Letters to the Editor

Emerson is not being truthful | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

My family recently received a fundraising letter from Kelly Emerson, the Republican challenger for the Island County Commissioner-District 3 position.

There are few things I detest more than a politician, of whatever party affiliation, that doesn't tell the truth. Most people would agree. That is why I found it hard to understand why Mrs. Emerson would so blatantly stretch the truth in her letter asking for campaign funds.

A three-year island resident and an unemployed electrician, she is challenging Commissioner John Dean making the claim she "has experience managing million dollar budgets with a profitable outcome." That may or may not be true, but at the heart of her challenge are repeated public accusations that Mr. Dean has been fiscally irresponsible mismanaging Island County taxpayer funds.

In the letter's first paragraph she states, "Continuing to blame predecessors when departments have tripled in size under the reign of the current County Commissioners is no longer acceptable."

I'd like to ask Mrs. Emerson, how is it possible that the current board cut over $4.2 million from recent budgets and triple county departments at the same time? The fact is her statement is not true.

There is one department, human services, where it may be true. The prior Republican-dominated board of commissioners approved a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax for mental health programs during Commissioner John Dean's first year in office. This received widespread bipartisan support and has resulted in that department's expansion providing counseling for kids, help for veterans, drug interventions and similar mental health problems.

The facts are every single other department's budgets have been slashed and employees let go, work hours reduced for those remaining, and county services minimized.

This board of commissioners has been fiscally responsible during this economic crisis of reduced revenues. It's impossible to prove otherwise.

In the letter's third paragraph, she states about her opponent, "His powerhouse campaign manager, Senator Mary Margaret Haugen, will soon pull out all the stops. She will be coming after me with everything she can muster."

Now that's a laughable stretch. An elected official acting as a campaign manager for another elected official? Mrs. Emerson, please, give voters some credit for intelligence. The fact is John Dean's campaign has two co-managers, Don Leak and Chris Richards.

If Mrs. Emerson's fundraising letter and her less than truthful public accusations of fiscal mismanagement are indications of how she will act if elected to office, Island County voters beware. No elected official is perfect, and John Dean would be the first to admit he's not.

In my observation of his actions since being elected nearly four years ago, he consistently tells the truth, always acts with integrity and is a man that can be trusted to help guide Island County through these tough times.

Let me end by quoting one of our country's founding fathers, "It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition." — Thomas Jefferson

Paul Booker

Camano Island

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