Mayor hopefuls face off at rotary meeting

The South Kitsap Rotary Club on Thursday held another debate between the three candidates vying for the elected position of Mayor of Port Orchard.

Kathleen Dolan-Bowes, Lary Coppola and Tom Saunders each answered questions from the Rotary and three submitted from the Independent.

Much of the discussion focused on Port Orchard’s downtown core, where the candidates all see the need for serious improvement.

However in opening and closing statements, each candidate offered his or her own focus.

Lary Coppola has placed public safety as the No. 1 plank in his platform, citing Port Orchard as sixth in the state for violent crimes — which is based on the number of assaults area police deal with, unrelated to murders.

He mentioned his own 3-year-old grandson, whose parents are struggling with methamphetamine addiction.

Kathleen Dolan-Bowes echoed her concern over six buildings on Bay Street, all owned by an out-of-town developer, Mansour Samadpour, who has yet to remodel or redevelop some of the abandoned lots.

Tom Saunders also discussed downtown development, citing his experience with Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he worked in housing.

None mentioned the recently discussed histories of Kathleen Dolan-Bowes and Lary Coppola.

An earlier published report this week revealed that Dolan-Bowes had been previously fired from Olympic College following accusations of misuse of funds. Meanwhile, Coppola had been dropped as a columnist for the Kitsap Sun, after allegedly plagiarizing material by Erin Shannon of the Building Industry Association of Washington.

The three candidates are all preparing for the Aug. 21 primary.

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