Commissioners' Office, MS-4
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA, 98366
Phone:(360)337-7146 * Fax:(360)337-4632

Robert Gelder, District 1 Commissioner
March 2011

Commissioner Robert Gelder was born and raised in a small upstate New York community where his family still resides. Robert was Salutatorian for his high school graduating class in 1984. He went on to receive a degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester in 1988. He also...

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County Government and its Service to the People
Prior to joining the Board of County Commissioners in March 2011, I spent my career working in not-for-profit, mission-driven organizations. I believe the County exists to provide service to our community. The challenge before us is to meet the service demands that citizens require given the budgetary constraints that currently exist.

My priorities include efficient and effective government in the current economy – maintaining Kitsap’s quality of life and promoting business vitality – advocating for our most vulnerable residents and veterans – and keeping Kitsap safe – and, above all, service.

In the coming months and years, we – as a community – need to have the conversation about what our government looks like and what level of services it can provide in a sustainable manner. As with many businesses in the area, we constantly need to evaluate the size and functions of government that can be maintained.

Some people were born in Kitsap and many, like me, have lived all across the country but choose to call Kitsap home. We live in a great community that holds tremendous natural beauty and economic potential. As we move forward in the years to come, we need to balance the natural splendor with creating a community that is nimble and responsive to the development of current and future economic sectors. The preservation of forestland and open space isn’t just about the environment. It’s about creating a regional draw that will bring people to live, work and play on the “Natural Side of Puget Sound.”

With cuts coming from the state and federal levels, it’s crucial that we lend our voice to advocate for our neighbors in need. It’s vital that we are actively working with all levels of government to ensure that crucial programs continue to serve the members of our community, whether that be mental health or job training.

I would challenge us to think of safe communities beyond the availability of law enforcement. Safety comes in many forms – from safe roads and infrastructure, to safe buildings and homes, to safe parks and trails.

As I serve you as County Commissioner, I will always be on the ready to listen and learn. Our community is filled with tremendous people who work tirelessly to create a local vision and to make that vision come true. You are the potential our community holds. Together we can keep Kitsap great!


Last Updated:  March 17, 2016