Island Transit couple rides into sunset together

Chuck and Sandra Kuykendall are retiring together from Island Transit, effective Jan. 15. - Submitted photo
Chuck and Sandra Kuykendall are retiring together from Island Transit, effective Jan. 15.
— image credit: Submitted photo

As of Jan. 15, Island Transit must say goodbye and good luck to two longtime employees who are retiring, Chuck Kuykendall, maintenance supervisor, and Sandra Kuykendall, administration and finance manager.

“For many years, both Chuck and Sandra have given their unwavering service, commitment, and invaluable contributions to Island Transit,” said Martha Rose, executive director. “Though it is with great sadness that we see them go, we wish them all the best and we’re happy knowing that they have a great number of adventures ahead.”

Sandra has been with Island Transit for 11 years, and Chuck for 12, but both have long careers in the public transportation business, she at Community Transit and he at Metro in King County. But their years at Island Transit have been the best by far, according to Sandra.

“I went from the worst to the best,” she said with a laugh. “Everybody wants to work here, it’s a true family situation.”

The couple have been married 16 years and live in Coupeville, which they will continue to call home. Sally’s roots go back 30 years in the community. Her son Ben Biskovich was co-captain of the high school football team, and her daughter Sally Biskovich was homecoming queen in 1989. She’s also proud of another daughter, Amy, who went to school in Coupeville.

“We’re staying,” Sally said. “But we’re going to spend the winter someplace else!” That will be in Southern California with relatives.

As finance manager, Sandra has helped Island Transit through some tough financial times in recent years, which were alleviated when voters approved a sales tax increase last year. That kicked in the first of the year, and the transit system will see the first revenue from it in a couple of months.

Dependent on the sales tax, Island Transit has seen receipts fall by 9 percent in 2008 and 8 percent in 2009, due to the recession. “This will fill in for that,” Sandy said of the new revenue. “It’s scary.”

But her worries are over when it comes to the work place. Soon it’s off to sunny California for a while.

“We’ll be back,” she pledged.

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