Silverdale's looking like a city

"Silverdale appears headed for cityhood, but only by the slimmest of margins. As of the final election-night tabulations, incorporation had garnered the support of 1,650 (50.86 percent) Silverdale voters; 1,594 (49.14 percent) had voted against.While more than 1,500 absentee ballots remain unreturned, it is likely that only a few hundred will have been postmarked by election day. That means the 56-vote margin is likely to hold up.Incorporation supporters, who gathered at All-Star Lanes in Silverdale Tuesday to watch election returns, were optimistic about the results.“What a wonderful opportunity for the people of Silverdale,” said Silverdale attorney Bill Broughton, one of the two who first filed for incorporation.“I was like a cat on a hot tin roof all day today, and now I will allow myself a little optimism,” Broughton added. While results started out close and got closer as the night went on, those checking in on the election via the county’s Website got an entirely different picture.The Kitsap County Auditor’s Office transposed election results for incorporation and the Poulsbo-Kitsap County Fire District 18 merger on its Website, leading Internet surfers to initially see incorporation as winning by landslide. For several hours, the site reported 956 in favor to 148 opposed, which was the correct vote for the Poulsbo fire merger. The initial numbers were actually 1,073-1,002, a mere 2.8 percent difference.Broughton’s incorporation partner, former county Director of Community Development Ron Perkerewicz, said he was pleased to see the end of 26 months of campaigning for incorporation. “It’s feeling better all of the time. Now it’s a little euphoric,” he said.“I have no illusions that this thing is going to pass,” said incorporation opponent and Silverdale attorney Ron Templeton in a phone interview early Tuesday. “I felt it is important that there will be some debate on the subject without rushing forward, and I think we accomplished that. It’s really no big deal.”Jim Kendall, president of the pro-incorporation group Silverdale-Now, drove to Port Orchard to phone in the correct poll numbers from the Kitsap County Courthouse.“(The numbers) are closer than I’d like to see them,” Kendall said. “We don’t know for sure if its going to go our way. ... But the trend is right.”Kitsap County Commissioner Tim Botkin, who has opposed incorporation, also dropped by the pro-cityhood party. “To tell you the truth, I am surprised. I was less surprised with the number (posted on the county Website),” he said.Former Silverdale Chamber of Commerce president and incorporation supporter Bert Cole said the results were on target with his predictions. “The margin fits with my predictions. I thought it was going to be 55 to 45 percent. ... I always thought this wasn’t going to be a slam dunk,” said Cole, president of the pro-incorporation group Silverdale 2000 Campaign. “Not to vote for change is the natural vote of people.”"

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