Langley will have to wake up | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
December 10, 2010 · 2:28 PM
To the editor:
It was refreshing to finally see in the Record of Nov. 27, someone like Kathleen Waters stand up for those who resist Robert Gilman’s vision for the future of Langley.
Gilman, a city councilman, has invested much time, effort and taxpayers’ money turning Langley into his image of a future town, which he calls an “eco-village.” Although he claims to advocate sustainability, his policies oppose sustainability, and the facts show it.
Gilman’s no-growth, investor-intolerant policy has led to a dearth of economic activity and brought about the closing of Lind’s Pharmacy, Edgecliff Restaurant, the Dog House and several other businesses. Langley’s only health clinic has announced it is leaving, and the Langley Middle School, Langley’s only school, is scheduled for closure.
There is an old saying in business: “Don’t fight city hall.” Businesses don’t fight; they leave. And just as the world of cloud computing is growing dramatically, all tourists will carry phones and IPad devices, expecting to access the cloud through the cell-phone network. But the two largest mobile providers in the U.S., Verizon and AT&T, have virtually no service in Langley.
Mr. Gilman’s views on society and the economy are extreme, untested and dangerous. With his grip on Langley’s government, he is running his laboratory experiment on the “eco-village” with Langley citizens as the guinea pigs.
In a meeting last week with a friend from Seattle, who has a career of government management experience, he told me that Langley is becoming a ghost town. It is possible that Langley is already below the critical mass necessary for economic viability.
Like it or not, Langley will have to compete with Coupeville, Freeland and La Conner for investment during times when investment resources are scarce.
My decades of management experience lead me to believe that Langley is on the edge of an abyss, and the edge is crumbling away beneath its citizens’ feet. To save the Village by the Sea, Langley’s citizens will have to wake up and take back their government from this experiment. Doing nothing is a decision with possibly dire consequences.