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Kitsap Bainbridge Island Park And Recreation Commissioner Position 5

4-year term; No salary A Parks & Recreation District is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the public parks and recreation facilities within their jurisdiction, as well as the acquisition of other parks space as funds provide and is appropriate. The commission sets the general policies and workplan of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional parks and recreation staff. One of commission's main duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any parks levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget, whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for district employees.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Michael Pollock (NP) Scientist and Policy Analyst

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    Kirk B. Robinson (NP) Retired

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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are three major issues facing your park and recreation district?

Of the three, which one is the most urgent?

What experiences have you had that prepares you for this position?

Phone (206) 707-5087
YouTube Video n/a
Town where you live Bainbridge Island
Experience (300 characters max) BI City Councilmember (1999-2003); President (2002), Committees include Land Use (Chair), Finance and Transportation. Fiscally responsible advocate for open space, playing fields, public trails and right-of-ways, and public access to waterfront.
For me, service for the greater good of the community is a calling and a responsibility.  Holding political office is an opportunity to put principles into action and to make Bainbridge Island an even better community than it is today.  My professional and educational background enables me to help ensure that our Park District reflects the evolving values of our diverse community.  I believe that our parks are the heart and soul of our city; a venue where we can reinvigorate our minds and bodies.  They are a source of inspiration, wonder and beauty. Parks and the recreation they offer encourage us to play, walk, run, swim, ride, swing, recreate and learn. As we expand our open spaces, we expand our potential.  When we build playing fields and trails, we also build shared memories and a path to the future. I can think of no better service to our community than to work to preserve and enhance the vibrant green heart of our Island.
My general priorities are to assess our recreational programs and open space needs and plan for the future; cost-effectively increase services for underserved and less vocal park users such as seniors, the disabled, picnickers, walkers, boaters, bicyclists, and dog and horse owners, to name a few; expand land and water trails, open spaces, playing fields and active recreation, weighing cost v. number of users benefiting; and to cooperatively integrate recreational needs with the City and School District to minimize local taxes. Three specific (and interrelated) priorities are (1) Better Alignment of the Park Budget with the Public's Priorities (2), Improved Communication with the Public (3) improved Cooperation between Local Taxing Districts.
Better Alignment of the Park Budget with the Public's Priorities. I believe that throughout an elected official's entire term (however long), it is important to make continuous efforts to stay in touch with their constituents' priorities. It is easy for an elected official to forget that there are 25,000+ people on Bainbridge Island and that they are not regularly in contact with most of them. The Park Budget should align with the priorities of the 10,000 or so Island households that are paying an average annual tax of $500 or so to support our parks. To ensure such an alignment, Park Commissioners should regularly reach out to a much broader segment of the population and get an objective assessment of public priorities. This requires Improved Communication with the Public, which is my second priority, so the priorities are interrelated.
I will use my extensive skills in collaborative project management to lead the Park Board toward more accountable and transparent decision-making. I have experience in both my civic and professional "careers" balancing the competing land use interests of diverse groups such as recreationists, farmers, developers, landowners, NGOs, loggers, Indian tribes and governments at all levels, to resolve issues pertaining to the conservation and economic use of land. Over the decades, I have found that the key to consensus is a transparent process that ensures all voices are heard and all concerns acknowledged and addressed. I also believe that important decisions should be evidence-based rather than reactive to the loudest voices of a few. Experience has taught me that by clearly documenting the rational basis by which decisions are reached, such decisions better stand the test of time, relative to those reached through more capricious decision-making.
Phone (206) 842-0774 (home) (206) 498-8413 (cell)
Email kirkrobinson0239@gmail.com
Town where you live Bainbridge Island
Experience (300 characters max) Park Commissioner (2003-2017); Park District Facilities Advisory Committee; Little League Board of Directors (ran softball program); Youth Basketball and Softball Coach; Rotary Auction Volunteer; US EPA – Analyst (1980-2012) – Managed budgets, grants, contracts, accountability systems
First, I am currently serving as a Park Commissioner and believe my experience and leadership on the Board of Commissioners has served the District well over the past 14 years.

I believe it is important to serve the community in which you live, to try and make it a better place for all who live here. When I first sought this position of Park Commissioner, my passion for parks and recreation was, and still is, a rewarding way way for me to serve our Island community. I have always been interested in the Park and Recreation field, having worked in recreation programs in college and for the US Forest Service and US Park Service in the summers. Using my skills and work experience (management in the public sector at the US EPA) I believe I have contributed significantly to making our Park District one of the best in the State for a community our size.

I am committed to making our Park District even better than it is now.
Sakai Park planning and development. The District is in the process of planning for the future development of Sakai Park. The community is actively involved, through a bottoms up planning approach, providing many suggestions on what facilities and activities should be placed in the new park. I look forward to working through these ideas and determining the best fits for the new park and what ideas can be accommodated elsewhere within the park system.

Park Infrastructure. The District has been in operation for over 50 years. Many of our facilities are almost that old or older. The District’s challenge is to identify and budget for needed upgrades in a timely manner.

User Demand on our Parks. Particularly for active recreation uses, the District is seeing a rise in proposals for new facilities in our parks, such as disc golf and mountain bike facilities. The challenge to the District is to find appropriate locations for these activities without infringing on existing uses in our active-use parks.
All the issues listed above are important and need to be addressed in a timely manner, but I don’ believe any one issue is more urgent than the others. I believe this reflects the attention to future planning by the Board of Commissioners and the District professional staff. And the three issues are often interconnected. For example planning for Sakai Park may address some of our infrastructure and user demand issues.
I have served 14 years as a Park Commissioner. In that role I developed in-depth knowledge of the Park District, its parks, facilities, programs, and resources, both financial and staff.

Professionally, I have 30+ years of experience at the US EPA managing budget/finance operations, grants, contracts, accountability systems and other “administrative management” functions in the public sector. As such, I am aware and prepared to address the range of challenges the District faces.

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