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County officials say they're ready to work with new city

"Kitsap County’s commissioners are preparing to make friends with the leaders of a new city they did not want.Commissioners Tim Botkin and Chris Endresen were the opposed to Silverdale cityhood. They addressed service clubs and community groups last spring in an attempt to diffuse support for a new municipality that would withdraw at least $5.5 million from the county’s sales tax coffers.On Tuesday, Endresen sounded a conciliatory note as Silverdale appeared likely to incorporate. “I look forward to working with the new city council when they get one. I come from a city background,” the former Poulsbo city councilwoman said. “We’re going to be there to help them out in any way possible.”But, she confessed, there would be a downside to the funding shortfall. “It’s just not going to be fun to be a county commissioner for a while,” Endresen said.“This is where my gut had been all along,” Botkin said. “For people voting yes, I think they feel it is time to have a change in governance, and a city is a fairly natural result for that concern. It’s hard to begrudge anybody that,” Botkin added.Endresen agreed. “I think people just think it’s time. It was a very quiet election. People asked me (before the election) how it was going to turn out,” she said. “I figured it was either going to pass because it was time or because nobody cared. I just think people figured it was time.”Early in the evening, County Administrator Malcolm Fleming said he was not surprised with the support for incorporation. However, when Fleming spoke to the Reporter the county auditor had released incorrect poll results, reflecting a disproportionately high ratio of support for incorporation.“We’ll be working with the commissioners to put together a plan and I look forward with working with the representatives of the new community,” Fleming said.Fleming voiced concern about the effects of both Silverdale incorporation and Initiative 695 passing. Both are projected to strain the county budget.“The combination of the two is a double impact, I guess. And we have to put together a list of programs and services we would have to cut back in order to absorb that impact,” Fleming said. He plans to meet with the county’s strategic planning budget committee to address those issues Friday. “It’ll be OK. Silverdale incorporating disrupts the county, but it doesn’t disrupt the community like other things do,” Botkin said."

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