Emerson critic too quick to criticize
January 25, 2011 · Updated 1:48 PM
This in response to Ms. Jan Pickard’s letter to the editor, “Emerson should not have voted,” which stated: “Kelly Emerson’s first vote as an Island County commissioner was ‘no’, to contracts with mental health professionals who provide counseling services to low-income people. Ms. Emerson said she hadn’t had enough time to study the contracts. It seems it would have been prudent for her to abstain from voting, rather than representing an opinion, if she didn’t know what she was voting for.”
I listened to the audio recording of that commissioners’ meeting and heard Kelly explain why she was not prepared to vote “for” something she had not had time to research. That’s a good reason for a commissioner not to vote “for” an agenda item.
Emerson did not vote “an opinion” as stated by Ms. Pickard. On the county recording Emerson also clearly states she could not vote “present” so, as she understood it; her only option was to vote “no.” I hope Emerson and other elected officials never vote for anything they don’t understand.
Maybe Ms. Pickard should have recused herself from writing her opinion on the vote. She has a vested interest in the outcome. She is one of county’s contractors involved in the agenda’s approval of continued funding for her service.
Ms. Pickard was appointed to the county citizens’ committee as one of the Town of Coupeville’s choices for Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve Trust Board. I feel a citizen serving on an advisory board would think about their first few weeks when they were “new,” and cut another new person just a tad bit of slack.
Ms. Pickard, as a mental health professional, should have managed her criticism more professionally instead of performing like a political activist.