Letters to the Editor

City needs real change

I would like to thank Mayor Patty Cohen in this newspaper’s “Sound Off” column of Aug. 4, entitled, “What to look for in a mayor,” with helping me confidently decide who to support for mayor of Oak Harbor. She speaks to being an incisive thinker and artful leader, serving with distinction and integrity, high professionalism and ethical standards of the office, and being of humble servitude to Oak Harbor.

The mayor has been none of these in dealing with 80 percent of the property owners in the Dillard Addition neighborhood. Since March, we have dealt with an obstinate mayor and the administrative staff under her control that have impeded any progress in settling the issue of a questionable sewer system that the city is trying to dump on us. Please refer to “Dillard residents angered, allege obstruction by city,” from the Aug. 11 Whidbey News-Times.

With the patient leadership of Councilwoman Sue Karahalios, the city council approved the formation of a committee to look into this issue. Apparently, the mayor had no intention of allowing these average citizens of Oak Harbor to have any meaningful input into this matter because she blocked the use of video and audio taping of public open meetings (violating the Public Open Meetings Act of 1998), disbanded a recognized (by her city manager) committee with no stated reason, dismissed committee members with no stated reason, formed a new committee and manipulated the membership, etc. She even told Councilwoman Karahalios that she didn’t want her involved, in fact, wanted her to withdraw her original motion to form a committee.

After five months of attending numerous city council meetings, council workshops, sewer ad hoc committee meetings, and our own Dillard advisory committee meetings, I have had ample opportunity to watch our city government in action. The one person that does stand out as doing their homework and having knowledge of proper procedure (which protects the city) is Sue Karahalios. She continues to show me that she cares about all the citizens of Oak Harbor.

In my opinion, anyone that the mayor endorses is just more of the same special interest politician with the same old power brokers supporting them. I will vote for real change.

Duane Dillard

Oak Harbor

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