South Whidbey Record


EDITORIAL | Commissioners were right to put Emerson on notice

July 10, 2013 · Updated 2:23 PM

Emerson was appropriately scolded Monday by the other two commissioners after going against the board majority.

Contrary to a June 12 work session agreement by the commissioners, Emerson gave notice she’d be attending a public discussion in Oak Harbor.

The meeting was to talk about a possible law and justice levy the commissioners may or may not put on a ballot.

Having two of three commissioners attending a meeting creates a quorum, establishing it as an official government meeting because there are enough board members to take action.

There are rules and procedures that must be met to ensure open public meeting laws are followed.

While no vote was taken during the June 12 workshop, both Commissioner Price Johnson and Commissioner Johnson intent to avoid a quorum was clear.

Only one commissioner would attend their designated meeting in their respective districts to avoid the potential problem.

Oak Harbor is the area Johnson represents.

Emerson attended the Oak Harbor meeting, leading Johnson to pull her attendance.

While Emerson is claiming ignorance of any consensus during the June 12 meeting, her actions reveal a lack of respect for fellow board members and accepted protocol.

Johnson and Price Johnson publicly chastised Emerson for her actions, and rightfully so.

Johnson put Emerson on notice, telling her she may be forced to rescind her support of Emerson as board chairwoman.

As chairwoman, Emerson’s role is to represent and enact the wishes of the majority, not indulge her personal agenda. If Emerson is unable to perform that function, we agree that she shouldn’t be chairwoman.

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