I think it important to respond to Alicia Crank’s “Letter to the Editor”, August 9, 2019. Much of what she said is laudable. What should be informed and fact-based debate has recently often turned into innuendo and supposition. However, voters are entitled to accurate information even if it is argues against a candidate being elected. It was interesting to read the replies to Ms. Crank’s letter: Some agreed and some vehemently disagreed and I think those who disagreed recognize that such an approach advocated by Ms. Crank can result in voters not having all pertinent facts. We should not be electing candidates based on some kind of “feel good” statement. Instead, critical thinking based on pertinent facts should be employed. Note that I said “pertinent” facts. If there is something about that candidate that would directly affect their job performance, voters need to know. Don’t sell the voters short. They are capable of judging what is relevant to job performance and what is not. The underlying message in Ms. Crank’s letter is that we should only hear “positive” messages. Well, not all attributes of candidates are positive and the less-than-positive attributes that would directly affect a candidate’s performance if elected is something the voters have a right to know about. The fundamental question is whether a candidate is qualified and is the best choice for an office.
On June 15, 2019, I submitted a “Letter to the Editor” where I expressed concerns about Diana White’s actions as Edmonds’ School Board President. (“Don’t Bargain Away the Money You Don’t Have”.) Ms. White is running against Susan Paine for Edmonds’ City Council Position #6. As I stated in the article, the fiscal mismanagement by the Edmonds’ School Board, of which she is president, was detailed and exposed in a Seattle Times article. In addition, I included text from a letter sent by State Superintendent of Public Instruction to district superintendents directing them not to bargain away money that is not there. Given all the information she had, Ms. White and the school board nonetheless approved the contract with its double digit increase in pay for teachers. That approval was not fiscally responsible.I stand by that letter and I urge Edmonds’ voters to go into the MEN archives and read it.
Yes, I guess you could call this “negative” information, but important information for voters to know. It is not a personal attack on Ms. White nor is it an attack on teachers for whom I have the utmost respect. I have worked in public education for 25 years and sent my own children to public school. Instead it is a desire to let voters know that Ms. White, based on past performance in public office, is not the most qualified candidate for Council Position #6. One primary responsibility of the City Council is oversight of Edmonds’ finances. As Mayor Earling himself stated in MEN, Aug. 15, 2019, in his “This and That…” piece, “While we have had a very strong economy and all requests are usually reasonable, spoiler alert… there isn’t enough revenue!” And, we well may be looking at times in the future without such a strong economy.
Let’s all work to keep the campaigns fact-oriented and about issues. Let’s make sure our comments are backed by research and thoughtfulness. However, please do not shut down legitimate and important debate based on calls for a “positive” campaign.