Langley mayor drafts operating principles


Mayor Fred McCarthy’s operating principles for Langley City Hall read a bit like a good behavior list in an elementary school.

The former teacher and superintendent of South Whidbey schools presented his draft of 23 principles to the city council. At the top of the list is, “We treat everyone we meet in the city with consideration and respect.” It’s followed by a similarly elementary rule: “We seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

“This is the way we want to do business each day,” McCarthy told the council at its meeting June 3.

More business-centric points exist on the list, like “we operate a lean and efficient personnel structure.”

Further down the list, the principles become more specific. One has city staff returning phone calls within 24 hours, generally.

“Writing these down is not to say we haven’t already been doing them,” McCarthy said. “It’s more a commitment to continuous improvement.”

Councilwoman Rene Neff agreed with the principles, even as obvious as they may seem. City Hall is, after all, a public entity.

“As a (retired) teacher, remembering that we are public servants and that here we are public servants, there’s an expectation that our citizens have of how we conduct ourselves,” she said.


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