Letters to the Editor

Park & Rec directors: Pool director treated poorly

I attended the North Whidbey Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night. I had expected to learn something about the proposal to give $20,000 to fund a Boys and Girls Club program. Since I voted for the pool levy to allocate funds for the repair and maintenance of the pool, I was concerned that the funds be used for that purpose only, especially since the needed repairs have not been completed.

That issue was not decided Tuesday night, but another issue was. The contract of Jim Shulock, pool director, was up for renewal. The board went into executive session behind closed doors to discuss his performance evaluation. The 20 minutes allocated for this discussion stretched into well over an hour. When the open meeting resumed, the commissioners began the motion process to decide the details of the contract renewal. According to two of the commissioners, Jim Shulock’s evaluation was positive. These two commissioners were obviously surprised by motions to renew Jim’s contract for one year instead of two, and then not to renew the contract at all. Apparently this action had been discussed by only three of the five board members. These same two commissioners subsequently walked out of the meeting, refusing to be party to what one commissioner called “unethical” proceedings.

My family has used the pool regularly for over 10 years. My son has competed on the swim team for over five years. I’ve witnessed first hand the valuable and significant improvements to the pool facility and staff under Jim’s direction. The commissioners aren’t required by law to explain their reasons for failing to renew his contract. Perhaps it is time that they be required to explain their actions.

We have lost a valuable asset. Maybe it is not too late to rectify this grievous mistake. It is time for more of the public to get involved before our pool is completely in the hands of commissioners who publicly admit that they voted against the pool levy.

Julie Wilson

Oak Harbor

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