I got a new puppy on Friday, an Australian Cattle Dog. It’s a breed renowned for its energy, dedication, loyalty and intelligence. He has a blue coat, brown feet, a black patch over one eye and will soon have pricked ears. In recognition of those qualities, and in tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, we named him Mr. Spock.
Today is the last day of Sunshine Week, a nationwide celebration created by journalists to shed light on our country’s state and federal freedom of information laws. And if you haven’t noticed The Record has been writing quite a bit about transparency recently. In this very issue are two stories about officials at two Whidbey public entities — Langley and the South Whidbey School District — who are looking to improve their responsiveness, their efficiency and dedication to the Washington Open Public Records Act.
Monday was a big night for Langley. City officials and the Kleiners, the Issaquah couple who own the famed Dog House Tavern on First Street, seem to have hammered out an agreement that will work for them both. And in so doing, this historic property, one that just about everyone has a memory of, appears to have escaped the wrecking ball.
More and more often these days one hears elected officials from a range of small governments say they’d rather not talk to the newspaper. I’m just an individual, they say, and can’t speak for the board. Contact an administrator or designated spokesman. Rubbish.
During the past several weeks, I’ve had some interesting and enlightening conversations with a few key people in the community, both on North and Central Whidbey. There seems to be a common thread — a belief, really — that things are getting better every day.
While Island Transit clearly has much to do to rebuild the bus system — and the public trust — we are encouraged by interim IT Director Ken Graska’s grasp of the job ahead. Beyond the financial mess that led to the departure of the previous executive director, we are learning there’s an aging fleet of buses.