Rumors are circulating insinuating that Inclusive Langley is harassing private citizens who oppose them and that The Record is covering up this “story” (see Lisa Schulte’s letter “Small town paper tells one-sided story”). Today I reviewed documents previously unavailable to me that, in my respect for truth and justice, led me to review dozens of other related emails, articles, letters and comments. That review opened my eyes.
Belinda Griswold emailed a records request to the city on Jan. 24, and the documents were ready on Jan. 27. On Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, I emailed the city my input on the inclusive city issue. On Feb. 9, Matt McDowell of Inclusive Langley cc’d me his rebuttal to the city of my emails, to which I replied that day.
On Feb. 10, Mayor Tim Callison alerted me to a problem, writing, “Shawn, your name was obtained through a Public Records Request from Belinda Griswold, AKA Sanctuary Langley. It was not emailed by the City to their list. I have advised the South Whidbey Record of their abusive activities.” Naturally, this information set me against Inclusive Langley and harmed my view of them.
Fast forward to Lisa Schulte’s recent letter. I don’t know who started the rumors, but the rumor mill kicked into high gear in the comments to Ms. Schulte’s letter, with numerous commenters “enhancing” those rumors into the class of “alternative facts.” Robin Black-Callison claims to “personally know of a handful of people this has happened to.” However, the only “victim” she subsequently produced is me, and I’m not a victim.
Sue Van Etten is correct when she commented, “Shawn [that’s me] shared his emails with a member of our group (Fran Abel) himself.” I did so on Feb. 9, in a private response to a public comment she’d made about the then-upcoming community meeting. Influenced by the claimed abuses by Inclusive Langley, I wrote Mr. McDowell on Feb. 12 about my considerable discomfort with my emails being forwarded into the group email list and his apparent ad hominem attack on me. However, his reply the next day cleared up my misunderstandings.
How about we move beyond further spreading harassment and coverup rumors now? Our community has too many important issues to address to waste so much time, energy, and other resources on petty, childish and unfounded accusations.