Letter: Bacon selflessly volunteers her expertise as HR director


It is important to correct facts when unjust accusations are made. Island County voters deserve facts rather than accusatory half-truths.

I’m writing to comment on a recent letter criticizing Commissioner Melanie Bacon’s acceptance to serve Island County Transit in their time of need. The author’s perspective is that somehow Commissioner Bacon is foregoing her responsibilities as commissioner in doing so. I find the opposite is true.

It’s clear that the writer is supporting a different candidate. I am supportive of his right to back the candidate of his choice but what is not acceptable is to misrepresent facts and question the integrity and motivations of Commissioner Bacon.

As a result of suspensions at Island Transit, the Island County Transit Board of Directors, who include the other Island County commissioners, voted to appoint Commission Bacon to temporarily fill the Human Resources Director role at Island Transit until a permanent HR director could be recruited and hired. Commissioner Bacon was asked to step into this position and accepted at the expense of her personal life, not at the expense of her commissioners’ role. Commissioner Bacon is not being paid to work as the HR director.

I think island residents are fortunate to have a commissioner with over 20 years of experience in HR to manage the intricacies of this process. And I admire Commissioner Bacon for leaning in to this problem for the benefit of Island County residents who depend on this valuable service.

This is exactly the kind of public service and commitment I want to see in my government.

I’d also like to point out the fallacy of transparency the writer chooses to ascribe to Commissioner Bacon. When Commissioner Bacon accepted these responsibilities, she immediately made it public via her newsletter and her Facebook page, the South Whidbey Record made the announcement, and Island County Transit put the notification on their webpage.

Furthermore, every Friday I receive an email from Commissioner Bacon that details, in great detail, the goings on at the county – with transcriptions, names, where things are agreed and disagreed, upcoming meetings and so forth. Melanie has hosted “Tea with Melanie’’ sessions weekly to be available and listen to constituents’ interests. These efforts demonstrate her principled intention that government should be transparent. I have followed local political goings on for many years and have never had this much access or information about what is going on with the county.

This is exactly the transparency and openness I expect in my government.

What we need to solve the complexity of our island is thoughtful leadership, experienced leadership, qualities that are derived from leaning in, listening, and understanding the multitude of opinions and positions we Island Country residents possess. This is a complicated place with complicated problems. Commissioner Bacon possesses and practices experienced and thoughtful leadership Island County requires to move forward.

Thank you for your attention and take care.

Billie and Richard Draves