as a campaign are committed to not cluttering the built and natural
environment with intrusive campaign signs. Instead, to put
my money where my mouth is, we are utilizing the internet
as an example of not only how a campaign can be run effectively
and thoughtfully in the 21st century, but an example for all of
Kitsap County of the use of high-speed broadband as an alternative
for getting to work! If you believe as we do in both
our positions for the community, and this approach to campaigning,
WE NEED YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT. Please click on the Contribution
link and help us bring Poulsbo and Kitsap County into the
and thank you!
University of California at Berkeley 1977, B.A. in Psychology
with emphasis in early childhood education.
Diagnostic evaluator; Livingston Montana School District
Director of Grants, Community Development Director, Assistant
to the Mayor; City of Livingston, Montana 1978-1986;
American Public Power Association:
Energy Innovator Award 1981-1984 "First Municipal
Wind Farm Development in U.S.A." Washington D.C.
Awards for Historic Preservation: 1980 and 1982 Helena,
National Trust for Historic Preservation Award: First
Multiple Resource District Nomination in U.S. 1982, Washington
I am seeking my third consecutive term on the Poulsbo
City Council. I previously served on the Poulsbo Planning
commission in the late 1980's, and on the Olympic College
NK Advisory Board in the early 1990's, as well as serving
on the Martha and Mary Corporate Advisory Board and on
the Board of my Congregation. I have sat on the Board
of the Kitsap Economic Development Council from 1987 to
2004, having been Chair of the immensely productive Regional
Telecommunications Committee, when the work shifted over
the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council where I have
co-chaired its Broadband Task Force since. Lastly, I served
on the Kitsap County Commissioners appointed Base Reduction
and Closure Committee (BRAC) to help safeguard our very
important military bases, which we accomplished.
established highly successful financial services offices
for two very large and well-respected firms, I feel I
bring a unique perspective to public service, one of recognizing
the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the public and
private sectors--both must work in tandem to keep our
city and our county working toward productive jobs for
our citizens, a healthy environment for our children and
adequate protections of our personal rights, properties
and the larger community good while balancing a budget.
Helping guide Poulsbo into the 21st century is my passion,
including sensible growth, better Tribal relations, and
pursuing "telework" as an alternative means
of providing family-wage community-based jobs while reducing
idea of telework, sometimes called "telecommuting",
offers great promise to remote or isolated communities,
where a significant portion of its working population
physically commutes to distant jobs. Kitsap County, with
its reliance on cars, motorcycles and buses to get folks
onto ferry or bridges to work in King, Pierce, or Snohomish
Counties is such a place. Some 30-40% of our primary job
workforce commutes to work like this, involving daily
commutes of 3 to 4 hours in long exhaust-chocked lines.
of us who work with our "heads" for a living
need not compete daily on our congested roadways with
those who must work with their "hands". We must
encourage through investment in true high-speed broadband
services with fiber-optic connections the use of "virtual"
meetings with fast secure audio, video and download capabilities
to create the work environment at home or in locally-based
can avoid expensive taxpayer paid-for roadbed expansion
with all of its environmental degradation, while expanding
work opportunities right here at home! We can work together
on these innovative solutions to growth problems and bring
Poulsbo into the 21st century now.
The Voice Of
CONVERSATION WITH -
Poulsbo City Councilman Ed Stern
By Betsy Model
are, perhaps, a number of things that you could
call Poulsbo resident Ed Stern but uninvolved,
uninformed and un-opinionated are not among
When he's not putting in a
traditional day's work as the managing director
of U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffrey's Poulsbo office,
he's attending city council meetings as an elected
council member, sitting in as a board member
of a Kitsap Regional Economic Development Council
(KREDC) meeting, spearheading a "wiring Kitsap"
Telecom Committee meeting, attending Rotary,
spending time with his family, penning a magazine
article or riding his Harley Davidson through
the streets of Poulsbo, the Kitsap Peninsula
or, time permitting, en route to Sturgis.
We to trap the 46-year old
executive whirlwind in one place long enough
to get his take on the state of the (financial)
market, on Kitsap's business market and on why
being "wired" could play an increasingly big
role in both.
KBJ: This has been an especially difficult
and interesting year for the stock market. What's
your take on what's happened so far and what's
Stern: It's always (laughs) an interesting
time in the market since the market's always
changing and shifting. We're just seeing more
media coverage right now and a correction to
a market that wasn't being understood properly.
KBJ: How was the market misunderstood?
Stern: I think it's a huge misconception
- one that's perpetuated by the media - that
the market is characterized by a "bear" or a
"bull" market. To say that the market is an
"up" or "bull" market or a "down bear" market
is misleading and besides, we've got the animals
all wrong. Seriously!
There are two other barnyard
animals that are much more appropriate to how
the financial market reacts.chickens and pigs.
Pigs are motivated by greed, chickens by fear.
I think that it's safe to say that 1998 and
1999, in particular, were pig markets. A lot
of what happened in the market was motivated
KBJ: But aren't most of us investing
in the market motivated by growth and greed?
Stern: Sure, but I think we've had almost
a "casino" mentality (making) excessive investments
with little regard to fundamentals. It really
became no different than going to Clearwater
There was this huge and somewhat
irrational belief in the "new age economy."
To a large extent it acted almost like a Ponzi
scheme or a pyramid scheme (where) a bunch of
people throw money into a pot and the pot pays
out and the scheme works out until the last
person in the scheme says no. Suddenly, no one
can get paid because the chain's been broken.
Here in Kitsap County we have
a large retirement population not to mention
a rapidly aging Baby Boomer population (all
across the) country. I tell my four hundred
clients that it's not about getting rich but
about maintaining lifestyle. I'm big on recommending
bonds but I think diversification is the key,
including some dividend-paying stocks and other
pools of investments.
