Incumbent Chang Maintaining Strong Lead Over Igloi-Matsuno

November 4th, 2009

By Chris Henry (Contact)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

PORT ORCHARD —

Incumbent city councilman Fred Chang will get a second term.

Chang was leading challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno in the race for Position 6, with 54.57 percent of the vote and 1,818 votes counted on Tuesday.

“I’d say that I’m stunned,” said Chang, 50, a public information officer for the state’s Department of Transportation.

Igloi-Matsuno, 28, is a Port Orchard restaurant owner whose campaign spending, at just more than $18,000, was double that of Chang’s. Despite the wide margin, she was not conceding.

“I’ll see what the results show tomorrow at 5 p.m.,” she said.

Chang, who won his first race for city council in 2005 with a handy 59 percent, said he wasn’t counting on anything in his campaign against Igloi-Matsuno. Demographics change greatly over four years, he said, and the influx of voters to the newly annexed McCormick Woods was a wild card.

During the campaign, Igloi-Matsuno criticized Chang’s penchant for asking probing questions, saying it created an “obstacle” on the council. Chang said he felt affirmed by election results to continue in his watchdog role.

“I felt I have an inclination to want people to know what’s going on,” Chang said. “I heard from people that they like that.”

Chang said in his second term he will work to improve communication through the city’s Web site.

Read the complete article online.

Kitsap Sun Blog: Speaking of South Kitsap

November 3rd, 2009

Lucarelli-Powers Race Too Close to Call
November 3rd, 2009 by chris henry

Incumbent Fred Chang is beating challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno, despite her heavy investment in the campaign. Igloi-Matsuno spent $18,662 to Chang’s $9,212, for a total of more than $27,000. I’d say it’s safe to say that’s a record for campaign spending in a Port Orchard council race. In unofficial results, Chang had 54.57 percent of votes counted to Igloi-Matsuno’s 45.10 percent.

Read complete post online.

Chang leads Igloi-Matsuno, Powers edging Lucarelli

November 3rd, 2009

By CHARLIE BERMANT
Port Orchard Independent Staff Writer
Today, 9:13 PM · UPDATED

Incumbent Port Orchard City Councilman Fred Chang is leading challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno 54 percent to 45 percent, according to the initial vote count Tuesday night. In the only other contested race incumbent Carolyn Powers has 50.35 percent, just edging Cindy Lucarelli, with 49.01 percent.

Approximately 2400 votes were collected as of Tuesday afternoon, with 1,818 votes included in the first count. Chang’s lead—172 votes—does not seem insurmountable, but the nine-point spread is unlikely to reverse.

In a speech to supporters after the results were announced, Igloi-Matsuno did not concede the election, but said she was “hoping for the best.

“Nothing has changed for me,” she said. “I still love Port Orchard, and believe in its potential. I will still be working on behalf of small business, and I will still go to Olympia in support of those issues.”

Chang said he was “astounded and pleasantly surprised” by the vote, saying that expected to win but not by such a wide margin.

“I had a lot of good conversations with people during the campaign,” he said. “I didn’t know just how many. I felt that I had strong support, but I didn’t know how widespread it was.”

In the Position 2 race, incumbent Carolyn Powers is leading challenger Cindy Lucarelli by just 23 votes. This is the second consecutive election where Lucarelli has come close to unseating a veteran incumbent, and it is possible she may pull it off this time.

The next ballot numbers will be posted at 5 p.m. Wednesday at www.kitsapgov.com.

Port Orchard Independent Staff Writer Charlie Bermant can be reached at cbermant@portorchardindependent.com or (360) 876-4414.

Read the article online.

Annexations in 2009 Will Impact Port Orchard’s 2010 Budget

October 31st, 2009

By Chris Henry (Contact)
Saturday, October 31, 2009

PORT ORCHARD —

[URL]Annexations to the city of Port Orchard in 2009 have added more than 2,000 residents to the city’s population and pushed its total assessed valuation above $1 billion.

The city council will need to consider the effects of annexation in planning its 2010 budget, treasurer Allan Martin said last week.

The shrinking economy plus the increase in population from the McCormick Woods annexation mean the council would have to approve an ordinance showing “substantial need” to achieve the 1 percent increase in property tax revenue it has automatically been eligible to take in the past. The council will consider the ordinance on Nov. 10.

Before the annexation, the city’s population was 8,420. Now, it’s 10,836.

Cities with fewer than 10,000 people can collect up to 101 percent of the previous year’s amount, plus new construction.

Cities with more than 10,000 people are subject to the lesser of two limits: 101 percent of the previous year’s collection or 100 percent plus inflation. Thanks to the recession, inflation declined over the past 12 months by .848 percent. That means, without an ordinance, the city in 2010 could collect 99.2 percent of the $1,633,307 in property taxes it collected in 2009. With an ordinance, it could take in up to an additional $16,333. The one percent increase in 2009 totaled $15,437.

