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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Parks commissioners made poor call with Swanson dispute
South Whidbey Community Park has been maintained to a high standard by the professional grounds-keeping crew, under the supervision of certificated administrative staff, for the proven benefit of our community.
Accordingly, I have been distressed to hear of recent developments. Actions of one person has forced young athletes, their families and friends, law enforcement officers, and park commissioners and full-time staff to take sides, to the detriment of the common good.
In these times of budgetary constraints and bad weather, the maintenance staff have striven to preserve the fields for all of us to enjoy year round.
They have legitimate concerns regarding damage and the avoidable expense of repairs to the playing fields, necessitating decisions to declare some areas temporarily off limits. Repeated defiance of those requests evidently left no option other than to call an Island County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
The subsequent decision by elected parks commissioners, who have no technical experience in park maintenance, to reverse and eliminate any significant penalty is inappropriate.
Clearly the five commissioners were in a double bind and had to make a difficult choice between backing up the coach or staff, however no one demonstrated character nor the wisdom of Solomon, including the coach and his supporters.
All of the parks commissioners acquiesced to the fury of the mob.
Not only have they sent the wrong message to the young athletes and the public, indicating you can break the rules if you persuade enough people to yell and demonstrate, they also may have demoralized the district’s workforce and have it made it difficult for them to perform their duties in these economically tough times.