KBJ: So do you think the market's in
safer waters for a while?
Stern: Well, there's an old saying that
"a rising tide lifts all boats." The market
really deserved what happened and it needed
As for the future, I think
we've got some interesting challenges ahead
of us. The Baby Boomer generation is aging and
will have a huge effect on the market in the
mid-part of the next decade. We (the Baby Boom
generation) are not a generation about delaying
gratification! I think that, much like the pyramid
scheme we talked about earlier, if careful planning
isn't done, we could see a similar scenario.
I think that what folks will need to learn is
that it's not always about net income but sometimes
about net outgo or outflow.
KBJ: You've got a unique perspective
on Kitsap County not only through your work
but also through your position on City Council
and with the Kitsap Regional Economic Development
Council. What's your take on Kitsap County's
Stern: Well, I'd love to see the county
come to peace with its geography. What I mean
by that is that we should look at our past and
the role that our geography has played to help
us determine our future.
A significant chunk of Kitsap's
history in the last century has revolved around
timber and fishing or ocean harvesting. We had
timber to cut for the growing San Francisco
market and we had the ports and waterways to
float the timber out or ship it out on boats.
We also had oysters and oyster
farming became an economy for the region and
then later fishing. Along the same lines, the
water and ports caught the attention of the
Navy and then we became a community that had
the military as an economic factor.
Now, very little of that either
plays a role in Kitsap's real economy or at
least (in the case of the Navy) plays a major
role in generating tax revenues. Instead we're
seeing people commute to work using roads and
ferries and highways and we then need to revamp
and build up that infrastructure.an infrastructure
that was never part of our original geography.
KBJ: How seriously do you think the rise
in commuting is affecting the county?
Stern: Well, there's no question about
it. And at lots of different levels. For one
thing, we all know that the region's highways
and transportation systems are inadequate for
the demands being placed on it. This impacts
the environment, it impacts people's ability
to work and work effectively and it impacts
their ability to spend time in their community
and with their families.
If you work outside of your
community, you're spending a big part of your
income outside of that community. That means
that the community you live in isn't getting
the business or the benefit of your spending
dollars.they're going somewhere else. And how
can you have a community where people technically
live but where they never physically are? That's
not a community.not really. I think that people
who can spend more time with their family and
their neighborhood make for larger degrees of
giving back to the community and in developing
stronger social nets.
KBJ: So is there an answer while still
considering growth concerns?
Stern: I think there are a number of
answers including telecommuting. With the proper
infrastructure of (telecommunications) wiring
and a commitment to telecommunications technology,
there's no reason that people in Olalla and
Kingston and Poulsbo can't work out of their
home. They're doing it successfully in other
parts of the country, places like Golden (Colorado)
and Boca Raton (Florida) and they're doing it
successfully utilizing videoconferencing, high-speed
(data) lines, etc.
If people could work out of
their homes, even part-time, the benefits would
be amazing. We'd be keeping dollars in the community,
creating a (bigger) tax base and taking pressure
off of the ferry system, the roads and the environment.
I'm convinced that if you offered the majority
of commuters an opportunity to work out of their
home as opposed to commuting into Seattle every
day, the majority of them would be happy to
take a pay cut - maybe twenty percent or even
thirty percent - just to avoid the loss and
waste of time and energy.
What attracted me to Poulsbo
and made me want to move here and live here
was the whole "best of both worlds" environment
that we have here. We have this beautiful, green
environment and then there's Seattle just a
boat ride away for cultural activities and social
activity that's part of a "big city."
But it's one thing to have
the option of going over to Seattle for culture
and enjoyment and having to go there everyday
and spending hours each day doing it just to
work. And just think what the community could
do with the dollars added through the additional
local business and taxes, not to mention the
dollars saved from not having to build out roads
beyond what's reasonable if we want to maintain
an environment that we love.
KBJ: You mentioned that you moved to
Poulsbo after falling in love with the location.
Where did you move from?
Stern: Livingston, Montana. After earning
my degree in special education at the University
of California Berkeley, I taught special education
and did (what used to be called) Title 1 grant
writing for grades one through twelve.
At that time, getting special
education funding was tough and was based on
your ability to raise those grant monies; I
was successful enough at it that it caught the
eye of the City of Livingston and they asked
me to step in and (laughs) do their grant writing!
The next thing I knew I was administering $9
million in community development monies for
projects like senior housing. Ultimately, I
became the assistant to the mayor, a position
that's sometimes called a city administrator.
It was while I was visiting
Seattle in 1984 for business that I fell in
love with the area. We visited Port Townsend
to see their "Main Street" development projects
and traveled through Kitsap and I fell in love
with the green and the ferries.
A few years later (in 1986)
I was approached by Edward Jones to train in
investments and earn my Series 7 license. The
understanding was that I could then open a new
office for them and I chose Poulsbo. They thought
I was crazy (laughs) in not choosing someplace
bigger like Seattle but they stuck by their
deal and I wound up in a beautiful place.
KBJ: Are there other ways, besides telecommunications
and business growth, to foster stronger communities
in Kitsap County?
Stern: Sure, and I think one of those
ways is to simply get involved. Besides City
Council and the KREDC, I chose Rotary as one
of the key ways for me to stay involved in the
community and in community issues.I can't recommend
it enough to others.
I've also gotten involved
in other specialty projects that I thought were
important (including) becoming part of an advisory
group to the board of the Friends of Olympic
College, Kitsap Campus. That group, for example,
helped make a local campus a reality, including
site selection and funding. That's a good example
of how community involvement can play a role
in having actually 'say' within a community.
Wet Apple Inc., 2000 - 2001