News

Board of commissioners may get new chairman

By CHARLIE BERMANT

Kitsap County Writer

After the first of the year, the Kitsap County commissioners will either have a new board chairman or they won’t.

The board elects its own chairman, with the choice usually agreed upon prior to the meeting. While there is no mandated order, the board has followed a south-central-north rotation for the past few years.

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown, who took office one year ago, was scheduled to immediately become chairman, but switched with North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen.

Circumstances changed when Endresen resigned to take a job with Sen. Maria Cantwell.

After Brown emerged victorious from a grueling residency trial, he gained enough political experience to serve as chair.

The rotation schedule places North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer, who took office in July, next in line for the chair. Bauer said he feels qualified to serve as chair, but doesn’t have a strong feeling about the position one way or another.

South Kitsap Jan Angel favors keeping the rotation intact and said she probably would not serve as chair.

Angel served as chair in 2003 and 2006, with the position due to rotate to the South Kitsap position in 2009. This job may fall to a newly elected commissioner, since Angel has announced that she would not run for a third term.

More recently, however, she has hinted she may revisit that decision.

“I will probably run for something in 2008,” she said. “It may be for commissioner or something on the state level. I expect I will make an announcement about what to do sometime in January.” 

The chair of the board presides over the meetings and usually does not initiate motions. He or she speaks for the board when a singular voice is required and performs more ceremonial duties than the other members.

The chair also is in charge of declaring a state of emergency.

The matter is due to be addressed at the regular board meeting scheduled to occur at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Commissioners’ chambers in Port Orchard.

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