Elections

City council candidates do two Rotaries in one day

On Tuesday, incumbent Port Orchard City Councilman Fred Chang and challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno saw a lot of each other.

They both appeared at a breakfast meeting at the Port Orchard Rotary, bringing the same show to the South Kitsap Rotary for lunch.

Their evening interaction had less balance, as Igloi-Matsuno sat in the audience while Chang discharged his duty as a council member.

The campaign continues, with both appearing at yesterday’s Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce lunch (see www.portorchardindependent.com) and the League of Women Voters forum at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 in the Port Orchard City Council Chambers.

The candidates gave similar statements at both forums, as topics such as annexation, economic development and council harmony were addressed at each gathering.

They do not differ about annexation. Igloi-Matusuno agrees with the plan to annex the entire urban growth area, but favors a financial analysis after the Bethel Corridor is incorporated.

Chang also favors a cost-benefit study, saying, “I think the city should be as large as it thinks it should be.”

They also agreed that the Port Orchard mayor — specifically Lary Coppola — should be a full-time position, but differ as to how that should be accomplished.

“I think that Port Orchard should have a full-time mayor,” Chang said. “The question is how do we decide to do it. I think the voters should decide whether we will go from part-time to full-time, and then the council needs to decide how to pay for it. How it was first done, paying the salary out of the lodging tax, is not something I was comfortable with.”

“Hindsight is a beautiful thing,” Igloi-Matsuno said. “We should focus on the reasons that we need a full-time mayor, that we need a presence on all the various local boards. We need someone advocating four our fair share. I am a little frustrated about all the misinformation about the mayor’s salary, and all the drama that went along with it.”

During the noon meeting, Igloi-Matsuno disclosed why she chose to challenge Chang.

”For the direction I feel the city needs to take, I think he is an obstacle,” she said. “I thought he was the best person to challenge him. I’ve talked to a lot of people around City Hall. It was a real eye-opener. I talked to department heads, and they all agreed that this would be the most attractive seat to pursue to accomplish the things that I want to do.”

“It’s obvious that we’e talking to different people,” Chang said. “There are those that feel the questions I ask bog the meetings down and make them longer. But the people I am talking to are happy that I’m asking these questions. They don’t go to committee meetings or work studies and don’t know what’s going on. I am an independent voice.”

Chang and Igloi-Matsuno have each earned high-profile endorsements, respectively from Former Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Wayne Senter.

“We have taken issues to the city council and had public safety arguments,” Senter said. “Most of the council people listened and considered what we were saying very thoughtfully. The one that dismissed us and even told us that we didn’t know what were talking about, the police chief and I, was Fred. That’s not being responsive. He is not doing what he says he is doing.”

“Fred is not asking questions in order to be an obstructionist,” Abel said. “He reaches out to the community and hears what people are concerned about, and brings these voices into the council chambers. When a council member asks questions it tweaks the solution, and the solution becomes more representative of the whole community.”

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