Letters to the Editor

McDowell heads county 'military regime'

Okay everyone, line up at the Island County Courthouse and get ready to be issued your citizenship papers for the DRI, “Democratic Republic of Island.” Did you know that once you cross over our bridge to the north or touch Island County soil disembarking ferry or boat that you are now in a military run state?

Well, just look at what our senior Island County commissioner has to say in the Sept. 12 edition of the Whidbey Examiner:

“McDowell agreed, saying that working for the county is like working for the military, soldiers follow orders, whether they agree with them or not. Your choices are you do it or you resign.”

This should send chills down any free American’s spine! Our forefathers had the foresight to set up our form of government to protect us from totalitarian rule. Under our U.S. Constitution, martial law can only be called in very dire circumstances. Until Generalissimo “Mac” pointed out how Island County government really works, I thought we had the freedom and right to question government.

How was I to know that the Historical Review Committee, which I thought was a community-minded panel, empowered to act as a check and balance on our county government in respect to development only within the boundaries of the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, was in reality a hotbed of subversive radicals, ready to bring down the all-powerful county government at a moment’s notice?!

Further, “Mac” makes it sound like the HRC are paid employees of Island County. They are, of course, not that at all! They are citizen volunteers who take time out of their busy lives to share their knowledge, experience and judgment without a thought for personal gain.

“Mac’s” insinuation that the HRC volunteers should act like any other county employee or department, simply defeats the checks and balances of government that was intended in the federal legislation that established Ebey’s Reserve.

Maybe I should have seen it coming when, at the July 23 Save Our Reserve Rally, Mac essentially said he didn’t care what a “small group” (over 130 attendees) of people had to say. Instead, he said he would continue to govern his way and using the law as he claims was interpreted by the Island County prosecutor.

Apparently, that’s exactly how he’s trying to remove a board member from the HRC. He claims he has the right to remove Paula Spina, because she was only appointed to fill out an unexpired term of a previous member.

That makes sense, right? However, let’s look at the law -- the Island County Code, which is the LAW. The Island County Code makes no distinction, or provision for, the playing out of a term on the HRC. It clearly and unequivocally states that all appointments are for four-year terms.

It is interesting to note that fellow Commissioner Phil Bakke, who was appointed to that post by Mac, was instrumental in drafting that section of the Island County Code not that long ago. Apparently Mr. Bakke’s skills at writing law is somewhat lacking, and now Mac has to use the prosecutor's office to get around the poorly lettered law. Mac’s big boot print must still be visible on Bakke’s backside!

The bottom line is this: Can we, the free citizens of beautiful Island County, allow this insidious “military regime” to continue to run rampant over the will of the people? It won’t be long before the general election ballots are in your hands. Think carefully about how this county is to be governed for the next four years.

Darrell M. Gray


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