Gateway: Opinion

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 26

Gig Harbor is better than this

I’ve been getting quite a few phone calls and emails today from people who were surprised to find a “hit piece” full of lies in their mailbox recently. This “hit piece” claimed that it was paid for by a Kent PAC (political action committee). And that the “top 5 contributors” included another PAC, this one from King County. I did some research on the State Public Disclosure Commission’s website and learned that the money for this “hit piece” came from 5 individuals in Gig Harbor, several of whom just happen to be supporters of my opponent.

I realize that this has been a contentious campaign season and that some campaigns are run on fear and negativity, but I couldn’t help remembering what my neighbor said not long ago: “Gig Harbor, we are better than this!”

She’s right, we are better than this. We do not need to manufacture lies, nor should we try to dodge responsibility in layers of out-of-town PACs. I was going to name the individuals that contributed to this “hit piece,” but upon reflection I think you will enjoy researching this yourself. Start at and browse political committees. Follow the money.

Jill Guernsey, Gig Harbor

Why I’m supporting Gurensey

We live in Gig Harbor because of it’s quality of life, whether it’s the school system, the parks programs or the people in our community we call neighbors and friends. Planning for that quality of life began prior to 1975 when a group of citizens that realized they had a gem, decided to organize and to guide the development of their community through adopted rules and regulations, the result was the 1975 Gig Harbor Comprehensive Land Use Plan and we still realize the benefits of their efforts today. That was the beginning and it still goes on today to make the Gig Harbor Peninsula a great place to raise your family and to eventually retire in.

I’m supporting Jill Guernsey for mayor for a number of reasons, but the most important one to me is her knowledge of land use rules and regulations. Growth may be inevitable as we react to the over flowing of King County and the state’s pressure on all municipalities to accept their fair share of growth and then a little bit more.

When I was on the Pierce County Council we relied heavily on Jill’s recommendations for land use decisions, and her advice on county land use planning and development. I believe that the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge has opened up the Gig Harbor Peninsula, the Key Peninsula, the Kitsap Peninsula and the Olympic Peninsula to new growth and it will all come along state Route 16. We need to realize that it’s happening and plan for the impacts both good and bad, I believe that Jill Guernsey in her role as our Mayor is prepared to do that.

Terry Lee, Gig Harbor

Balliett has genuine interest in serving

While I grew up in Gig Harbor, the military took our family away for several years. We have been back and raising our children here for 8 and a half years and in that time I have never seen someone running for school board as present in the community as Noelle Balliett.

I have met her several times around town at events and in our neighborhood. It is incredible how she, along with her husband Byron, went out in the community themselves to take more time to speak to people individually. Every time we have crossed paths she has greeted me with a smile and taken the time to speak with me not only about her running for the school board, but about my family. She has a genuine interest in getting to know the families that she wants to serve and that is such a breath of fresh air to me. Thank you, Noelle, for being present in our community and openly showing how much you care about our children.

Stephanie Somers, Gig Harbor

Olson brings superior qualifications

This election is about who will better serve our children’s education. I believe David Olson brings superior qualifications because he was involved in bringing the new, highly-capable superintendent; was key to delivering a 70-percent “yes” vote for the last M&O levy; has experience the Board needs as it navigates the new funding mechanisms brought about by the McCleary Decision; understands the facilities needs of the district because of his on-going interest in safety, security and effectiveness of our properties; thinks creatively about delivering better educational programs for students who prefer “hands-on” preparation to being “college ready” but includes both; works to bring enhancements to our vocational technical programs; and built relationships with our elected state senator and representatives.

David’s children benefited from PSD schools. He will make our schools even better. Several of his family members are teachers so he has ready resources.

Walker Allen, Gig Harbor

Woock’s positive actions speak volumes

My husband and I lived in Rosedale for many years. Several years ago we had a chance to move into Gig Harbor itself and are thrilled to be here. We are writing to show our support for Jeni Woock for Gig Harbor City Council Position 1.

Jeni has been a valued member of our community. Her volunteer experience alone is outstanding: MultiCare Cancer Ward volunteer, GH Film Festival, GH Arts Festival, and Meaningful Movies. Along with being co-founder of Citizens for the Preservation of Gig Harbor, Jeni’s actions speak volumes as to her care and concern for our wonderful city.

