Letters to the Editor

What is the point of pro-Navy resolutions? | Letters


Why do we have pro-Navy resolutions on the agenda? What purpose does it serve other than to be more divisive?

The implied reason is in response to the lawsuit filed by Citizens of Ebeys Reserve (COR) with respect to the Navy’s utilization of the Outlying Field, the new Growler and the alleged health hazards.

But the real reason these resolutions hit the agenda of political meetings is that they provide a litmus test to see where your politician stands on a particular issue.

It forces politicians to take a stand when often they don’t want to.

The first test was the Oak Harbor City Council. That was more of a feel good moment as every member of the city council and mayor had an “I Love Jet Noise” T-shirt on. So all we learned there was Oak Harbor is still in lock step with the Navy and its mission.

The more interesting litmus test was the Island County Commissioners meeting Aug. 12.

The pro Navy resolution was sponsored by Kelly Emerson, who showed up with an “I Love Jet Noise” T-shirt, so we knew where she stood.

Jill Johnson’s district is Oak Harbor, so we knew where she stood.

The first real test of the pro-Navy resolution was for Helen Price Johnson. She was put in a difficult situation as the wording of the resolution included support of the Navy’s training mission at OLF.

Price Johnson attempted to deal with the issue by amending the resolution to take out “support training at the OLF” to just “support Navy training.”

That request was rejected.

Then came the vote. Emerson and Johnson voted for the resolution. Price Johnson abstained — so we were left with questions. She either didn’t want to vote as a rebuke to the other two who didn’t want her compromise, or she just didn’t want to anger either side, or she just didn’t want to participate in the “litmus test.”

For whatever reasons, we really don’t know where she stands.

I’ll give you an analogy — You know when you go to a sporting event and you sing the national anthem before the game. Why do we do that? The same reason the pro-Navy resolutions come forward.

It is a litmus test of the crowd around you. You see them — the ones who stand straight up, hat off, hand on their chest, singing the national anthem with gusto — that’s the Oak Harbor mayor, city council, Emerson and Johnson.

Then there are those who stand up silently so they blend in, but you don’t see them singing, just trying to be one of the crowd — that’s Price Johnson.

Then there are the ones — you know — you see them — they stand up, but they talk and laugh with their friends through the entire national anthem — that might be Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard and the Coupeville Town Council.

I and the rest of the crowd respectfully request that the Mayor of Coupeville and the Coupeville Town Council stand up and sing.

Thomas Koloske
Oak Harbor


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