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Proposition 1 passes
Manchester Port District voters approved a ballot measure to limit port district commissioners’ terms to four years in Tuesday night’s special election.
The proposition limiting the terms of office for the three port commissioners from six years to four was passing by 64.31 percent Wednesday morning. Kitsap County elections manager Dolores Gilmore said 899 people voted to limit terms while 499 people, or 36.9 percent, voted against term limits.
The Port of Manchester has 3,732 registered voters.
The port’s current commissioners are Jim Strode, Dan Fallstrom and Steve Pedersen. The change in rules will have no effect on the current commissioners’ terms.
A petition circulated in Manchester was used to put the issue on April’s special election ballot. The special election brought controversy when it was discovered the ballot could cost the port up to $10,000 of the yearly budget.
However, supports such as Manchester activist David Kimble, said the controversy could have been avoided if the port commissioners considered the issue for a vote last August. Kimble said the new term limits “should have been done a long time ago.”
He said people will be less hesitant to run for port commissioner and more apt to win against a long-seated incumbent.
“I have always been hopeful that the two long term commissioners would have moved on and let others have a go at shaping the port,” Kimble said.
Port commissioners could not be reached for comment.