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Letters of Support

 

We have employed the same voting method each year as we sort out local candidates for office. If the person is an incumbent, we try to evaluate their actions during their time in office. Have they taken the job seriously, understood specific challenges and responded well to them, worked hard, and kept in touch with their constituents? If so, we want to send them back to do the job some more.

That's the case with Debra Lester in her service as Public Utility District Commissioner. She has sharply focused on communications technology issues, and has been the intelligent, hardworking Commissioner we hoped she would be. All one needs as evidence to vote for her is the very good work she has done to date.  We hope voters will join us in selecting Debbi to do the PUD job again.

Thanks in advance for your consideration of her candidacy.
Cindy and David Harrison, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debra Lester is the most qualified candidate for Kitsap Public Utility Commissioner. She promised 3 things in her first term: extend broadband service, insure safe drinking water, and find efficiencies to lower costs. She delivered on all of these promises: (1) In her first term, KPUD has extended broadband by over 600 miles - going from 200 to over 800 miles! She successfully advocated in the state legislature for the Public Broadband Option making PUDs eligible to apply for federal funding. In addition, she encouraged KPUD to apply for grants. As a result of these efforts, KPUD was awarded $11 million in internet grants. These funds are bringing down the cost of building high speed internet. (2) She’s protecting our water sources for now and generations to come. During her term, KPUD launched a wastewater treatment plant that cleans water to drinking water standard and sends that recycled water back to our groundwater systems. (3) To lower costs, through her current leadership, KPUD is now working to create cost savings through coordinating work plans with our nearby cities, the county, private agencies, and tribes. Working collaboratively and efficiently will continue to lowers costs and saves money. Debra Lester is endorsed by many of my colleagues and elected officials, who I value. I’m honored to be in their company. Having kept her campaign promises and accomplished a great deal, she’s earned my trust and my vote. I look forward to her next six years of working for and with us. Please join me and vote for Debra Lester.
Wendy Tyner, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I'm proud to support Debra Lester for PUD Commissioner. Her vision and leadership has helped bring broadband to Kitsap and in her new term she'll help expand affordable broadband access. Debra has the determination, expertise, and relationships to make it happen.

Greg Nance, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debra is an effective and committed long-term community leader. In her first term as Commissioner, she brought more broadband to our communities and helped make sure our water resources are protected for the long-term. She has a reputation for responding to constituents and addressing our concerns.

Senator Christine Rolfes, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debra Lester and I worked together on many regional boards including Housing Kitsap and Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council. The Kitsap Public Utility District benefits from Debra’s brains, vision and tenaciousness.  She brings her energy and expertise to the KPUD moving the organization forward to better service models for the Citizens of Kitsap. She has my confidence and my vote.

 Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson

• • •

"I think, no, I know, Debra Lester is committed to Kitsap County in a way that makes me feel relieved. Relieved that someone who cares will work hard for our clean drinking water. Relieved that our wastewater will be treated in a way that respects and honors our environment. Relieved that the future of telecommunications will be in the hands of someone who has so much experience with what our county needs."

Mary Lou Sanelli, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I have worked with Debra for many years to improve Washington's ferry system. She established and led a grass roots organization representing ferry riders and communities, an organization that continues to this day more than a decade later. Debra has a heart for the communities and people she serves. She also can collaborate well with others to solve practical matters. I believe we are blessed that she’s decided to continue her service and urge you to vote for her.

Walt Elliott, Kingston

• • •

I’ve known Debra Lester as a person who shows up, plain and simple. She’s committed and reliable, setting goals that matter to the community she serves and understanding the ways local values intersect with complex issues. Debra brings grit, intellect, compassion and care to her work in service of our county. I heartily endorse her re-election as KPUD Public Commissioner.

Kristin Tollefson, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I endorse Debra Lester because she is a true leader that really represents everyone in the community.

