Commissioners show signs of stress


Kitsap County Writer

After a brief hospitalization last Friday blamed on a reaction to cold medicine, South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, 58, missed Monday’s regular board meeting in order to recuperate from a cold.

While Angel’s absence was not acknowledged by the board, Kitsap Association of Realtors’ government affairs director Mike Eliason alluded to the situation in his public remarks.

“There is too high an expectation of our public officials,” he said. “They work long hours at the expense of their personal lives.”

Eliason advised the board — at least those present — to “balance your lives. Your first priority is your family and yourselves.”

Angel’s husband, Port Orchard real estate agent Lynn Williams, said he had no doubt her illness was stress-related.

“The job those girls are doing up there is a killer,” he said of the Board.

North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen received a stress boost earlier this year, when she assumed the board’s rotating chairmanship. Endresen, who at 48 is the youngest board member, said the support from her family helps her to deal with stress and that she is in very good health.

“You can’t make everyone happy in this job, and of course you want to,” she said. “That causes a lot of stress.”

Endresen suggests that she is under less stress than her colleagues, as Angel and Central Kitsap Commissioner Patty Lent “get a lot of pressure from special interest groups.”

Lent, 61, acknowledges the job has grown.

“The county is at a size where three commissioners have a tough time handling all of the requested and required events,” she said, pointing out the new county administrative building is designed to handle a five-member county council should the voters choose to amend the law in the future.

Lent also had a recent stress-related incident, when she suffered intermittent chest pain. A series of cardiac tests gave her the all-clear, she now says “I have the heart of a 40-year-old.”

Eliason said the system doesn’t need revision.

“The commissioners need to rely more on their professional staff in order to decrease their work load,” he said. “And they may need more staff to get the job done.

Williams said he expected Angel to return to work sometime this week.

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