Letters to the Editor

Sipes’ contract should be extended and increased | Letter


I don’t even know how to start this letter. I am getting so emotional just thinking about what’s going on in Oak Harbor.

The oak tree was bad enough. My poor husband had to listen to my ranting for days.

Now the marathon director gets attacked. I am just shaking my head, wondering if Mayor Scott Dudley has any positive vision for Oak Harbor.

This cannot be serious.

My husband and I have run this race multiple times. This year, we immediately agreed that this was the best ever.

We planned on mailing Tamra Sipes our respect and acknowledge her effort to pull this excellent event off, but life’s pace made us forget. She put on an amazing race that proved her outstanding organizational skills.

The participants we talked to all voiced the same opinion: “Excellent!” I cannot recall that they were “friends” of Sipes.

What a weird comment from the mayor, anyway.

We complete numerous races a year and are able to compare to other events. I was so pleased to see: race course videos; participants list organized according to age group, posted days before the race; clear communication about details runners need to know and worry about; complimentary race photos offered; and the kids race.

Ms. Sipes made some money. Well, obviously she deserved it. We live in a society where hard work, risk taking and great effort get rewarded.

Don’t we?

These are exactly the reasons that her income is justified. Is there a personal problem that is about to overrule the public opinion on this race and its race director? Be professional, Mr. Mayor.

The mayor should be proud that this thoroughly organized event happened in his town. He was there, all smiles.

Oak Harbor made a name for itself. Runners came from numerous states and countries, and they will be back and more will come, because great events attract great crowds.

Oak Harbor could use this momentum and build on it: become “Running Central” on Whidbey. One could build more businesses around it, attract more people on weekends, holidays and vacation for smaller events, running series, camps, etc.

There is a lot of very capable potential in town that should be used to expand this success, and obviously Ms. Sipes has proven experience to coordinate something like this.

Her contract should for sure be extended and a bonus for attracting more participants be included since the city will benefit from greater numbers, too.

Obviously, the mayor wants to follow a different logic, a logic that I cannot see. A logic that says: Don’t become successful in Oak Harbor — you might lose your job.

Christina Bromme



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