Tag Archives: mayor

Did Kordonowy twist Kitsap Transit’s arm to lobby the council on her behalf?

You can read a story in today’s Sun about some City Council members’ opposition to Darlene Kordonowy continuing to serve on regional boards she was appointed to as mayor.

It’s a straightforward argument: many of the positions are for mayors or council appointees only. Kordonowy’s not a mayor, and she’s not been appointed by the council. On the other hand, Kordonowy and some of her board colleagues say a new appointee could stall critical work, especially in areas of public transportation and affordable housing.

I didn’t include it in the story, but there’s a rumor circulating that Kordonowy was behind Kitsap Transit Director Dick Hayes’ visit to a recent council meeting. Driving up from Kitsap Transit’s Bremerton HQ, Hayes urged the council to allow Kordonowy’s continued participation on his organization’s board.

I mentioned the rumor to Kordonowy and Hayes. Both were quick to dispel it.

“Jeez, they’re peevish up there,” Hayes said. “I don’t want to get into a battle, but I can say that’s categorically not true.”

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New city government set to go ‘live’ next week

While it quickly became apparent on election night that voters don’t want a mayor in City Hall, it’ll likely take a week before the head office is passed to the new city manager.

According to City Attorney Paul McMurray, the transition to a council-manager government takes affect on June 3, when Tuesday’s election is certified by the Kitsap County Auditor.

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy, at that point, has the option of becoming a eighth City Council member until her mayoral term ends in January. The council would then revert to seven members.

Kordonowy is open to a seven-month council term.

“If there’s going to be a change, I want to continue to be apart of (the new government), and I’d be willing to serve,” she said on Tuesday, shortly after early election results showed the council-manager measure was passing by a wide margin.

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Scales now considering a run for council

Until tonight, Bob Scales was a candidate for mayor.

Now he’s pondering a bid for the newly-empowered City Council.

“I never say never,” Scales, a former councilman, said on Tuesday night, shortly after early election results showed over 70 percent of island voters want to swap their elected mayor for a manager hired by the council.

“I never planned to run for council again. I’ll just relax for a week or so before I make a decision.”

Kordonowy won’t seek a third term

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy announced Monday evening that she will not seek a third term.

Kordonowy made the announcement at a Kitsap County commissioner’s meeting in Port Orchard.

Kordonowy had said earlier in the year that she would wait until after tomorrow’s change-of-government election to announce whether she’d run again. She decided instead to get the word out the day before ballots are counted.

Kordonowy attended the county meeting in her role as vice-chairwoman of Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority board.

Former city councilman Bob Scales is the only candidate to formally announce a bid for Bainbridge mayor.

Former Bainbridge mayor isn’t surprised Bozeman resigned

While talking with former Bainbridge mayor Dwight Sutton this morning, the news broke that Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman was calling it quits.

Sutton had, only moments before, held Bozeman up as an example of an effective and visionary city leader.

“Dwight, he just quit,” I said.

“Doesn’t surprise me,” said the two-term Bainbridge mayor, not missing a beat.

Bozeman’s a man on the move, Sutton said, and likely has higher ambitions than mayor of Bremerton. Bozeman’s efforts to revitalize Bremerton’s downtown have caught the attention of many, making Bozeman a sought-after leader in other arenas, he said.

“Anybody that’s really good, like Cary is, that’s who they’re going to go after,” Sutton said, speculating that executive head hunters have been circling Bozeman’s office for a long time.

He said Bozeman’s new post as head of the Port of Bremerton is a good fit. The port is eying an expanded airport, improving its industrial areas, promoting its marinas and developing the SEED clean technology site.

“The port’s emerging as an institution and is calling for dynamic opportunities,” Sutton said. “So Cary’s a reasonable choice, and we’ll have to keep our eyes (on the port) to see what he does.”

Mayor vs. manager: a battle of bobbleheads


With wobbly necks and nodding heads, bobblehead dolls are an agreeable companion in any public debate.

Bob Fortner brought eight with him to Bainbridge High School for a Monday night debate over whether the city of Bainbridge should swap its elected mayor for a hired manager.

“Our current form looks like this,” said Fortner, a proponent of the manager form, as he set down a single bobblehead to represent the island’s mayor. Then, setting seven bobbleheads on a podium, Fornter continued, “This way is a broader representation of voters’ values, philosophies and interests.”

Fortner, an island business owner and longtime City Hall watcher, urged the audience of about 60 people to vote on May 19 to eliminate the mayor position and concentrate power with the seven-member City Council, which would hire a manager to carry out the city’s administrative duties.