Martin estimates the one percent increase for 2010 would cost the average property owner less than a penny per $1,000 of assessed property value.

At a public hearing Oct. 27, City Councilman Fred Chang asked if the ordinance could be crafted so that the city’s property tax revenue would remain flat for 2010. The answer, said City Attorney Greg Jacoby, is yes.

Including annexations, including McCormick Woods and the Fred Meyer complex on Bethel Road, the assessed value of the city rose from $833 million in 2009 to $1.167 billion.

Read the complete article online.

Letter to the Editor | Chang a pleasure to work with

October 29th, 2009

I will Vote for Fred Chang today.

Fred is a tough customer. He always does his homework and fact checks for himself. That makes it hard on a Mayor. I know, I was the Mayor during Fred’s first two years on the Port Orchard City Council.

Staff has to be prepared and to have thought about an issue from all sides so that they can answer questions.

Fred also pushes the City to be open and transparent in all their decisions.

He lead the charge to get City Council meetings televised.

He pushed for more and better information on the City website.

He reaches out to citizens and brings their voices into the Council Chambers. Fred encourages folks to speak at the meetings, he shares information through email lists about ferries, his downtown neighborhood and the downtown business community.

And best of all, Fred looks hard to find the most cost efficient way to provide services to Port Orchard citizens.

He works to mix all their concerns and finds an effective solution to the problem.

Please join me in voting for Fred Chang for another term on the Port Orchard City Council.

KIM ABEL

Port Orchard

As printed in the Port Orchard Independent. This also printed in the Kitsap Sun as “Chang Always Does His Homework.”

KITSAP SUN | OUR VIEW | Choose Chang, Lucarelli for Port Orchard City Council

October 24th, 2009

Often it’s simple to boil down races featuring incumbent candidates: If they’ve done well, keep ’em in there. If not, it’s time for a change.

Both contested Port Orchard City Council races have a member defending a seat — but we’re departing from the logic mentioned above for these endorsements.

Most would agree that the city has been run well in recent years, and Mayor Lary Coppola’s initiatives have agreed with the council for the most part. We see the next council in need of retaining a relationship that can perform that check and balance, but with an ability to look ahead with fresh eyes.

Making the call on pending issues like a proposed parking garage downtown and future annexations or continued recruitment of business will take a mix of styles. So we’re endorsing one incumbent and one newcomer, in hopes of finding that mix.

Cindy Lucarelli, running for the council’s Position 2 seat, has been hands-on in one of Port Orchard’s most recent accomplishments, this past summer’s Cedar Cove Days festival. The event was a smash in branding a new city festival and attracting tourists and notoriety, and Lucarelli was at the helm organizing and cheerleading. Her experience there shows a capability to step in and lead, which Carolyn Powers has done ably for more than two decades in City Hall. Powers has left her mark on the city as an accountable manager, but we like Lucarelli’s vision and energy as the city expands and prepares for the coming years.

This year was Lucarelli’s second run at the council spot, a place we hope to see Amy Igloi-Matsuno in the future. Igloi-Matsuno, a downtown business owner, is a political newcomer, and while there’s not a specific need to be a wonk to run for office, we like Fred Chang’s experience with the issues in the Position 6 race.

Chang has demonstrated a passion for open communication with constituents, a characteristic that should be valued when it is proven by an elected official. That, plus a solid understanding of the process thus far in issues like the downtown proposals and Bethel Corridor planning, position Chang to be a leader the city needs.

We expect to see Igloi-Matsuno’s name in politics in the near future, and we hope to see her continue to grow in experience as an up-and-coming community leader. But Chang is the choice to stay in his council seat.

Read more online in the Kitsap Sun.

Port Orchard to Open Severe Weather Shelter

October 24th, 2009

PORT ORCHARD — Starting in November, Port Orchard homeless residents or anyone else who needs a warm shelter will have a place to spend the night during inclement weather. A local group of volunteers is working under the auspices of Kitsap County’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM) to have a “severe weather shelter” in place by Nov. 1.

Last year, the county created a shelter program in Bremerton that opened during certain weather conditions. The shelter was operated with volunteers and support from local groups.

Sally Santana, a Port Orchard resident and well-known advocate for the homeless, was on the organizing committee that spearheaded the program. She said the shelters worked great, but were not easily accessible for people in South Kitsap who needed to rely on transportation during bad weather, especially moms with young children. So she recently got together a committee to discuss the idea of a local shelter. The committee includes South Kitsap Helpline executive director Jennifer Hardison, former Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel, City Councilman Fred Chang and representatives from One Life Church in Port Orchard.

“We want to make it easier for our South Kitsap people that find themselves homeless or find it more difficult to heat their homes,” Santana said.