Shannon Turner, Bremerton

• • •

We support the reelection of Deb Lester to Kitsap County Public Utility District No. 1 (KPUD). A small group in our North Kitsap neighborhood worked to have over 117 homes get high-speed fiber Internet. This might not have happened without Commissioner Lester. KPUD extended fiber to the Kitsap Peninsula and has a program allowing neighborhoods to create a new Local Improvement District (LID) for fiberoptic cable installation. We went door-to-door, formed an LID and pooled funds to pay for fiber to be strung on telephone poles and connected to each house the LID.

We were one of the first fiber LIDs in Kitsap County and were the biggest. There were many details that had the be addressed along the way. Some issues were technical and some were bureaucratic. Throughout the process, Deb Lester, one of the three KPUD Commissioners, was paying attention. She was extremely helpful. We might not have high-speed internet in the neighborhood without her.

It’s hard to imagine what the pandemic would have been like without the high-speed fiber Internet. Commissioner Lester championed state law changes ensuring we can get service through KPUD if there are no commercial Internet providers available in our area and is now working to defend that legislation. Please join us in supporting Deb Lester’s reelection.

Troy Meyers, Poulsbo

• • •

A down-ballot race is getting a great deal of attention this fall, attention it would not ordinarily command. This is the race for the Kitsap Public Utility District Commissioner No. 1 position. 

Alice Tawresey, a familiar face who has recently been out of the public eye, is challenging Debra Lester, the incumbent. The position they are vying for is admittedly a first rung on the ladder to higher elected office. Ms. Lester wants to keep doing the job; Ms. Tawresey wants to replace her. Why? 

After serving in very important,  high-profile elected and appointed positions since the 1980s, why does Ms. Tawresey desire to put her foot on the first rung? By all accounts, Ms. Lester has done a fine job as commissioner. So why does Ms.Tawresey want to replace her? She claims she wants to bring real leadership to the district, the inference being that the district lacks appropriate leadership. Really? The proof is...?

Frankly, as a customer of the KPUD I want it to be well managed, providing safe, potable water to my home on a reliable basis. It has done this under Ms. Lester's leadership. Why should I vote for a change? There are times when the old guard needs to stand down, especially when there is no reason to run again. This is one of them. 

Jim Metz, Bainbridge Island

• • •

When Debra Lester ran for District 1 Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD) Commissioner in 2017, I enthusiastically endorsed her.  Today, I am positively convinced voters need to re-elect her to another term.

Debra Lester has six years of experience and achievement as a KPUD commissioner. She has cultivated industry knowledge, collaborative agility, and respected leadership to the benefit of KPUD customers and community.

There remains unfinished work she’d like to continue advocating for. When Debra first ran for election in 2017, a long-standing state law prohibited PUDs from providing direct broadband internet service to residences. Debra supported our state legislators, including testifying before Senate and House committees, to successfully pass legislation that qualifies PUDs to apply for federal broadband funding. She wants to make sure that KPUD applies for broadband internet funding.

During Lester’s tenure, KPUD has made progress toward making its hiring, policies, and practices more equitable and inclusive. Many “firsts” have been hired and staff has participated in one training to inform shaping a work culture that is safe, welcoming, and equitable for all. Lester is committed to continuing this pathway to equity.

If you spoke to Debra about why she loves being a KPUD Commissioner, she’d effusively tell you about partnering with a capable and responsive board, staff, and general manager. And if you asked her colleagues about what they respect—even admire— about Lester, I imagine you’d hear prepared, curious, caring, collaborative, innovative, and, at times, intensely laser-focused.

We’ve got a good thing going with Debra Lester. Let’s re-elect her as our KPUD Commissioner!

Jing Fong, Bainbridge Island

• • •

My wife and I moved to WA 8 yrs ago from AZ, where water security is a really big deal. Debra knows that it's also a really big deal in Kitsap Co. We have no glaciers and no reservoirs. Our ground water is all we have. Debra understands that dumping former groundwater into the Sound is a depletion strategy and has seen solutions that need to be leveraged. 

Bob Gilby, Port Orchard

• • •

I enthusiastically endorse Debra Lester for Kitsap Public Utility District Commissioner. She has done an excellent job for our Kitsap community and will continue to serve with great integrity and commitment.

