Newspaper story was one-sided, sensationalism


I am the City of Langley finance director and city clerk. I have held that position for over 24 years and have worked in city government for over 27 years. I have been with Langley through good financial times and bad and I know how quickly a loss of revenue or over spending can damage the city’s finances. For that reason, I am very frugal with city funds and I personally look at every expenditure.

When I received our last billing from the city attorney, I took issue with a charge and took that to Mayor Callison. The city’s attorney is not a city employee, but an hourly contracted attorney. He is a highly regarded expert in municipal law and a great and valuable asset to the city. His time is expensive and we use him whenever his services are needed, but do not use him for simple matters that can be resolved with other resources available to us.

If I had a legal dispute with one of my neighbors and my other neighbor wanted to know what was going on and called my attorney to get information and I was billed for that time, I would be understandably angry. For The Record to call the city’s attorney and spend Langley taxpayers’ money, unauthorized, is the same thing. That is why I took the issue to Mayor Callison for action. To then write a one-sided story in the paper was pure sensationalism to sell more papers and keep controversies stirring in the community. The Record has free access to the city and many, many other resources of information without incurring expense for the city.

To suggest that this is a retaliatory action on the mayor’s part is just more sensationalism. I have taken phone calls at home from your reporter asking questions and looking for budget numbers off the top of my head when I have no city documents in front of me and am then quoted in the paper. To ask that you contact the mayor on his city line instead of calling him at all hours on his personal cell phone is reasonable.

It is a wonder that we can still get people to run for election and serve. People who participate in city government quickly find out that every issue considered is an opportunity for them to be publicly vilified in the paper.


Langley city clerk

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Cast vote for Janet St. Clair for Island County commissioner

Editor, This fall’s election is offering us an experienced, committed, engaging, people-oriented… Continue reading

Letter:Shout out to local restaurants for being very child-friendly

Editor, I wanted to take a moment to thank all the restaurants… Continue reading

Letter:A story of ‘adventure’ with WhidbeyHeath referral

Editor, This may amuse other Whidbey residents who’ve dealt with WhidbeyHealth. A… Continue reading

Letter: Drunk driving laws in state need to be reviewed, improved

Editor, I don’t write letters normally, and here I am with the… Continue reading

Letter: Contrast between Trump, Obama could not be any greater

Editor, During the first weekend of September we witnessed a memorial service… Continue reading

Letter: Reasons to elect Janet St. Clair as commissioner

Editor, I’m voting for Janet St. Clair for Island County commissioner 3.… Continue reading

Letter: Buyers beware of the listed property descriptions online

Editor, Talk about ‘caveat emptor.’ I recently submitted a complaint to the… Continue reading

Letter: Ultimate Frisbee a safer sport than football — switch it out

Editor, I read with pleasure the article last week about local Whidbey… Continue reading

Letter: The loud ‘sound of freedom’ drowns out everything else

Editor, It’s 6 p.m. A gorgeous, warm, late summer evening. But we… Continue reading

Letter: Striving to provide the best in recreation programs, parks

Editor, We write this letter to thank the South Whidbey community for… Continue reading

Letter: Restoration project needs experts who’ve walked beach

Editor, Small fish were jumping by the dozens in the Hidden Beach… Continue reading

Letter: Administration spouts lies, nonsense; vote in November

Editor, “Truth isn’t truth.” Come on, Giuliani, what kind of baloney is… Continue reading