Whidbey letter was damaging to politician
August 19, 2008 · Updated 9:53 PM
The editorial policy of printing letters to the editor containing obvious lies and deliberate misinformation is wrong and dangerous to our democratic process. This is the case regarding the letter attacking Mac McDowell in the Aug. 9 Whidbey News-Times. The letter went far outside the realm of political rhetoric. Opponents to Mac’s campaign should be honest and not try to deceive the public. Printing such a letter makes you complicit in deliberately misinforming the voting public.
I have known Mac for years. He does not own any property south of town or any property capable of development anywhere except for a single-family house lot adjacent to his home in Oak Harbor both of which he has owned for over 30 years. One needs only to check either the PDC records or county records. It was wrong for the letter writer to not have done this background work prior to sending his letter. Twenty minutes on the free library computer would have provided him the facts.
The letter writer also tries to confuse people by saying there was a rezone of property from AG use to residential or some other use in the APZ (Accident Potential Zone). If people have either AG or residential property, they still have the same. What they can’t do is build a school, church, large day care center below the landing pattern. This makes sense. There have been nine crashes in the landing pattern at NAS Whidbey since 1975. I can imagine the outcries if a plane ever crashed into a school the county permitted directly in the landing pattern. Fortunately, that won’t ever happen because Mac is willing to take the heat and not allow high density building below the landing pattern.
The Boyer property is different. It is inside the city limits. One can expect high density in the city more than in the county. The Boyer property is located immediately below the takeoff and landing end of a runway. Can you imagine the potential catastrophe if a box store or mini mall had been built there? Before the Boyer property was bought the Oak Harbor City Council, mayor, Board of County Commissioners, Base Commander, Navy Region NW Admiral, Gov. Gregoire, and the Secretary of the Navy all had to agree. Its preposterous to believe all of those people were in some vast conspiracy to make Mac rich as the writer of the letter would have you believe.
Mac McDowell is simply a leader who is protecting our community from ever having NAS Whidbey close or having our community or state being required to buy up millions of dollars of encroached property to prevent closure as is being done at NAS Oceana, Va., for the next 20 years. Mac works diligently at all levels, local, state, and federal to ensure the largest employer north of Boeing does not close. He also deserves the respect of our newspaper to not print obvious mistruths about his personal holdings. The News-Times should strive for a higher standard.