The group has only met a couple of times, but they have already identified a local church that would serve as the initial shelter, with the goal to get others involved. “We’ve got the site, we’ve got the money and we’ve got the training — we’re ready to go,” Santana said.

Read the complete article online at PortOrchard-life.com

Letter to the Editor | Chang offers an alternative voice

October 23rd, 2009

I urge voters to re-elect Fred Chang to the Port Orchard City Council.

He has conscientiously represented us and should remain on the council to continue his excellent work.

He is committed to making Port Orchard a better place for its residents and he has made an ongoing effort to meet those he serves while making a careful review of the major issues that have come before the council.

Recently, the mayor presented plans for his salary increase, and Fred was the only one who questioned the sources for the pay hike.

There will be times when Mayor Coppola needs cautionary input from his council, and Fred has the confidence to provide opposing views when they are justified.

Please return this hard-working and knowledgeable person to office.

EBBA JO SEXTON

Port Orchard

Read more in the online Port Orchard Independent.

Port Orchard City Council Position 6: Candidates Approach Public Process from Different Perspectives

October 23rd, 2009

PORT ORCHARD —

By Chris Henry
chenry@kitsapsun.com

In the race for Port Orchard City Council position 6, incumbent Fred Chang and challenger Amy Igloi-Matsuno tout their different styles and approaches to local government, even as they speak of a similar goal: maximizing Port Orchard’s potential.

Chang, 50, who is seeking a second term on the council, is a public information officer for the state’s Department of Transportation. Chang says his most important role on the council has been opening up communication between the city and its constituents, promoting accountability and increasing transparency. He’d like to do more of it. As the city grows, Chang said, his goal will remain balancing economic development with maintaining the city’s small-town quality of life.

“I want Port Orchard to meet its potential as a great place to work, visit and play,” Chang said.

With one term under his belt, Chang said, he has in-depth knowledge of issues facing the city. His top priorities would be balancing the city’s finances to meet ongoing economic challenges, addressing annexation to accommodate growth without burdening current residents and dispelling “apathy” on the part of Port Orchard citizens.

Igloi-Matsuno said she would apply her “high energy” to learning more about issues facing the city. Igloi-Matusuno said the fact Port Orchard does not have a business and occupation tax should be touted as a selling point to attract new business to the city. She sees completion of a downtown parking garage as central to the city’s revitalization. Like Chang, she says, the city needs to take a balanced fiscal approach to annexation.

Chang cites his role in helping bring about public access coverage of city council meetings as an example of the citizen advocacy for which he’d like to be known.

In council meetings, he’s apt to question staff about the fine details of an issue, and he’s proud of it. Chang’s campaign flyer proclaims, “Fred asks the hard questions.”

Igloi-Matsuno said her approach would be more collaborative. Asked why she chose Chang’s seat as the target of her challenge, she said her opponent’s watchdog stance often amounts to “grandstanding.”

“I’ve watched his voting. I’ve watched his behavior (in council meetings), and I feel he’s the biggest obstacle on the council to the direction I’d like to see us go,” Igloi-Matsuno said.

“I think she believes I ask too many questions,” Chang said. “My response to that is it really depends on who you talk to. I regularly hear from residents that they’re happy I’m asking questions, because they say otherwise they don’t know what’s going on. They don’t know what I’m voting on.”

Igloi-Matusuno’s businesslike approach to government bears similarities to that of Mayor Lary Coppola. Like Coppola, owner of Wet Apple Media, Igloi-Matsuno is used to making decisions in response to a market that changes daily. Like Coppola, she leans toward expediency … within reason.

Coppola has been vocal about his admiration for Igloi-Matsuno’s business and community involvement. But he has not officially endorsed her, as he has incumbent Carolyn Powers in her race against Cindy Lucarelli for position 2. Igloi-Matsuno has read comments in online media and heard murmurings that she would be a Lary Coppola Mini-Me.

Campaign financing is a notable issue in the race for position 6, with Igloi-Matsuno raising more than $19,000, including a loan of more than $11,000 from herself to her campaign. Chang’s current total is just less than $8,000.

“I find it bizarre because it is a council race in a small town,” said Chang, who decries the total expenditure — $15,707 reported by both candidates so far with more to come — especially in light of the economy.

Read the complete article online.

Letter to the Editor | Chang invested in Port Orchard’s future

October 23rd, 2009

Please join me and vote to retain Fred Chang in the Port Orchard City Council.

He has been involved in numerous community organizations, associations and government committees.

I have known Fred for more than 10 years and served with him on the Port Orchard Planning Commission.

He studies issues, becomes knowledgeable and is able to ask the hard questions.

He makes thoughtful choices.

TADINA CROUCH

Port Orchard

Read more in the online Port Orchard Independent.