*See correction below

On Monday, July 15, 2013 9:10 AM Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson sent an e mail to Kevin Graves Editor & Publisher of the Whidbey News Times asking for him to publish corrections to a recent editorial published in the July 12th edition of the South Whidbey Record.

She has so far waited 4 days for a response from Mr. Graves or for him to publish the corrections in the editorial and repeated in several more articles in the Whidbey News Times.

So far Mr. Graves has neither responded to the corrections request or responded to her e mail. The Whidbey News Times has consistently made erronious statements and false accusations surrounding this issue and has refusing to step and and at least acknowledge that there may be problems in both their editorials and the opinions on this isssue.


We are publishing the letter to MR. Graves below in the hopes that the actual truth and facts in this case are known. The Whidbey News Times is negligent in furthering the facts in this case instead allowing themselves to be a party to these false accusations and should be ashamed that they repeatedly have taken sides on this issue by publishing misleading and incorrect information in their newspaper.

From: Kelly Emerson

Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 9:10 AM

To: ‘kgraves@whidbeynewsgroup.com’

Cc: zz Bicc

Subject: your editorial

Mr. Graves,

Your July 12th editorial in the South Whidbey Record had a number of errors in it.

1. In your 5th paragraph you state: “a decision was made by the board …… Emerson’s responsibility was to implement that decision and abide by it.” There was no decision by the board to only allow one commissioner at each L & J meeting. The board does not have the authority to do so. Any commissioner can attend any public meeting they would like to attend but it is the chair’s responsibility to notice the meeting appropriately. If a board takes an action beyond their authority, not only would it be illegal for a chair to implement, it has no weight.

2. In the 8th paragraph you state: “The meeting was being held in the district Jill Johnson represents.” The meeting at the Heller Road Fire Station was actually in my district, district 3.  *See our correction below

3. In the 9th paragraph you state: “{Johnson & Johnson} said they made it clear….respective districts.” When/where did they make that illegal action clear? If it was at the June 12th meeting, why did staff ask us to have the discussion again at the June 17th meeting in order to clarify the need for special sessions? (That discussion concluded with Helen Price-Johnson and I agreeing to let staff know after checking our calendars and special session as necessary.) Also, “respective districts.” Again, the Heller Road Fire Station is in my district.

4. In your 10th paragraph you state: “Emerson….. represents Camano Island.” Please check with a commissioner district map. My district, district 3 covers a large portion of North Whidbey which includes the NASWI Ault Field Base, the Heller Road Fire Station and much more.

Please publish these corrections.

Thank you for your efforts.

Kelly Emerson

Board of Island County Commissioners

1 NE 7th Street, PO Box 5000

Coupeville, WA 98239

(360) 679-7354 office

from Camano 629-4522 #7354

from South Whidbey 321-5111 #7354

Camano Office 387-3443 ext. 225

Note: email correspondence to this account is a matter of public record and subject to release under the Public Records Act.

*Correction- After reviewing the precinct maps on the Island County website the map of the Commissioners District that we were using to determine if the firehall was in Kelly Emerson’s District was outdated. The Commissioners Districts do follow precinct boundaries and in 2012 the redistricting changed several of those precints. One of the precincts changed was precinct 204 the precinct the Heller Road firehall is now in. Last year it was in precinct 353 which is Kelly Emerson’s District. I have compared the maps and actually driven by the Heller Road Firehall and determined that it is indeed in Jill Johnsaon’s District. Not that this matters in the discussion because we still stand by the concept that all ommissioner should have attended all 3 meetings just as Jill Johnson stated in the video of the commissioner meeting on 6-17-2013 that can be viewed at the bottom of this post:

I did send an e mail to Kelly Emerson informing her of my findings.

Hat tip to TP for this information and for pointing us to the new map.