Opinion

Oak Harbor mayor keeps campaign promise | Editorial

Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley didn’t waste any time following through with one important campaign promise: He said he would start televising standing committee meetings and it wasn’t long after he took office in January that it was a done deal.

Using his discretionary mayoral funds, Dudley commenced the televising of those committee meetings composed of a minority of city council members dealing with particular areas of government.

There are four standing committees: Finance, Government Services, Public Safety and Public Works. Each deals with its own important area of civic government and is regularly updated by city staff.

Oak Harbor’s political junkies no doubt love the programs. Finance Director Doug Merriman, for example, presents a wealth of financial information on how the city’s budget is tracking. It was surprising to recently hear that sales tax revenue is down some $125,000 from what was projected. Since Merriman always makes conservative projections, this is not good news.  Finance Committee members now know to watch the sales tax revenues closely.

City Services Direct Steve Powers, speaking to the Government Services Committee, gave a thorough presentation on the costs involved with looking for Native American artifacts at the Pit Road site where dirt from the Pioneer Way project was dumped.

It’s always interesting to hear updates from the fire chief and police chief on what’s happening in their departments. Members of the Public Safety Standing Committee ask good questions and the setting allows detailed answers, as opposed to a regular city council meeting when time is of the essence.

Finance Committee meetings are shown on cable channel 10 Sunday at 2 p.m., Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., and Friday at 6 p.m.; Government Services Standing Committee meetings are shown Sunday at noon and 10 p.m., Wednesday at 4 p.m., and Friday at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Public Safety Standing Committee meetings are  shown Sunday at 4 p.m., Wednesday at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Friday at 2 p.m.; Public Works Standing Committee meetings are shown Sunday at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m., and Friday at noon and 10 p.m.

The meetings are well worth watching and one of the best parts is, there’s no commercials.

 

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