Opinion

No fire extinguisher needed at forum

LIKE IT IS

OK, who and what do you want for your new South Kitsap County Commissioner to replace smart and sassy Republican Jan Angel who wants to go to Olympia instead?

A rerun of Democrat Charlotte Garrido, 62, a dedicated “greenie” who served one term as commissioner from 1997 to 2001, and wants another go at it?

Another Democrat, Monte Mahan, 50, who says he grew up at the courthouse where his father, Bill, was a county commissioner for 20 years, and obviously recognizes a good thing when he sees it?

A Republican, Tim Mathes, 61, a clone of Realtor Angel in his dedication to the rights of property owners, and volunteer work on the board of equalization and the Port Orchard planning commission?

Independent Paul Nuchims, 74, a retired professor who owns an art gallery, figures he can’t win but filed anyway to “vet” the other candidates to see what they’re worth?

None of them turned out to be a ball of fire in their own “vetting” by the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast at Cloverleaf Bar and Grill.

Kitsap Democratic leaders, as I hear it, are not happy with Garrido in there. They don’t think she can win over Mathes in November if they wind up the top two on the ballot.

Garrido, Mahan and Mathes aren’t happy with Nuchims in the race because he isn’t serious about running and will take votes from the three of them who are deadly serious about wanting the job. I see Nuchims as one of those candidates who files for the opportunity to preach to the public because it forces campaign event organizers to include him on the program because he paid his admission fee.

Democrats were asked if they supported public financing of their campaigns as their platform calls for. Mahan said he didn’t support everything in the platform and Garrido said self-financing “works for me.” Mathes said the Republicans haven’t taken a position on it. Nuchims tore a dollar bill in half and said being an independent, he didn’t care.

Asked what the budget increase should be, Mathes said they had a 1 percent limit but they didn’t have to take that and could make cuts. Nuchims said he’d cut the budget 3 to 5 percent a year. Garrido said they should look for where to tighten their belts. Mahan said he believed in zero- based budgeting and every project should prove itself worthy.

Was NASCAR a lost opportunity or should they be glad it was killed?

Each of the four did a Minute Waltz on the fence around that one.

Would you call for a redesign of the infamous Silverdale interchange or just expect people to try to get used to it until somebody gets killed. You bet. “It’s awful.”

Would you instruct the sheriff to stop illegal aliens? No, the sheriff is expected to enforce the law whatever it is and none of them would tell him what to do.

Back to the budget, Nuchim said the first thing he’d do if elected is make everybody take a 5 to 10 percent cut in pay. Mahan said he’d “just cut it” and bring common sense to the courthouse. Mathes said he’d like to be known as someone who did a little bit less for the taxpayer at less cost to the taxpayer. Garrido said they should be looking at regional government decisions, rather than trying to compete with the cities.

Time for one final question, make it a good one, said emcee Silvia Klatman.

A woman asked what they’d do for public education, a question greeted with delight by the four who called it a wonderful question, considering it’s one for legislators to answer, not county commissioners. They each did a gavotte in their answers, a gavotte being moderately quick compared to the more stately waltz. Education? They were all for it.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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