Wendy Orville, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I met Debra years ago when working on a project. Her attention to detail and making sure to get questions answered and clarification when needed makes her an incredible asset as a Kitsap Public Utility District Commissioner.

 Johanna (Hannie) Baxter, Silverdale

• • •

I strongly support the re-election of Debra Lester for Kitsap Public Utility District No.1 Commissioner. Debra is, in so many ways, an exemplary public servant: community oriented, hardworking, and laser-focused on service delivery and cost savings. Thanks to her leadership, KPUD has built public and private agency collaborations to create cost savings for its customers. Debra has encouraged the KPUD Board to coordinate its work plans with other agencies, providers and tribes so project costs are shared and construction impacts limited. Further, Debra is an incredibly effective advocate and fundraiser. KPUD has asked for, and received, significant state funds for internet fiber during her tenure, along with funds to build internet nodes throughout the County and to improve a failed water system.

As a fiscal conservative, I support office holders who spend public money wisely and know how to leverage partnerships for improved service and cost savings. Debra has excelled as a KPUD Commissioner and I’ll be voting to return her to the role.

Kim HendricksonBainbridge Island

• • •

I have known Debbie Lester for over 25 years. I have witnessed her as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, business owner and former employer. I consider her a person of the upmost integrity. She is compassionate, smart and hard working. She is exactly the kind of person I want in public office.

Bridget Young, Indianola

• • •

I’m very thankful Debra Lester is running again for KPUD Commissioner. She has done a fantastic job as a commissioner. She is thoughtful, open-minded, knowledgeable about water issues, listens well, and cares about people and the environment. She has been a consistent advocate for open involvement of the public in decisions-making at KPUD. For example, she encouraged and welcomed the public to have a seat at the table during the recent hiring of the new General Manager. She shows up at county meetings to hear what the public has to say about issues such as the North Kitsap Service Center that connect with KPUD work. She is open to meet with county residents when they have concerns related to KPUD and water issues. I strongly encourage her reelection.

Beverly Parsons, Hansville

• • •

I am endorsing Commissioner Lester for re-election, and I welcome this opportunity to thank her for a job well done. She has been a consistent advocate for Kitsap community resources including water, community broadband service, and wastewater treatment at Port Gamble. She has always been open and responsive to our questions, providing information and facilitating discussion. This is deeply appreciated. Kitsap residents need her steady, knowledgeable leadership as we face the dual challenges of development and climate change.

Carol Price, Poulsbo

• • •

Debra Lester is a well-informed elected official who has been serving our community for many years. She is one of the hardest-working public servants I have known, and is quick to seek and find solutions for community needs.

Anne Laird, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I supported and voted for Debbi for her first successful election as KPUD Commissioner. She has accomplished so much, and it will be a plus to have the continuity of her working knowledge on the commission continue.

Michael K. Gormley, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Vote for Debra!

David Bricklin, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debra is the best candidate you could ask for. She has worked tirelessly for the District and will continue to do so. Vote Debra!

Surya Lee, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debra and I served on various boards in the past. In that experience, her simultaneous attention to both the big picture and the details was always remarkable. She knows what needs to get done and how to do it.

Laurel Wilson, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I am writing to say why I believe that Debra Lester should be re-elected as our Kitsap Public Utilities District (PUD) Commissioner. Since 2002, I’ve watched how effective she’s been as a community organizer. Unsurprisingly, since being elected she’s done a stellar job for the citizens of the County, bringing her experience as a non-profit board member and business owner to the job of an elected official. She gets real results because she listens to concerns, answers questions, and invites real conversations, not just public comments. Here’s a long and virtuous list of County accomplishments that she’s worked on since getting elected:
• Working with Senator Rolfes and Representative Hansen, Debra advocated for better broadband service by testifying before the State Senate and House Committees, resulting in increasing PUD (internet) fiber from 200 miles to 800 miles.
• Understanding that Kitsap communities are way more resilient when there’s effective collaboration, Debra helped bring public utility districts, tribes, Cities and the County into more coherent and effective working relationships.
• Caring deeply about our environment, Debra has helped build stronger Kitsap community alliances that more carefully manage our precious water resources. She’s supported treating wastewater so that more H2O is held in our freshwater systems, and also helped insure safer drinking water.
• Debra has bolstered Kitsap PUD’s disaster preparedness efforts by working on a disaster plan, encouraging disaster drills, and promoting the need for people to get mobile back-up generators.
Please vote to re-elect Debra Lester!

