Letters to the Editor

Stop shouting, support Oak Harbor

I am not a fan of negativity. I fundamentally do not see the point. So it is discouraging to watch the town of Oak Harbor fall victim to these types of thoughts.

Obviously, the situation along Pioneer Way is not ideal. The discovery of bones was a setback for the project, and more importantly for the merchants who saw the light at the end of the tunnel and are now facing a prolonged construction project. These are our friends, and they are scared for their livelihoods. The bones, however, do give us a unique opportunity to learn about our past and celebrate an important part of our community culture.

Instead of looking for someone to blame and getting angry about the situation, we should look at these obstacles for what they are, and look for ways to overcome them. The Chamber of Commerce often talks about shopping locally and why it is important. This isn’t just chamber hype; shopping locally and reinvesting in your own community has real value.

This value includes things like a healthy local economy, sales tax revenue that fund our parks, our transit system, and other community amenities, and keeping local people employed. But those reasons are secondary to the real value which is that it gives us all something positive to do and it allows us to be part of the solution. It is empowering.

Supporting local businesses is an action-driven reminder that we are not victims but active participants in the future of our community and that our choices shape our outcomes.

If you truly want to help Oak Harbor, it’s time to stop shouting each other down and start supporting one another. It’s time to stop worrying about who is taking credit for an idea and embrace the good ones regardless of whose it is; and it’s time to stop finger pointing and look in the mirror and ask yourself what role you can play in pulling this community through difficult times.

Leadership is found in the form of solutions. Character is demonstrated in how we act in times of adversity. It’s time to pick ourselves up, dust off our jeans and join together to become the community we want to be.

That is the Oak Harbor I believe in, it’s the one I know you believe in, and it is the one that will ultimately prevail.

So get out there and invest in the outcome you want. Simply put, the buck stops with you.


Jill Johnson
Executive director
Oak Harbor Chamber

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