Robert Gelder, District 1 Commissioner
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
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
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