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Petition group not clandestine | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To the editor:
I am obligated to protest several recent instances of the Record misusing the words “clandestine” or “clandestine meeting(s)” in reference to efforts by a group of Langley residents to suggest the voters should have the option of deciding upon the form of local government they wish to have.
According to Webster’s New 20th Century Unabridged Dictionary, clandestine means: “secret; hidden; withdrawn from public view; generally implying craft, deception, or illicit purpose.”
Nothing could be further from the truth than to allege that the informal group had “clandestine” motives in mind when they recently began a successful petition drive.
I would remind the Record that it’s reporter attended the recent League of Women’s Voters open forum on the subject of forms of local government, wherein approximately
25 community members attended and participated in a dynamic presentation and discussion of the pros and cons of either a mayor-council or a city manager-council form of government — both having very strong pros and cons attendant to their quite different forms and perceived outcomes.
Subsequent to the league meeting, a number of the forum’s attendees informally gathered, continued the general discussion and ultimately agreed that, as a method of widening the discussion on a important local issue, they would start a petition to put the issue on the ballot this year.
Repeatedly, the intent of this effort was voiced by all members to be one of merely putting the issue to the wider electorate for much wider discussion and, ultimately, a decision by the voters — as encouraged and provided for by law.
In fact, a straw poll among the group reveals that most, if not all, of the participants have yet to make up their own minds on this timely issue. Hardly the machinations of a cabal of clandestine plotters, heh?
Please know that there was nothing clandestine, underhanded or illicit, in any way, about how the group came together or how it chose to pursue a petition drive, regardless of how the Record later chose to misrepresent a quite ordinary and open process as is the wont of community-minded citizens of all types. Furthermore, it is misleading to aver that the group involved was inclusive to a group of disgruntled residents of Edgecliff Drive seeking some form of covert redressment. I can personally assure the Record, and its readers, that such coincidence, when it was evident, was just that — coincidence.
I trust the Record will consult its own dictionary in the future when reporting on important civic or other matters within our small community. Accuracy and unbiased reporting is the wellspring of effective professional journalism and, as such, warrants due diligence, yes?