lapdogs that have been implementing the mayor’s bidding of wasteful spending and foot dragging on issues that the majority of islanders are concerned about better get on the responsive government bandwagon.

  4. The math shows that only about 1/3 of the voting public voted in favor of this change. A yelling, screeming, accusing, and demanding minority of citizens pushes their agenda to a victory. Remember, this country is a republic, not a democracy, look it up. In a republic the elected officials are suppose to do the right thing for the community as a whole. That means sometimes you have to vote against those special intrests that put you office. The reality is that public safety, roads, water, sewer, code enforcement, and other core city functions come before open space, community groups, and \fun stuff\ like parks and waterfront access. When 10 people can show up at a council meeting and derail an agenda item the community should be saying \Houston we have a problem.\ Instead, the process has been changed to give even more voice to the chosen few who know what is best for everyone else.

  5. @homeless – you are misrepresnting the numbers.

    Yes, “only” 1/3 voted in favour, but **only** 1/7 voted against it.

    You can’t pretend to speak for those that didn’t vote. It could be that they just don’t care enough to vote.

  6. fun. like the Wizard of Oz reference, Mr. Olsen.
    I’m one of those “snot-nosed brats” that don’t care for politics. I mean, I’m not able to vote, so I don’t care what happens atm. When I get a chance to vote, i’ll think of how i want a community run and see if anyone agrees with it then, but whether or not to vote is kinda difficult for me. I don’t want to be responsible for putting an idiot in a position of power.

  7. Well Hidoci, if you think that guy is funny, you are already off to a bad start. While many people read his words and laugh, trust me, it’s not because they think he is funny.The sooner you learn this, the better your life will be.

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