Cara Cruickshank, Indianola

• • •

Most of us take our utilities for granted. Debbi is on top of it! Her passion and dedication is exactly what we need.

Mandi & Brad May, Bainbridge Island

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I cannot emphasize enough how qualified and effective Debra Lester is to serve us as Kitsap Public Utility Commissioner. We must support Debra Lester as our leader for a utility commission that serves all in Kitsap.

Janet Knox, Bainbridge Island

• • •

We support Debbie Lester’s candidacy for KPUD Commissioner in District 1. She has worked effectively for in her past term so deserves re-election.

Herb Hethcote and Leslie Marshall, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I am writing in support of Debra Lester to be re-elected as Commission for the Kitsap Public Utility District. Debra is a vibrant individual and independent thinker. She has a fine moral code and strong convictions. Her vision is clear and decisive, and her actions just. The future of water, a primary resource, is one we should consider and respect. Her work at KPUD has been respectful, inquisitive, collaborative, and courageous. KPUD has a distinct future, and Debra is the one to lead us there.

Pamela Lee, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I continue to support Debra Lester in the fantastic job she is doing for us as the Kitsap Public Utility District Commissioner.

 Art Hanlon, Bainbridge Island 

• • •

Debra Lester has always put the interests of her community first. In the many years I’ve known her she has operated with integrity, honesty, and transparency held in the utmost importance.

Nathaniel Buechler, Poulsbo

• • •

As current KPUD Commissioner for District 1, Debra has focused closely on a collaborative and inclusive vision for KPUD leadership, working with her peers to support the staff in reaching their goals for water availability, water quality, and continuing to expand access to broadband service across Kitsap, previously not available in many locations in the community. She played an instrumental role in working with the State Legislature to unlock the rights of a public utility district to compete with sole service providers of fiber optic and broadband service. She has led efforts to create a more diverse team, resulting in the first woman general manager. Debra makes a point to learn who her constituents are, what they care about and what they do, all in service to creating a resilient community that works together to protect our precious resources now, and be ready for what the future brings. In the past six years of service,  Debra has proven her capabilities for leading the management of our most precious resources. Giving her your vote will allow this hard-working commissioner to continue her work for you.

Cyndi Shick, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I can’t recommend re-election of Commissioner Lester strongly enough! She has been incredibly responsive to inquiries and issues related to Kitsap water for the past 4 years. Commissioner Lester invites public participation in every form, including attendance at KPUD meetings where the public literally can have a seat at the table and a voice in a real dialogue. If you have a concern she researches it and gets back quickly. Let’s get behind her campaign!

Pam Keeley, Poulsbo

 • • •

Debra is simply the best. Reliable, thorough, dependable, honest, and she has a lot of heart. When she says she will do something, she will. I've know her for 20 or more years, and stand behind her 100%!

Dinah Satterwhite, Bainbridge Island

 • • •

I support Debra Lester for KPUD commissioner because Debra has a great track record for being knowledgeable, engaged, and forward-thinking in her work with this utility.

Deborah Rudnick, Bainbridge Island

 • • •

Vote for Debbie Lester! She has been a productive, effective member of the Public Utility District, broadening their services into internet access and making sure we have the water and good water for Kitsap's future! Keep her working for us!

Amy Aspell, Bainbridge Island

 • • •

Debra is a wonderful person who cares deeply about her job. She is generous with her time and energy. A real team player.
Hallette Salazar, Kingston
 • • •

We endorse the capable and highly qualified Debra Lester to continue her excellent work as KPUD Commissioner.

