Get ready to vote on incorporation - again

"Supporters of Silverdale incorporation received new life, pending a judicial stamp of approval, late last week.Kitsap County Auditor Karen Flynn, along with representatives of the pro- and anti-incorporation camps, agreed to conduct a new incorporation election on Feb. 1. It will be an all-mail ballot, Flynn said.The cityhood election do-over came after the Auditor’s office determined some inconsistencies in the Nov. 2 election. Some people who lived outside the proposed city boundaries were allowed to vote on the issue, while some people who lived inside the boundaries weren’t.Flynn previously predicted that the incorporation election would re-run on Feb. 29. But after consultation with cityhood supporters and opponents, she moved the election up to avoid conflicting with Washington’s presidential primary, which also is scheduled for Feb. 29.“We all agreed that Feb. 1 would be a better date,” Flynn said. “Then we can present just this measure to the Silverdale voters ... it would not be intermingled with presidential primary candidates.”Running the election earlier, Flynn said, would cause too much conflict with the holiday season.Although he said he was pleased with Flynn’s decision to invalidate the incorporation vote and schedule a new election, cityhood backer Richard Sheak was disappointed with the timing of the second vote.With ballots due to hit the mail Jan. 12, Sheak said he is worried voters will be more focused on the holidays than on incorporation.“That doesn’t give us a lot of time for a campaign, does it?” Sheak said Friday. “There were a lot of issues that were thrown around. With the holidays, are people going to get a chance to think about (the election)?”Kitsap County officials expect to have a hearing on the issue with a visiting judge Nov. 29. Kitsap judges have recused themselves, since the county has a vested interest (i.e., Silverdale sales tax funds) in the outcome of the hearing. The hearing will probably be before a Thurston County Superior Court judge.Whether and when the election is re-run will be up to the judge. Flynn thinks the hearing will mostly be a formality.“The judge could say, ‘No, the (November) election stands.’ It’s in the realm of possibility,” Flynn said. “But I suspect, since we’re going in with this proposal, and since we’ve discussed it with representatives of the proponents and opponents, I believe it will be approved.”If the judge does approve Flynn’s plan, Sheak vowed to kick-start the city campaign. Incorporation failed by just a 2,100-2,095 count in the November election.Sheak said his organization, Citizens for Silverdale, would place particular emphasis on a doorbelling campaign.But mostly, Sheak said, he is just happy to get a second chance.“I think it was a wise decision. I think it’s the only way to have a fair and impartial election,” he said."

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