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County Democrats meet to ponder Brown's replacement
Four Democrats gave their reasons why they think they should replace Josh Brown on the Kitsap County Commission at a meeting Monday.
A fifth person submitted a written statement because she was was not able to attend the meeting.
Those who spoke were former Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman, current Bremerton City Councilwoman Leslie Daugs, Silverdale attorney Robert C. MacDermid, and Irene Bowling, a music school business owner. Linda Streissguth, a manager for Puget Sound Energy, submitted her statement in writing.
Each person was given two minutes at the general monthly membership meeting of the Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee on Monday. Applicants will speak again at a "get to know the applicants" informal meeting Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. and at a special caucus meeting Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.
By state law, the Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee will submit three names ranked in preference to the two Kitsap County Commissioners who will then name the replacement for Brown. That person will serve until the next election when voters can determine who they want to represent them on the council.
Brown, who has served on the council for eight years, announced last month that he is leaving Dec. 31 to become the executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council in Seattle.
Brown is the senior member of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners, representing the Central Kitsap District which includes the unincorporated communities of Silverdale, Tracyton, Seabeck, Illahee, Brownsville, Crosby, Holly, Rocky Point, and the majority of the residents in the City of Bremerton. He has been on the commission since 2006.
Kitsap Democratic Committee Chairwoman Katherine Woods said she's received five letters of interest from individuals who want to serve on the commission. Those individuals also have been mailing information to the precinct committee officers in Brown's District 3 seat, who will be the ones to vote for the three nominees.
Woods stressed that the person who is selected to fill Brown's term should be interested in the position longterm and electable in the fall of 2014.Of those who are interested in the job, Bozeman is probably the most well known. He served as mayor of Bellevue in the mid 1990s and became mayor in Bremerton in 2002 and served through 2009. Following that, he served as chief administrative officer for the Port of Bremerton.Bozeman said he was proud to be a candidate to replace Brown.
"Of those who are running, I am the guy who knows how to make big decision that affect a lot of lives," he said. "I've take a couple of years off for health reason, but I feel great. I'm ready to go, to serve and to run a strong campaign to fill the seat permanently."He stated in a campaign letter that "I believe it is important when one is being considered for a position of leadership that they have demonstrated the ability to lead and bring positive change to their community."
Daugs, has been on the Bremerton City Council for two years and was recently re-elected to another term. She said she's experienced with municipal budgeting and has served on the audit committee, public safety and parks committee, finance committee, the city's transportation benefit district board and the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Daugs called herself a progressive Democrat who has experience working with unions.
"Bremerton and Silverdale are home to me," she said. "I was here when all that there was in Silverdale was the Red Apple and farm land. I've seen a lot of changes and I like where the areas is going and I want to help move it forward."
In her campaign letter, she stated that she is "passionate about fair wages and social justice. I have actively promoted health care reform," and she said she's employed part time as a campus security office for the Bremerton School District.
Bowling has owned Bowling Music Studios, Inc., in Kitsap County for 34 years. She also has a second business, SeattleSoundFX, in Seattle which she opened in 2008. She wrote in her introduction letter that she is a third generation Kitsap County resident and has had family connections to the PSN shipyards. She has taught students of all economic levels and that "has given me tremendous insight into the variety of issues facing our diverse county and that she is "highly electable in the county commissioner's race in the fall of 2014."
She said Monday that there were three reasons she should be selected.
"I am a proud Democrat," she said. "I have great name recognition and I am qualified because I have owned and operated two businesses. People know me and I will work with the other commissioners and will run for the office in 2014."
She has served on the Bremerton Symphony board, is an honorary Rotarian, a YWCA Outstanding Woman of Achievement and is currently the 35th District-EagleCrest Democratic precinct committee officer.
MacDermid said he has lived in Silverdale for more than 30 years and has a strong record of community service. He was active in Citizens United for Silverdale earlier this year, the group pushing for the incorporation of Silverdale.
"I have the professional background and the education to perform the job," he said. "If appointed, I would be a strong candidate to be elected. I've helped thousands of people in my law practice and I have name recognition. I'm a life-long Democrat and a firm believe in the ideals of the Democratic Party. I can work with the other commissioner and once a decision is made I will work with it."
Streissguth's letter said she wasn't able to attend "due to a long-standing commitment." She's been the manager of community engagement for the PSE for Kitsap. Pierce, Thurston and Lewis counties. She has served on the Bremerton Housing Authority, the Harrison Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance board, the Bremerton Planning commission and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. With budget, finance, housing, land use planning and environmental regulation experience, Streissguth said she will "bring leadership, integrity and demonstrated experience to the role of county commissioner."
"During my career I have had the unique opportunity to represent a regulated industry," her letter stated. "My position has provided me with the opportunity to work side-by-side with local mayors, city council members, fire, safety and emergency management personnel, city, county, state, tribal, federal officials and community leaders. This role has allowed me to build a reputation of collaboration, to listen to all sides of the issues, to build relationships and consensus among those with diverse perspectives."
Among those who had expressed interest in the job, but who didn't attend Monday's meeting was Bremerton Port Commissioner Roger Zabinski. Zabinski said Tuesday that he is leaning toward not applying, but hasn't made a final decision.
Woods said the deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 22. Applications can be found at the Kitsap County Democratic party website, www.kitsapdemocrats.com.
Information about the other "meet the applicants" sessions is posted on the website.