Trude & Michael Lisagor, Bainbridge Island

 • • •

Debbi brings both passion and collaboration to her work in public policy, passionate in her advocacy, but at the same time, is willing to work with other people, to find moderate, common sense solutions to problems.

Chris Van Dyk, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debbi Lester has done a fine job as commissioner in her first term and deserves our support for second term.

John Fossett, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debra Lester always has an open mind and a goal of achieving the best results for any organization with which she has been involved.

Eric Fredricks, Bainbridge Island

• • •

The choice is obvious. Debra has the experience, skills, intelligence, integrity and community knowledge critical for this job.

Jane & Stan Rein, Bainbridge Island

• • •

 Debra works tirelessly in the best interests of the community. When she applies her creativity to difficult problems we can be assured we will have the opportunity to evaluate effective, and at times less conventional solutions.

Sandy Fischer, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debra Lester has demonstrated the highest congruent activity for an elected official representing her district. Our repeated experiences in the past 4+ years, Debra has kept open communication and openly looked at issues brought to her attention for the safety and security of water. My family looks forward to another term with this responsive servant.

C.L. Brooke, Hansville

• • •

I have known Debra Lester for more than 25 years, and in that time I have been immensely impressed by her relentless work ethic, her moral values, and unselfish service to the community. And I mean unselfish. Few people understand the amount of work and grief that is unfortunately part of the service to community she has fulfilled. She has consistently demonstrated her ability to build coalitions, and work with others in a calm rational way. She has always served in the interest of the people she represents. She is a community builder who lives among the people. She’s an entrepreneur who founded and manages one of the most respected arts publications in western Washington, while being a mother and grandmother. She has the experience, skills and intelligence we need, and the commitment to service to the community, to be our Commissioner to the KPUD. I heartily endorse Debra Lester for KPUD Commissioner."

Dennis Fisher, Bainbridge Island

• • •

We continue to support Debra Lester in the important work she is doing for the citizens of our county in her role as a Kitsap Public Utility District Commissioner.

Kimara Sajn & B.Sue Johnson, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I am supporting the re-election of Debra Lester for Kitsap Public Utility District No.1 (KPUD).  Over the last 4 years, I have known Commissioner Lester to have always listened deeply and responded to the concerns of her constituents.  She invites dialogue and does the research to be as informed as possible.  She understands the unique challenges of this county, whether it be aquifer recharge or broadband infrastructure.  She is a powerful advocate for us all, and I believe to be the most qualified for this post, as she has the experience of the last four years as Commissioner, which she has accomplished with aplomb. With the challenges of the changing climate, whether it be environmental or the needs of a growing population, we need someone with up-to-date knowledge and practice to do this work.  That person is Debra Lester.

Margaret Tufft, Poulsbo

• • •

Effective community-minded leadership is a rare commodity and Debra has that in spades! She has earned my trust and support.

Jim Gleckler, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Debra is knowledgeable and passionate about KPUD’s mission, and will help us move Kitsap County forward.

Ellen Wixted, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Kitsap County is very fortunate to have Debra Lester willing to continue her years of effective work to improve our public utilities as a District 1 Commissioner. She is a strong supporter of climate change needs, fiber optic infrastructure for open-access broadband for all, and sound financial management for Public Utility District No. 1 of Kitsap County. We need her on our Board of Commissioners.

Marci Burkel, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Conscientious. Dedicated. Knowledgeable. Effective.

Steve & Mary Clare Kersten, Bainbridge Island

• • •

Thank you for all your work!
David Maron, Kitsap citizen

• • •

Debra is an exemplary public servant who cares deeply about her community. She is energetic, collaborative, inclusive and thoughtful — all wonderful qualities to bring to a leadership role. I wholeheartedly support her re-election to this increasingly important job.

Kate Gormley, Bainbridge Island

• • •

I support Debra Lester for Kitsap PUD Commissioner.

Christy Carr, Bainrbidge Island


 

 

 


Paid For By:
Committee to Re-Elect Debra Lester
P.O. Box 1825
Poulsbo, Washington 98370
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