Clauson is the Apparent Winner in Position 4 City Council Race

Challenger says she will stay involved in city politics.
By Chris Henry
John Clauson is the apparent winner in the race for Port Orchard City Council position 4.
In unofficial results, Clauson had 51.38 percent of the vote and held a 50-vote lead over challenger Cindy Lucarelli, who had 48.17 percent, as of Tuesday. Write-ins took. 45 percent.
Clauson’s lead of 3.21 percentage points is well above the one-half-of-one percent margin that would automatically trigger a recount. The election will be certified on Nov. 27.
“I’m very excited,” said Clauson. “I’m pleased and looking forward to getting busy on the next four years.”
Clauson, a 25-year council veteran and chairman of the finance committee, was initially hesitant about running again due to what he characterized as a lack of teamwork on the council.
He faced political newcomer Cindy Lucarelli, who was a critic of the city’s downtown plan for economic revitalization because of its allowance on building heights. Clauson voted in favor of the plan when it was passed Sept. 25.
Lucarelli, a small-business owner who moved to Port Orchard in 2002, said she was pleased with the closeness of the race. She said she will continue to attend City Council meetings and will apply for the city’s newly formed design review board.
Clauson said economic revitalization will be at the top of his agenda as he enters his seventh term. He said the city’s recently passed downtown plan, along with annexation and development of the Bethel corridor, will be key to stimulating revenue streams for the city.
Clauson, commenting on the recent state Supreme Court ruling on I-747, said he and other members of the finance committee didn’t even consider raising property taxes above the 1 percent lid that has been in place since 2002. The ruling found I-747 unconstitutional and technically allows jurisdictions to revert to a 6 percent lid.
The City Council on Tuesday passed its 2008 property tax ordinance with a 1 percent lid.
Clauson said, even if the legislature allows all or part of the increased lid to stay in place, he would see a tax hike of more than 1 percent as a “last resort.”
“i think property taxes are something that could be used, but I’d really like the voters to be involved in that decision,” said Clauson.

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