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Five vie for treasurer job

Now that Kitsap County Treasurer Barbara Stephenson has moved on, her replacement will likely be found among five candidates.

The candidates will be reviewed Monday.

Stephenson, a Democrat, left after Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent offered her the top position in the city's Department of Financial Services, leaving deputy treasurer Vickie Fick in charge until a permanent replacement is chosen.

That replacement, whose name would likely appear on the November ballot, could be decided as early as March 8 once the names of the top three applicants are forwarded to county commissioners for review and decision.

In the meantime, the five who have applied for the position are Kathryn Quade of Poulsbo, Daryl Daugs of Bremerton, Rob Gelder of Brownsville, Isaac Delgado of Bremerton and Meredith Green of Poulsbo. Democratic precinct committee officers will vote March 1 on which names should be forwarded to county commissioners, said Carl Olson, Kitsap County Democratic Party chairman.

The officers, through several rounds of voting, will determine a first, second and third-ranked candidate. If the commissioners are unable to decide on the recommended applicants, the governor can step in to make the choice, Olson said.

Olson said the decision will take into account factors beyond whether a candidate has a background in finance. Additionally, officers will look for a candidate who commits to running for the office in November.

The responsibilities of the county treasurer, include handling financial information for the county and local government, according to the county's Web site.

Green, a certified public accountant in Poulsbo with a bachelor's degree in accounting, said she can translate her two decades of finance work with private companies to the government side.

"In the private sector, I have done all the things necessary for the treasurer position," she said. "I view it as a challenge and something that I'm ready for."

Green served as chief financial officer for both Airbiquity Inc., based out of Seattle and local Poulsbo company, Boxlight Corporation. Additionally, she served as vice president of finance for Poulsbo's Pope Resources for three years, according to her resume.

This is Green's first run at taking over a public office and she said she does not expect that to hinder her.

"I'm not as politically in the know as some of the other candidates, and I realize that," she said. "I hope to surround myself with a team of people to help through what I see as a weakness in my portfolio."

Delgado, 29, said this is his first run at public office as well. Delgado is a manager for Vici Metronics in Poulsbo. He said he has plans for resolving some of the county's money woes including "knocking down the debt we have and the interest we're paying."

Some of the applicants said the job vacancy was a welcome surprise to re-enter public service.

Quade, who sat as a city council member in Poulsbo for six years and mayor for four years, said she is not ready to retire from public service and sees the position as challenging considering the current state and local economy.

"We went from really, really good times, to as we are today, facing a lot of tough economic decisions," Quade said Thursday.

Daugs, a former Bremerton mayoral candidate, said he has the financial and managerial background to serve.

"Especially in this economy, we need people in these positions to be people that are financially reserved," said Daugs who holds a degree in organizational business management. "This isn't the time to be taking big risks with the public's money."

Gelder, chairman of the 23rd Legislative District Democratic committee, said he sees the vacancy as needing to be filled by an experienced manager that can deliver.

"You have to commit to having those dollars do what they were intended to do," Gelder said. He said his financial experience stems from working with non-profit organizations in the past.

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