Matthes steps down from KAPO

t SK commissioner candidate wants to devote all of his energies to campaigning.

A candidate for South Kitsap commissioner has resigned from his executive position with a local land-use rights group because he wants to focus on his campaign.

“I’m clearing the decks so I can do the best job possible as a candidate,” said Tim Matthes. “My schedule has gotten very busy, and I want to give my campaign full attention.”

Matthes is now serving as vice president of the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners (KAPO), which has a high visibility in local land-use issues. While he resigned this office he is keeping his KAPO membership.

“I still believe strongly in what KAPO stands for,” he said. “I was just having trouble getting everything done.”

Matthes earned the most votes in the Aug. 19 primary. He will face Charlotte Garrido in the Nov. 4 election in a bid for the seat being vacated by Jan Angel.

Matthes said his action was precipitated by two events last week: He missed a candidate forum in Kingston because it was not on his schedule, and almost forgot that he was responsible to procure the sound system for the monthly KAPO meeting.

County Republican Chairman Jack Hamilton, himself a KAPO member and a candidate for Central Kitsap commissioner in 2006, said that Matthes made the right decision.

“Running for office, especially on the county commissioner level, is pretty much a full-time job,” Hamilton said. “Given the choice between running a hard campaign and doing other things, a good candidate will focus on the campaign.”

Matthes’ action echoes Hamilton’s own behavior two years ago, when he resigned from KAPO’s executive board to focus on his own campaign.

Matthes said he was especially disappointed in missing the Kingston meeting because he is not so well known in North Kitsap.

“I really blew it in Kingston,” he said. “I don’t want that to happen again.”

Matthes is also a member of the Kitsap County Board of Equalization, which hears challenges to the assessed value of local property. He plans to request that his alternate take over this responsibility until the election is over.

Matthes said he would resign from the Board of Equalization if he is elected, but will probably retain his KAPO membership.

Hamilton agrees with this strategy, saying, “It’s like belonging to the Boy Scouts, or any other organization.”

“I feel qualified to rule on these issues as commissioner whether I belong to KAPO or not,” Matthes said. “As long as there is no inappropriate action or it appears they get preferential treatment.”

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