My husband and I will be voting for Jeni Woock and urge others to do the same!

Sharon Coy, Gig Harbor

Olson is the clear choice for our kids

Unless you care about politics or partisanship more than our children’s future, the clear choice in the Peninsula School Board race is David Olson. In spite of obviously coordinated efforts to distort his motives and record, a push led by partisan actors affiliated with his opponent’s campaign, David Olson is the only candidate in this race with a proven record of putting our children first and working with all stakeholders to enact practical solutions that greatly benefit our kids.

David is the only candidate who already has strong relationships with key community leaders, relationships that are crucial to progress for the school district. He is the only one with four years of experience on the board dealing with policy and budgets, experience we need at this “critical juncture” for school funding. He is the only candidate with bipartisan support from trusted community leaders such as Terry Lee and Mark Lindquist.

His opponent, on the other hand, is under investigation by the PDC for 17 potential campaign finance law violations, all the while campaigning on the issues of “transparency” and “accountability.” She also attempts to portray herself as a moderate in spite of ties to the far left.

Our kids deserve better than that. They deserve a school board member who has already demonstrated selflessness and dedication in that very role. Please join me in voting to re-elect David Olson.

Zach Smith, Gig Harbor

Guernsey will keep Gig Harbor on track

With four current Councilmembers retiring, Gig Harbor voters have a major decision this November. The new Council Members will not only be inexperienced but will come to their positions with unreal expectations and agendas. We must have a leader who has the experience, demeanor, and qualifications to keep the city on track. Jill Guernsey is that leader.

Much has been said about schools and impact fees. Although those issues are not under the purview of the city, Jill is the candidate that has school district experience, having served ten years on the board — several of which she was president.

A very important part of governance in Gig Harbor is understanding our intricate and strict land use and development codes. Jill’s professional career as a land use attorney for Pierce County serves her well. Additionally, she served on the City Planning Commission for six years. She and her fellow Commissioners were responsible for proposing regulations to guide our elected officials.

Jill was elected to the City Council and then elected Mayor in 2013. In those years she has worked tirelessly keeping the city on its present course of fiscal responsibility, reasonable and fair development codes, improvement of infrastructure, and retention of an excellent staff. She was instrumental in bringing the city to its present status as a solid municipality with an enviable credit rating and a desirability that is respected throughout Puget Sound.

In the history of Gig Harbor, there has never been a more qualified or capable candidate to run for mayor. I urge our citizens to vote for the professionalism of Jill Guernsey. Mayor Guernsey rises above hopeful but unrealistic expectations of how governance unfolds. We cannot afford to completely turn our city over to inexperience. Too much is at stake.

Paul Kadzik, Gig Harbor

Guernsey is the strongest leader

We all respect the dedicated residents willing to step forward to serve our communities … yours are impressive.

Gig Harbor has very similar issues to all communities in Pierce County: increased development, growing population, traffic issues, and keeping your town identity.

I know that a public process and approved codes set the path forward for all development, budgets and goals. But growth and development has been both a curse and benefit that can be solved by residents and council working with the right experienced leader as mayor. It’s rare that elected officials mix in other communities’ decisions but in the race for mayor of Gig Harbor, I have witnessed the tireless advocacy that Jill Guernsey has shown in representing you. As mayor, Jill has been an experienced, skilled leader in land use, economic development, and planning. Additionally, Jill has championed four successful Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) grants totaling about $9M in a very competitive process to continue to solve issues with sidewalk gaps, congested streets, preservation street overlays, and new energy-saving LED street lights. Likewise, she secured funds for a study to make recommendations for projects on state Route 16.

As Gig Harbor continues to listen to residents, set priorities, fund capital projects and make the code reflect your cities needs, Mayor Jill Guernsey is the strongest leader.

Ron Lucas, Steilacoom

(Lucas is mayor of Steilacoom)

More letters online

Due to the many election-related Letters to the Editor submitted lately, not all of them can be printed in the The Peninsula Gateway. Over the next two weeks, some letters which don’t run in print can be viewed online at