EDITORIAL | Lawmaker updates are appreciated

State lawmakers will retreat to Olympia Monday, Jan. 13, for Washington’s 63rd legislative session.

Thankfully, two of our three District 10 representatives are taking the time to update South Whidbey constituents on their agenda and the upcoming session by either meeting with them directly or by making special visits to The Record.

First and foremost, Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, is scheduled to meet with the Clinton Chamber of Commerce from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Clinton Progressive Hall, Highway 525 and Commercial Street. She will be taking questions from the crowd, and with the recent focus on the area’s future and economic prospects, it’s an opportunity the public should not miss.

Secondly, Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano, recently contacted each of Whidbey Island’s newspapers with the express interest of meeting with editors and reporters. The idea is to let us know, and thereby let the public know, what he’s been up to and what he has planned for the 2014 session.

Congressman Rick Larsen, a Democrat, has volunteered to do the same. He will be making one of his annual tours of the Second Congressional District later this month and his aides made sure to extend an offer to meet with the local newspapers.

Whidbey Island does have another representative as well, Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, but an aide with her office in Olympia confirmed Tuesday that the lawmaker will be holding no such meeting on the South End. Bailey will attend a Snohomish County legislative breakfast this week and a League of Women Voters brunch in Oak Harbor this Saturday, both of which will be attended by all three of District 10’s state representatives. But a meeting on South Whidbey does not appear to be on the agenda and it’s a shame. Her predecessor, Mary Margaret Haugen, often visited with South Whidbey residents before the year’s legislative session and they were both informative and valuable.

Those elected officials who are taking the time to meet with South Whidbey residents should be congratulated. They can be daunting ventures as such meetings are almost always attended by supporters and critics alike. But they are rare and special opportunities for the public to meet with and share our concerns with the officials we chose to represent us in Olympia and Washington, D.C.


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