The November 2013 elections are over. While it may be a few days before the final numbers are certified, we know who the winners are.
In a couple of races, there were surprising outcomes. It’s probably not a surprise that Mayor Patty Lent has been returned to office as the mayor of Bremerton. But as talk around Kitsap County goes, most were surprised by her margin of victory. Taking two votes to every one that Todd Best garnered, she had a strong victory.
Now is the time for Mayor Lent to show that she earned those votes by responding to the issues that residents of Bremerton raised during the campaign.
First, Mayor Lent needs to continue to work to see that businesses are not strapped with high Business & Occupations (B&O) taxes. While some may argue it’s not, the B&O taxes are a factor that drives business out of Bremerton.
Mayor Lent should also understand that a third of voters aren’t sure of her leadership when it comes to dealing with city employees, especially those represented by bargaining unions. Working to give city employees the tools and atmosphere that they need in order to do their jobs right should be on the forefront.
To make Bremerton stronger, Mayor Lent and the newly formed city council need to work together to strengthen the city’s image. Seek out new ideas from residents who can help create new energy in the downtown core. Take their help in completing projects like the recent Bremerton Gateway cleanup.
For Best, and others who lost races last week, take heart. There are many ways you can support your communities through volunteering and by being watchdogs of the councils, boards or groups for which you ran.
If you are a resident of the area, whether you voted or not, the decisions have been made and now you have an opportunity to be a part of the action. Attend city council meetings. Keep up with what’s going on in the State Legislature, your school board, port or fire district. Hold these elected officials to the promises that they made in the past few months of campaigning.
And one last thing, winner or not, make sure you take down your political signs. Picking up after yourself is a great first step to improving where we live.