By Ed Jenkins
Last week the Record gave endorsements for the election. But some of the statements made about me and my positions are not accurate and I have been given the opportunity to give my side.
First I was criticized for not volunteering my time at the Port. I asked the editor if he knew of any such volunteer positions, he did not. For years I pleaded with the port to create citizen volunteer groups to bring in the experience our community offers, to no avail. Perhaps with such citizen input the Port would not need to hire so many expensive consultants and have cost over-runs. Curt seemingly took my pleas for accountability with grants to heart. The Port included the necessity for grant applicants to include how the money would actually provide economic benefit. Great, except that only one request provided any such information and the rest still got the money, oh well. So where are the volunteer opportunities I was criticized for missing?
Second that I tried to “hamstring” the marina with a lawsuit. I filed it only after the bond sale was suddenly announced obligating 12,000 taxpayers with no public input. The suit was not dismissed on merit but technical flaws as I am not an attorney. The Record strongly gives the impression that my suit was to completely stop the marina project — not true! The suit is public record and clearly states it is only to temporarily stop the bond sale — until public hearings could be held! I believed that the Port bypassed the taxpayers and felt the public deserved a yes-or-no vote or at least a voice. In what country is democracy considered trying to “hamstring” the effort?
Next is the inaccurate statement that I said Clinton “is beyond saving”! At the forum and meeting with the editor I clearly said that I am not sure it can be saved, very different. My view is that the only way is to create good jobs to bring more disposable income in our neighborhood thus encouraging new businesses. That takes time and Curt’s flashing speed sign will not do the trick. I have given over 30 free seminars on emergency preparation, car care for women, worked with the Senior Center, driven seniors to doctor appointments, mentored women in business and much more. In what universe is that abandoning my community?
Finally, the galling statement about my demeanor and ability to work with others. The reality is that most of those critical have never met me, have never worked with me in any group or committee. Most of the attitude started with a few angry over my attempt to bring a free “Welcome to Langley” sign. Langley had been working on a sign for nine years and could not stand for me to succeed in weeks with a totally free sign when they could not, so vicious rumors were spread. Langley finally did get a sign but it cost taxpayers over $4,000 from the Port and when the sun shines shadows obscure it! All I ask voters is to get first-hand information from me, understand my positions and not believe rumors or false statements.
Editor’s note: The South Whidbey Record stands by its endorsements and the accuracy of the said editorial.