Letters to the Editor

Keep an eye on Oak Harbor

What next?

Oak Harbor residents who supported Mayor-elect Scott Dudley cannot turn their backs now. Dudley will need all the public support he can muster (and a healthy dose of leadership) to unite what will almost certainly be a dysfunctional city government without “we the people” shining a very bright light on them all.

Why? Because this election is neither a rejection of the council’s approach, nor an endorsement of Dudley’s. If it were, incumbents would have been swept from office, or at least challenged more strongly. On the other hand, if Dudley’s point of view was not resonating, he would not have been elected despite the greater apparent muscle of Mayor Slowik.

Consequently, there is no reason for council members to abandon their approach, or for Dudley to abandon his own. But, fair warning: this is a recipe for paralysis of governance. Unless, that is, “we the people” keep close tabs on them all, and make our feelings known. We must not settle for political sniping, which is no substitute for constructive forward movement. If we hit the snooze button til the next election, Oak Harbor will go places none of us want it to go. If this happens, shame on Oak Harbor’s elected leaders, and shame on us.

Let’s start the healing process by thanking Mayor Slowik. I have publicly questioned several policies Jim has supported, but I have never questioned Jim’s commitment to Oak Harbor or his incredible work ethic as mayor. Thanks, Jim.

Mayor-elect Dudley (I do not you know well enough to use your first name), you must walk that chalk line of staying true to the beliefs that brought you into office, while realizing they were not the only beliefs ratified by the electorate. You have my support.

Paul Newman
Oak Harbor


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