Letter: Hopes event will trigger new era of transparency

Editor,

While I appreciate that the Whidbey News-Times is finally recognizing that there are systemic issues in Island County government, as was pointed out in their article, “In Our Opinion: Public Health nurse exodus is cause for reckoning,” it is unfortunate that it has taken a mass exodus of public health staff during a pandemic for them to acknowledge it.

Issues regarding the work environment at Island County were raised and talked about for years by staff and the county unions, and I personally talked about it extensively earlier this year during my campaign for county commissioner.

When I was interviewed by the News-Times, I talked about these systemic issues and how there needed to be change from the top down. The News-Times said that this was “vague and meaningless” and people don’t care that staff is “getting the full level of respect that they deserve.” The News-Times endorsed Melanie Bacon, one of the people who is and has been, denying that these internal systemic issues exist.

In their endorsement, the News-Times said, “Bacon … feels the county is well run, with very low turnover.” Back in the beginning of the summer, a letter was sent to the News-Times from some of the county unions talking about how “there is a toxic culture fostered at the county from the top down.” The News Times chose to not report on this, as well as other reports of issues that staff have given them over the years.

So again, while I appreciate that they are finally reporting on these systemic issues, I wish they had done their homework and looked into concerns raised by staff when something could have been done, rather than waiting until after the public health staff resigned.

My hope is that this event will trigger the beginning of a new era of transparency in Island County government and one in which the Whidbey News Times takes the concerns of staff more seriously.

Nathan Howard

Coupeville

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Bristles when he puts on mask to go into store

Editor, I noticed on the heading of your Opinion page the First… Continue reading

Letter: There’s no better time to support students

Editor, Coupeville Lions Club would like to take this opportunity to thank… Continue reading

Letter: Democracy, though ravaged, survived this terrible period

Editor, It should be obvious now that Donald Trump, and his supporters… Continue reading

Letter: PSE crews worked night, day to restore electricity

Editor, A huge shout out to the PSE crews that got our… Continue reading

Letter: Conservative dad wouldn’t recognize Republican party

Editor, I would like to commend reporter Emily Gilbert on her excellent,… Continue reading

Letter: Actions not consistent with being good steward

Editor, I am writing in response to Capt. Matt Arny’s recent Sound… Continue reading

Letter: Despite insurrection, democracy prevailed

Editor, Along with millions of people across the globe, I watched the… Continue reading

Letter: Violence is ugly, only begets more violence

Editor, William Shakespeare wrote in “Julius Caesar” that “The evil that men… Continue reading

Letter: Bernie Sanders also drew big crowds, but he still lost

Editor, After the Jan. 6 disgrace at the United States Capitol, I… Continue reading

Most Read