Gateway: News

John Picinich, stealth candidate, is a retired teacher and two-term council veteran

John Picinich is seeking Council Position 6
John Picinich is seeking Council Position 6

John Picinich, a former Gig Harbor City Council member, filed as a candidate for council position 6, then dropped out of sight.

He has held no campaign events and was seen at only one candidate forum. The Gateway has not been able to reach him by phone or email, despite repeated attempts. Two weeks ago, the newspaper received a cryptic message saying that he was “out of the country.”

Picinich, 69, is a former math teacher and coach with long experience in Gig Harbor civic affairs. A resident since 1955, he served two terms on the city council in 1992 and 1996. In his statement for the Voter’s Pamphlet, he says he was instrumental in acquiring the Skansie, Wilkenson and Ancich properties, which later became city parks.

A graduate of Peninsula High School and Pacific Lutheran University, he holds a master’s degree from Leslie College, an online institution based in Cambridge, Mass.

He taught math at Kopachuck Middle School for 21 years, and at Goodman Middle School for 15 years before that. He also coached baseball, soccer and track. He was president of the Peninsula Education Association, the teachers’ union. His wife, Nancy, retired after 40 years teaching second grade at Harbor Heights Elementary.

In 1993, Picinich co-founded the Maritime Gig Festival, which he chaired for four years.

In his voter’s guide statement, Picinich said:

“We must provide safety to citizens, an integral part to our police, and open mind to our business community. Efficient government meets future challenges, maintains adequate, equitable utilities, streets and sidewalks without raising taxes.”

A profile of Mr. Picinich’s opponent, Le Rodenberg, is here.