— U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, told two Kitsap County town hall audiences Wednesday he prefers overall systemic budget solutions over “Whac-a-Mole” quick fixes.

Kilmer spoke to about 75 at the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton on Wednesday afternoon, then he made the 30-mile drive to Bainbridge Island’s IslandWood learning center for an audience of about 35. Wednesday’s meetings were two of six this week for the congressman, serving his first term representing Kitsap County, parts of Pierce County and counties to the north and west of here.

Both audiences had questions about sequestration, gun violence and the Wild Olympics proposal. There were some differences. In Bremerton, there was more discussion of sequestration. On Bainbridge, there was a pointed conversation about climate change.

Erika Shriner of Bainbridge Island said Kilmer’s economic priorities were less important than dealing with climate change.

“In 10 years if we look back at that list, we won’t care about that,” she said.

Kilmer said the Department of Defense has been a federal leader in dealing with climate change, because of the impact climatological catastrophes have on the stability of a region.

Meredith Browand of Port Orchard asked at the Bremerton meeting what Kilmer is doing on gun violence. Kilmer said one problem is the federal government is not providing the funds necessary to enforce the laws already on the books. He said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has fewer officers than it has in 40 years and hasn’t had a director confirmed in six years. He also said he believes there could be enough support for a bill dealing with gun-trafficking.

If the two events Wednesday are indicative of the mood nationally, the town hall is once again a relatively safe place for members of Congress. Audience members were polite, for the most part. Sequestration and other budget issues don’t seem to be inciting the anger health care reform did in 2009 when then Congressman Jay Inslee met with a full North Kitsap High School gymnasium in what used to be the 1st Congressional District and former Congressman Norm Dicks met a raucous group in the Harborside Conference Center in the 6th District.

Only once did someone speak out of turn Wednesday, other than the few “amens” during the Bainbridge event. Kilmer was asked in Bremerton what he was doing to stop sequestration.

“I voted for a budget that would have ended sequestration,” he said. “Unfortunately it did not pass. The Paul Ryan budget, which locked sequestration in for the next 10 years, is what passed out of the House.”

That was met by one raised voice from a woman near the back of the room saying “Obama supported the sequestration,” followed by a male voice saying, “He sponsored it.”

Kilmer started each meeting with a PowerPoint presentation where he laid out his favored approach to fixing the economy: cutting spending, simplifying the tax code and growing the economy. Included in the cost savings would be $95 billion the Government Accountability Office found in federal redundancies. Kilmer said he and about 20 to 30 other congressional members who are part of a “bipartisan working breakfast group” might want to see recommendations like that one put to Congress in an up-or-down vote.

On the Wild Olympics proposal fashioned by Dicks and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Kilmer said he is trying to find the “sweet spot” where both preservation and economic development interests are served.

On sequestration, Kilmer said it’s not just bad for workers affected, it’s bad for the economy as a whole. And he repeated what he has said in earlier meetings: that it’s the result of a Congress that’s broken. He said he’s willing to take the “Whac-a-Mole” approach at times to protect constituents in his district, but he said doing that sometimes favors those who know how to be heard by members of Congress and ignores others who don’t, such as lower-income constituents.

Kilmer’s town hall tour continues Friday in Aberdeen and Saturday in Tacoma.