LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Your support beautifies Island

To the editor:

The Greenbank Garden Club wants to sincerely thank the community for supporting our plant sale on April 19.

We now know for sure that gardeners are a hardy lot. A little cold and snow did not faze that bunch of plant enthusiasts — even to the point of lining up an hour early.

The Greenbank Garden Club uses the money earned at the sale to support various groups on the Island. In the past, some of the organizations we have supported were Meerkerk, The Greenbank Farm, The Greenbank Progressive Club, Big Brothers Organization and Botany Adventure which provides fourth- and fifth-graders a chance to tour Meerkerk and learn the various phases of plant growth from docents stationed at various stages throughout the garden. Our members are active in many aspects of the community throughout the Island.

Thank you all for helping us succeed in our goals and also helping to beautify the island through your gardens.

The Greenbank Garden Club

It’s time for our prosecutor to go

To the editor:

Amy Dempsey is one of the most talented and dedicated people to work as an attorney in the prosecutor’s office in years, and to hear the recent comments about her by Greg Banks, in the March 29 article in The Record was very disturbing.

Ms. Dempsey’s character, skill and commitment to her work for the prosecutor’s office and beyond are praised by co-workers and judges alike. She won a series of prestigious awards from the state bar association for her work in public interest law. Her prior employer, doing public defender work in Seattle, gave her the highest possible recommendations. She had a distinguished record when she tried to remain neutral in the last election, rather than endorsing her employer, Mr. Banks.

To say that Mr. Banks seems to lack ethical sensitivity, good judgment and the leadership qualities that we have a right to expect from public officials seems wholly inadequate to describe this situation. There is also a cowardly and obsessive bullying quality to Mr. Banks’ attacks on this young woman, which I hope is as apparent to others as it is to me.

Banks justifies the recent smear of Dempsey, as advancing the public’s right to know the facts. But Banks settled the civil case filed by Dempsey and paid her $300,000 to keep the facts of his prior conduct toward her secret. He now uses an affidavit of prejudice to get a deceptive version of the “facts” into the public record, to pave the way for his next election. His tactic avoids public disclosure of witnesses against him. Dempsy’s fiancé was flying combat missions in Afghanistan while Mr. Banks was abusing

Ms. Dempsey, and Mr. Banks also now implies that calls from her fiancé, when he returned, were harassment. Now Mr. Banks is the victim.

There is an alarmingly long list of dedicated young lawyers who have apparently been unable to tolerate working under Mr. Banks and have left the prosecutor’s office. Dempsey is the only one with the stomach to publicly stand up to Banks’ conduct and in doing so she has both shown courage and leadership and has put her career at risk. How long do we expect her to shoulder this burden of vindictive assaults alone?

Mr. Banks refuses to take responsibility for his conduct and he lightly dismisses the prior settlement payment as, “just a business decision made because of the high cost of defending lawsuits.” Mr. Banks is a serial offender unwilling to learn from his prior mistakes and the $300,000 in damages previously paid were apparently insufficient as a deterrent — probably because they were paid by the county, not him.

How many checks is the county willing to write to pay for Mr. Banks’ bizarre, vindictive conduct? Are the risk managers managing the risk? Where are the county’s leaders?

Talented and dedicated young people like Ms. Dempsey are a valuable commodity of public service which we need to preserve. When the time comes, Dempsey would make an outstanding judge. Join me in saying — enough is enough. It is long past time for

Mr. Banks to leave office.

Truman Castle

Freeland

‘Enchanted April’ was a real treat

To the editor:

Whidbey Island, without a doubt, has some of the best events and productions in the Pacific Northwest throughout the year!

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of attending the matinee at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful production of “Enchanted April.”

The actors are charming and how they can remember and project their lines and personalities is mind-boggling!

This weekend will be the final performances. We highly recommend seeing this enlightening play.

Carol-Lee Hershman and Teresa Wedin

Langley

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