Letters to the Editor

Timing curious on state Sen. Haugen's new office

In all the hub-a-baloo over the legality of Mary Margaret Haugen’s district office in Oak Harbor? I think some folks missed the point. The point simply is, why now?

Mary Margaret has been in office nearly 26 years. I asked around and as far as I can tell she has never once had a district office. Never once received permission for an additional staff person.

Mary Margaret Haugen in her own Whidbey News-Times words described Oak Harbor as the center of her district, and a place where she has always had problems. But apparently, despite these facts she has only just now felt the need to locate a district office on the island, during a critical election year.

Why couldn’t it have been done all her other years in office? Was there no rental space available?

If Mary Margaret cared as much about representing this district as she did about appearing to represent it maybe we would have a fully operable ferry system. She is after all the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Whether that office is legal or not isn’t the issue. The heart of the issue is why, during an election cycle, she opened an office on the very island she apparently forgot was in her district during the last two decades when there was plenty of time to ward off our current transportation problems.

Chris Strow and Norma Smith opened district offices their first year in office. And they did it in lieu of having an office open in Olympia. Mary Margaret was granted an additional staff person for this year. She didn’t close her Olympia office or relocate her staff person. She opened a new office, hired another staff person and she did it all at taxpayer expense in a year when voters have a very viable candidate to vote for other than her.

You don’t think that office is political? My daddy always said, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck!

Jamie Diane

Oak Harbor

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