Fortner’s debate opponent, island resident and University of Washington public policy scholar David Harrison, took the podium, swiveling the dolls around for nose-to-nose face offs. Their heads shook and bobbed to seven different rhythms.

“Because I’m a friend of Bob’s, I’m not going to have them kicking each other,” Harrison said, joking about the sharply divided council.

Whether mayor- or manager-led, the council will continue to tussle over conflicting views and agendas, Harrison said. The main difference, he added, is that a manager will have no authority to rein the council in or focus its attention on common goals.

“The single biggest problem with the council-manager form is that it won’t have the central focus for government that we desperately need,” Harrison said.

Fortner said eliminating the mayor position will spread power among the seven-member council, making government more accountable and transparent.

“We’ve outgrown the utility of a small town mayor,” he said.

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City added to lawsuit involving the mayor and her neighbors

The city was this week pulled into a longstanding property dispute involving Mayor Darlene Kordonowy and two of her Port Madison Bay neighbors.

Last year, Kenneth and Jette Hammer filed a lawsuit in the Kitsap County Superior Court against Kordonowy, her husband James Abbott and the neighboring Knapp family seeking damages related to the placement of docks and a disputed property line.

The Hammers, who live to the west of the Knapps on Sivertson Road, on Monday amended the lawsuit to include the city.

The Hammers charge that the city violated its rules in allowing the Knapps to build a dock on their property. City shoreline regulations prohibit two docks on the same lot and mandate that no dock can be built within 10 feet of an adjacent property. According to the Hammers, a dock on the Kordonowy lot straddles the Knapps’ east property line, precluding the construction of a new dock on either property. The Hammers contend that the Knapps’ new dock crowds their dock, making vessel navigation difficult.

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Kordonowy still undecided on reelection bid

kordonowymugsmallMayor Darlene Kordonowy remains undecided on whether she’ll seek a third term.

Kordonowy said in early February that she’d make her decision by March 31. But today – her self-imposed deadline day – Kordonowy said she has not yet “come to terms.”

“I’ve been pushing myself to do it, but I’m not quite ready to make a decision,” she said. “I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and talking to people about this.”

Former city councilman Bob Scales, a critic of Kordonowy, remains the only candidate to have formally announced a bid for mayor.

Voters will decide on May 19 whether to abolish the elected mayor’s office and replace it with a manager position under the control of the City Council. If the measure passes, Kordonowy would become an eighth councilor until her mayoral term expires at the end of the year.

City officially sets May 19 for change-of-government vote

The City Council set May 19 as the date for a special election that will decide whether Bainbridge will retain an elected mayor as its leader or opt for a manager hired by the City Council.

The state recently altered elections rules to allow change-of-government votes on months other than November. Petitioners had collected over 1,000 signatures from Bainbridge voters to earn the measure’s place on a ballot.

The council on Wednesday also approved up to $75,000 to pay for the special election. The cost will likely be split with the Bainbridge School District, which is seeking approval of a capital bond also on May 19th.

If approved, Mayor Darlene Kordonowy would become an eighth city councilor until her mayoral term expires at the end of the year. City Administrator Mark Dombroski would then take the city’s helm as the new city manager.

Former city councilman Bob Scales is the only candidate currently running for mayor. Kordonowy said today that she remains undecided about seeking reelection. She will make her decision before the May election, she said.

BI’s change-in-government bill flies through Senate

A bill aimed at allowing Bainbridge Island to hold a special election in May to change its form of government passed the state Senate today.

The bill now goes before Gov. Chris Gregoire for final approval.

“This was one of the fastest moving bills I have seen in ten years,” said Sen. Phil Rockefeller, a Bainbridge Democrat and the bill’s prime sponsor.

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Kordonowy undecided on reelection bid

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy said today that she has not yet decided whether she’ll seek a third term.

Former city councilman Bob Scales, a critic of the mayor, announced this morning that he would seek the mayor’s office.

Kordonowy said she would wait until after state legislators decide whether to allow Bainbridge to hold a special election that could replace the elected mayor position with a manager hired by the council. The special election’s supporters hope to put the question up for a vote in late May. If the measure fails, the mayoral election will occur on-schedule in November.

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Kordonowy: ‘Let’s work together to weather the economic storm’

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy’s State of the City address focused on the need for cooperation and long-range planning to pull the city through its financial troubles. She delivered the speech at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

Read her address below.

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy’s 2009 State of the City address

We’re currently facing an economic challenge more sobering than most of us have encountered
in our lifetimes.

I’d like to take a moment to recognize some recent successes, which stand out against the darker
background of the daily economic news, and the news we’ve heard here tonight.

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