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Brown finds common ground in the middle

Commissioner candidate Josh Brown calls himself a “pro-business Democrat.” - Photo by Jesse Beals
Commissioner candidate Josh Brown calls himself a “pro-business Democrat.”
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

The sole Democratic candidate for the Central Kitsap commissioner’s seat in this November’s election feels incumbent Patty Lent’s tendency to compromise is not the best governing strategy.

“If you provide leadership coming from the middle, you can bring people together on the issues,” said Josh Brown, who declared his intention to run for the seat in February. “If I’m involved in the process, it won’t be as polarized.”

Lent has drawn a primary challenge from fellow Republican Jack Hamilton of Silverdale. Hamilton, who supported Lent when she was first elected in 2002, differs with her on land-use issues and feels she did not keep her campaign promises in that area.

Brown, meanwhile, believes North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen and South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel “are very focused on providing answers for their constituents,” something Lent does not do.

“I don‘t think people in Central Kitsap have that kind of representation,” he said. “This all has to do with the Silverdale economic plan. They have been working on it for six years with no result. This is the kind of thing that needs to be addressed at the beginning of a term, not the end.”

Since beginning his campaign, Brown has met with a variety of people about his candidacy. These include teachers, unions, firefighters and business leaders.

“I’m meeting with local leaders to give me a feeling of what their problems are,” he said.

Brown, who calls himself a “pro-business Democrat,” has his eye trained on the county’s Department of Community Development (DCD).

“I view land-use policy as economic development policy,” he said. “What we really need is a CEO-style manager for DCD, (someone) who can bring efficiency to the department. And we need to make our planners efficient and responsive to the needs of the community. Even if there is disagreement, they need clear and up-front leadership.”

Brown said increasing DCD’s efficiency is as simple as finding out how other communities handle their permitting process and copying those procedures. To this end, he is planning his own “fact-finding tour” (actually driving himself to selected regions) to gather information.

“There are many areas in the state that have streamlined the permitting and planning process in a way

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