Feedback: County created lynch mentality
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:31 PM
What do you get when you bring together a group of ordinarily good citizens who have been misinformed or outright lied to about the possibility of losing their land, and who have been whipped in a frenzy to create a scapegoat to dump their anger upon? You call such a group a lynch mob. Noose in hand (metaphorically speaking) and heated up by our county commissioners, it was obvious whom these folks came out to hang. The ugliness of the scene was enough to make a sane persons head spin. Heckling, bullying and outright disrespect for the peace and rights of others took place in the very building we send our children to with the hope that they grow up and become informed, productive citizens who work together to solve problems, rather than bully others in order to get what they want.
If the commissioners truly wanted a productive meeting they would have first sent packets of accurate information to people in this community before the meeting. This would have allowed folks to educate themselves on the issues, develop questions and think matters through. I asked everyone sitting near me at this meeting if they had read a packet of info before coming, and no one had. Yet these same people were convinced they knew exactly who to blame for potential changes.
Secondly, teach-ins for small groups of landowners up and down the island would have been extremely helpful. Unbiased, educated group-leaders could have lead people through the information, answered questions and worked with citizens to come up with acceptable solutions.
I hope the people in this community will take time to reflect on what occurred at the May 24, mob meet. All across America property-rights extremists are on the move, pitting neighbors against neighbors, and destroying communities. In the end, thanks to the divide and conquer mentality of these political misfits, developers win, and they win big time.
I think the people and the land to which we are all connected in Island County deserve something better, so lets begin again ... only this time with some real and honest dialogue based on facts, not fiction.