Langley attorney opinion isn’t legal counsel, it’s political advice

Editor,

City Attorney Mike Kenyon’s latest legal memo to the mayor/council on the inclusive city ordinance is hypocritical (scroll down to it on the city’s website at www.langleywa.org/6-5-17%20Council%20packet.pdf). In it he declares that, “As City Attorney I am neither for nor against the ordinance” but in his closing remarks he makes his political/ideological position clear when he says: “It makes little sense from a research standpoint for Langley to become a lightning rod in an effort to definitively resolve political and legal issues of national scope.” That is not legal advice. It is political advice, and of exactly the kind Kenyon knew the mayor and at least two council members wanted to hear.

It’s a set-up, benefiting those eager for Langley to continue keeping its head in the sand as our nation fights to keep its soul.

The ”lightning rod” argument has been rubbished time and again. But, if there is even a smidgen of risk, it is if Langley keeps an “inclusive city” resolution and puts up road signs calling attention to itself as an “inclusive city”— without passing an ordinance to give this position protective legal stature. Only a legally binding ordinance protects Police Chief Dave Marks and his crew from “risk.” Kenyon knows this. The Mayor knows this. The two are playing politics. They are red in a blue town.

Political courage is still alive and well in this country, just not here. Sixty-eight (and counting) US cities have formally declared that they will continue to abide by the Paris climate accords no matter what Trump has announced. It’s inexcusable that those leading Langley refuse to take even the very modest step of formally and legally reaffirming this town’s inclusive values, and standing up to the excesses of Trump’s immigration bluster and bullying. The ordinance issue is clearly no longer a legal issue. It’s political, and those Langley leaders who oppose the ordinance need to be replaced as soon as possible by others who share this town’s values.

JOHN GRAHAM

Langley

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