Manchester political candidates meet, greet local voters

Seven of the eight Manchester-area candidates for elected office met over the weekend to talk with residents about the upcoming election.

Candidates for the open positions on the Port of Manchester, South Kitsap Fire and Rescue District and the Manchester Water District met for refreshments and one-on-one time with candidates.

Manchester resident Bud Larson estimated there were more than 40 voters in attendance and said the event was “a good two hours of getting to know the candidates.”

Of the eight positions up for grabs — with two running unopposed — seven of the candidates attended the event.

Voters asked questions and expressed concern over a number of topics, including raising taxes, revenue acquisition and the fire district mergers.

The Port of Manchester board of commissioners has considered developing some of its property, and residents asked if this could lead to taxes. Candidates for Position 2 of the Port of Manchester indicated they would avoid the taxes, or put it to a vote.

Write-in candidate Ron Rada supported launch fees that would come mostly from out-of-town boaters and seeking out state and federal grants.

The informal get-together comes in place of a formal debate moderated by the League of Women Voters.

The League was unable to work out an event without earlier notice, so Rada altered a personal campaign event into a larger community meeting.

There are five positions on the ballot specific to Manchester residents this November.

Gerald Preuss and Dusty Wiley are running unopposed for commissioner Positions 1 and 2 with the South Kitsap Fire and Rescue District; Mark Rebelowski and Steve Pedersen are running for Position 3 on the Port of Manchester; Dan Fallstrom and Rada are running for Position 2 on the Port of Manchester; and James Strode and Brenda Petrick are running for Position 1 on the Manchester Water District.

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