Letters to the Editor

Shameful idea for chairwoman

This editorial opinion of the Nov. 19 Whidbey News-Times cited the “routine” annual rotation of the chairwomanship among the Island County Board of Commissioners as a “missed opportunity” to select Kelly Emerson for the position. Instead, the most available opportunity was the one taken: leaving the loose cannon in chocks so it would not destroy the ship.

Fittingly, the editorial cited her frivolous lawsuits and pending fines for her obstructive behavior and contempt for county law and directives. An in a News-Times pre-election blurb last year, she was adjudged to be a fitting replacement at the board. A known scofflaw! For shame!

No sooner was she able to get her hands on the board’s stationery that she threatened a lawsuit against another county over a purported water purity problem. Fortunately the county prosecutor and the other commissioners let her know immediately that it was beyond the scope of her authority to act unilaterally. Appoint her a chairwoman? For shame!

Recognizing that the newcomer needed guidance to become proficient in her new position, the sitting commissioners prudently suggested a mutual retreat to break the ice, exchange ideas and develop guidelines for an interactive relationship. Emerson rebuffed them declaring she felt it was a “you guy’s thing,” as she continues to distance herself from the other members at public meetings by placing her chair and standing apart from them. Mature behavior? For shame!

Now approaching one year in office, Emerson excuses the absence of her own plan for any given problem, excusing also her inability to marshal facts and knowledge relevant to a specific question by citing, ad nauseum, the short duration of her investiture. Go figure.

John Dean was fortunate to have as fledgling co-ministers two intelligent, committed women whose learning curve have catapulted them into that top level of professional competence we demand from our public servants. On the other hand, Kelly Emerson was, at the time of her election, and remains today, unfit to wear the epaulette, much less to carry the hod of county government.

The editorial attempts to sidetrack us by playing the party card. This episode is not about political identity, but good government. The standing issue is competence and integrity; who has it and who does not.

Cyril L. Greig
Oak Harbor


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