Opinion

With cuts looming, commissioners bail

It’s an interesting question.

Are commissioners Jan Angel and Chris Endresen both throwing in the towel for the same reason? That is, to get out of the way before Kitsap County goes belly up for lack of sufficient revenue to pay the bills?

That wasn’t very reassuring what Ben Holland, Administrative Services director, had to say the other day about how the $30 car tab initiative and the 1 percent lid on annual budget raises means the county will be in the red next year and exhaust its road fund by 2014.

The libraries’ money problems are a canary in the coal mine.

I’m sure Jan and Chris knew all that before Holland shared it with the newspapers. Which may be why Jan is looking for a more secure position elsewhere than in county government and Chris leaped at running U.S. Maria Cantwell’s operation in the state.

So how do you feel now about electing the Boy Commissioner, Josh Brown. With Chris going, who are the Democrats going to get to mentor him while he learns the ropes?

Both parties are being propelled into action, because the Democrats have to come up with an experienced replacement to fill the vacancy who has to be able to hold the seat against whoever the Republicans produce as a challenger for November.

It can’t be another Josh Brown.

The first name I heard mentioned out of the D’s was Val Torrens, very active in the party and a spokeswoman for the Jewish Community and the civil rights organizations. But she ran once before for county commissioner and didn’t exactly thrill the populace.

She writes a newspaper column that has generated considerable reader aggravation but, of course, I don’t consider that any drawback.

It’s been my observation over the years that the usual suspects when a commissioner seat is open have been the other officials at the courthouse. They have the urge to run the show instead of having to go to the commissioners for their budgets.

I’m not sure any of them lives in the NK district, but Clerk Dave Peterson is well-known and well-liked. So is Treasurer Barbara Stephenson.

Auditor Karen Flynn is comfortable and safe where she is now and may not want to change jobs.

Christine Rolfes may be asked to consider it. She has only been a state representative for a few months but she has experience in government administration. I’m not sure, however, that the Boy Commissioner would take any advice or direction from her.

Now, Republicans. What about Beverly Woods? She was a fine legislator and with the experience she got running her husband’s construction business, the paperwork, that is, she could step into the county commissioner’s job with ease.

If Beverly isn’t interested, what about Karen Schmidt Wilson, who may be tiring of driving to Olympia where she has a very good job, but Port Orchard is a lot closer.

She and Sim have been building a new home in Kingston.

Matt Ryan would be perfect, but he’s in the CK district now.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if Jan Angel suddenly came up with a new job the way Endresen did, and she too quit before her term was up?

The R’s would be in the same bind the D’s are in NK, finding someone in the South Kitsap area to fill the vacancy and hold the seat in November.

Not that I wish this would happen, but it could.

Wouldn’t that be fun?

Adele Ferguson can be reached at PO Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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