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Kingston Port Commission candidates forum Thursday at yacht club
KINGSTON — Residents can meet and learn more about the candidates for Kingston Port Commission on Thursday, 7 p.m. in the Kingston Yacht Club.
The candidates forum is sponsored by the North Kitsap Herald, Kingston Community News and Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce. The candidates are Bruce MacIntyre, a lawyer and former teacher at Bellevue College; and Nels Sultan, an engineer and member of the Kingston Ferry Advisory Committee.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Attendees can write questions on index cards; the questions will be asked by the moderator during the forum. Each candidate will make a three-minute opening statement, will be given two minutes to respond to each question, and will make a three-minute closing statement.
The forum will be moderated by Richard Walker, editor of the North Kitsap Herald and editorial page editor of the Kingston Community News. Donna Etchey, publisher of the Herald and Community News, will serve as timekeeper.
Ballots will be mailed Oct. 18, according to the Kitsap County Auditor's Office. The election is Nov. 5. Port commissioners serve six-year terms.
Port districts have considerable authority. Under state law, port districts are empowered to acquire property, lease property, engage in economic development, improve land for commercial and industrial use, and establish local improvement districts. Ports can invest in park and recreation facilities; roads and streets that serve port facilities; acquire, maintain and operate passenger-carrying vessels; and promote tourism.
In his candidate statement in the general election voters pamphlet, MacIntyre wrote, "Kingston's outstanding marina and waterfront park must be preserved and maintained in first-rate condition. The reason our state legislators created port districts was to promote community development throughout each district, and districts have an assortment of economic tools to use in fulfilling their responsibility. My experience and understanding of a wide array of business models and financial structures will help Kingston’s Port District achieve its role of an active, supportive player for the whole community, without disrupting Kingston's unique charm."
In his statement, Sultan wrote, "Fiscal responsibility should start at the top. The port commissioners should be unpaid, like the local school board or park district commissioners. I also feel it is a conflict of interest for a Commissioner to keep their boat in the same public marina where they decide the moorage rates. I am not accepting campaign contributions, instead, please make a donation to your favorite charity.
"Recent history with the Soundrunner ferry fiasco has exposed management and planning problems at the port. Much of the port and its practices are behind the times. We need a port that works better with the volunteer groups, helps our struggling downtown businesses, provides public access to the waterfront, and protects and restores the environment. All of these and more will help lay the foundation for a strong local economy, creating good jobs at good wages."