Letters to the Editor

County workers deserve praise | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

This letter is actually two years late. Two years ago Christmas, we had a big snow, the roads were bad, I attempted to drive to Highway 20, but even my four-wheel-drive truck was challenged in the heavy wet snow.  So I chained up, we had many family and friends coming to the house, I figured they could park at Highway 20, and I would shuffle them to our home.

As I backed out of the garage, chained up, I heard the sound of a large truck, I looked and there was our great Island county road department plowing the road.  Family all arrived and we had a great family Christmas, thanks to Island County.

Once again this year, my road is clear, the Island County road crew is hard at it keeping arterials clear during this winter storm.

I have spent a career working on holidays as a professional firefighter; I know what these men and women sacrifice, they did not see their children smile and laugh Christmas morning!

But this is a bigger story, this is a lesson in civics, this is government at its BEST. The county (Island County does it better than most) keeping the arterials clear, the state keeping the state highway open, and the cities doing their best to keep the roads open.  This keeps business operating, Fed-Ex, Island Transit, UPS as well as the Post Office delivered. Semis delivered product to Ace, Safeway, Home Depot, Walmart, NAPA Auto parts and others. Dare I mention the paper got delivered, the Fifth Estate, keeping us all honest! I was able to take my neighbor to the hospital; she needed stitches, (retired firefighters get called). This is why I pay my taxes, this is government working at its best, and as I said, Island County does it best.

My County Commissioner Kelly Emerson would like to do away with all government services, farm them out. She ignores the law of the land, and tries to sue us. If she had prevailed in her suit against the county, who would have paid? We would have.

In this great county, I am always amazed at the quality of our roads; they are maintained at a high level. If they were privatized would they be as good.  A private company might see a pothole and let it get bigger so they could charge more to maintain the road; our great county employees see the pothole and fix it so it does not get bigger, saving work and expense to the county and preventing damage to our vehicles.

So this is a big thanks to all the county employees, I am sorry this is two years late. I am also thankful to Commissioners Helen Price Johnson and Angie Homola, as well as previous commissioners of both parties for all their hard work trying to keep services operating in this county in these hard times.

As to Commissioner Emerson, sorry, no thanks, your lawsuit may have caused the layoff of more employees if you had prevailed (or have had a legal leg to stand on) the fire department, the sheriff's department, and basic services would have been stranded in this snow.

I am a very independent person, I get by without help from others, but guess what, I ended up helping others that could not help themselves, and this was possible because county government was operating, working at its best keeping the roads clear, men and women made it to work, made it to the Navy base, keeping it operating, protecting us, this is civics working at its best!

Thank you, Island County!

JAY BRAND

Oak Harbor

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