When you work as a reporter or editor for a newspaper, some people get the impression you have no heart, no feelings. Case in point, a caller this week questioned why it was necessary to publish an article about her family member who was charged with a felony crime and appeared in Island County Superior Court.
They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the street, but that’s not always so, particularly when it comes to Whidbey Island first responders.
The fallout from Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley’s spate of firings continued this week as his former executive assistant settled a wrongful termination claim for $182,500. The exact amount Dudley’s actions have cost the city and its insurance provider is a matter of debate, but what’s clear is that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been wasted and it has affected the city’s ability to attract talented employees. Renee Recker and her attorney Chris Skinner argued that Dudley violated state and federal protections for ailing and disabled people.
The sculpture of a large octopus proposed for downtown Oak Harbor — a piece being referred to as a “Kraken” — is certainly fulfilling one objective of good art — it has people thinking and talking about it. I’ve gone back and forth in my opinion about this particular piece. I feel differently about it at different times. And I kind of like that.
Where there is life, there is risk. That’s not some insightful quotation, it’s just a fact. We’re exposed to risk from the moment we get up in the morning – slip and fall, dog bite, traffic accident, lightning strike. We can manage risk, we can minimize risk, but we cannot eliminate it.
Struggling to stay afloat amidst unprecedented revenue losses and subsequent staff reductions, in 2009 the Island County Board of Commissioners scaled back services by closing select departments to the public on Fridays. It was a prudent move at the time, designed to provide remaining and overburdened employees with time to catch their breath and make a dent in an ever-increasing backlog of work.
Island County Board Commissioners will soon consider whether to follow a Law and Justice Council recommendation to put a $2.6-million law-and-justice measure on the ballot. The commissioners should allow voters to decide.