Petition turned in to change Manchester Port commissioner terms

Independent staff report

A petition has been filed by Manchester activist David Kimble for a ballot measure on reducing the Port of Manchester commissioner terms in office from six years to four years.

Kitsap County elections manager Dolores Gilmore said her office received the petition Tuesday and hopes to complete the validation process within a week.

Gilmore said if the petition has the required number of valid signatures, the ballot measure would go before port district voters in the April 17 special election.

Kimble said the petition has 341 signatures that he’s checked through the Washington State Voter Registration Database. The required number of valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot is 212.

Kimble ran for Port of Manchester commissioner in the November election and lost to incumbent Dan Fallstrom. Kimble has made several unsuccessful runs for the office, including in 1996 when his race against Jim Strode ended in a tie and was decided by a coin toss.

Strode has been a port commissioner for 26 years, and that’s a primary motivation for why Kimble wants the change to four-year terms.

“As long as Jim is in there, we need to reduce the length of the term for the next time he runs,” Kimble said in an interview before the November election.

Kimble asked the three commissioners — Strode, Fallstrom and Steve Pederson — to put the four-year terms measure on the November ballot, but they said there wasn’t enough time to consider the issue before the filing deadline.

South Kitsap Fire & Rescue plans to put a levy on the ballot for the April 17 election, so Gilmore estimated the the Port of Manchester’s share of the election cost would probably be less than $15,000.

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