In the race for South Kitsap Commissioner, two Democrats, a Republican and a candidate who describes herself as “Conservative NP” found much to agree on during a League of Women Voters debate Thursday at the Norm Dicks Government Center.
But the candidates, who will square off in the Aug. 7 primary election, began to show their stripes on the issues of shorelines, state ferries, and a possible sales tax increase to support mental health services.
Incumbent Charlotte Garrido, a Democrat seeking a second consecutive term, seemed the lone defender of the Shoreline Management Act, which drives recent revisions to shoreline plans in the county and Kitsap’s four cities.
The stakeholders panel assembled to advise the county on proposed updates to its Shoreline Master Program had access to more than 30 years of information on shoreline preservation, Garrido noted. Concerns that replacing structures on properties grandfathered in under earlier plans are unfounded, she said.
Garrido’s challengers were united in their criticism of the state act.
“I think property owners should be able to develop their land as they see fit,” said Republican Linda Simpson, who in 2010 made an unsuccessful run for 35th District state representative. “I think the Shoreline Management Act has gone too far in restricting the rights of property owners.”
Democrat Lary Coppola, former mayor of Port Orchard, agreed with Simpson.
“The Shoreline Management Act tries to force a one-size-fits-all solution on all of us,” Coppola said.
Kristine Danielson is unaffiliated with a political party and has run unsuccessfully for state senate in the 26th District and for Kitsap County assessor. She believes the shoreline act is “nothing more than the taking of the land … I don’t think it’s done for any proven purpose. It’s all done on speculation.”
Read the full Chris Henry Kitsap Sun article here.