This is a letter of praise for Langley Mayor Tim Callison — from someone who has occasionally been at cross purposes with him.
But I’m a firm believer that democracy works best when we are just as quick to publicly praise our elected officials for doing something right as we are to criticize them when we disagree.
Earlier this year, former Langley Police Chief David Marks’ job was on the line after he was accused of using excessive force against a mentally disabled trespassing suspect.
Some citizens voiced other allegations that Chief Marks had used poor judgment or excessive force in other instances.
So the City of Langley in good faith hired Robert Carpenter, a senior Pierce County police officer billed as an expert in police use-of-force techniques, to review reports and make recommendations. Carpenter’s report exonerated Marks.
At that point it would have been easy for Mayor Callison to simply accept the “expert” report and kick the can down the road. But he did not do that. Instead, he took a much more difficult path and rejected the “expert” findings. As we all know, Chief Marks was soon out of a job, to the substantial relief, it appears, of more than a few citizens.
Now we read the news that this “expert” Carpenter was himself charged with threatening and stabbing someone near a Pierce County pot shop. Other less-than-stellar decisions on his part have also come to light, demonstrating his own poor judgement. The Pierce County sheriff has said he intends to fire Carpenter.
As for Mayor Tim Callison, whether it was his careful reading of the evidence and his close listening to his constituents — as well as his good instincts — in a lonely leadership situation, he made the right call and I say good for him.
P.S.: Kudos also for the mayor’s rabbit costume. Anyone willing to embarrass himself that way in public must have a good sense of humor.