Letter from Mayor Scott Dudley to the Whidbey News Times-UPDATED

I was unaware that Mayor Scott Dudley sent a letter to the Whidbey News Times commenting on the attacks that Keven Graves made about him in a recent editorial until someone who does receive the paper told me about it. I checked the¬†Whidbey News Times website and it does not appear anywhere in the online edition. Apparently the Whidbey News Times reserves the space on their website only for those who do not disagree with the paper and the Keven Graves editorials…apparently Mr. Graves does not consider letters from our Mayor important enough to publish in his online edition. This is just¬†more evidence of the agenda the Whidbey News Times clearly has.

UPDATE- The Whidbey News Times only today added the letter from the mayor to it’s website. The letter was received on the March 27th. It was published today on April 7th, 9 days later.

After the baseless attack on the Mayor in his editorial Keven Graves should do the right thing and at least give the Mayor a chance to refute his baseless claims. Apparently the Whidbey News Times could care less about fairness…

So in the interest in fairness we are publishing it here:


Keven Graves
PO Box 1200
Coupeville, WA 98239

RE: Sound Off

Dear Keven:

I wanted to respond to your recent editorial opinion in the 3/26/14 paper. You stated that I have “little to no regard for public opinion, nor the spirit of open government”. That could not be farther from the truth.

I ran for the office of Mayor with a focus on Public Safety, Economic Development and Increasing Government Transparency. These continue to be my priorities.
Since being elected we have videotaped and televised all of our City Council Standing Committee meetings. As the Council did away with their Standing Committee meetings and replaced them with a monthly City Council workshops, those workshops have been videotaped and televised. Also, since the City Council did away with the Standing Committee meetings, I have been videotaping and televising a series of “Oak Harbor City Updates” on four different topics per month covering Government Services, Finance, Public Safety and Public Works. We continue to videotape and televise our Planning Commission meetings. We created the ability for the public to view our City Council meetings without having to attend them physically by streaming our City Council meetings “live” over the internet. All of these tapings can be easily accessed by pulling them up on our City’s website. We have our City’s vouchers as part of the City Council packets so the public can see exactly how we are spending our taxpayer’s dollars.
Over the next month the City of Oak Harbor will be the first city in the State of Washington to provide it citizen’s with a user friendly budget tool via a company called OpenGov which will allow everyone to see how the City of Oak Harbor spends our citizens’ dollars versus our budget for each and every department. Our citizen’s will also be able to see every check that is written by the City. I have created a “Mayor’s Corner” on our website to assist in communicating with our citizens and being able to receive emails directly from them as well. We have also been communicating via Facebook.
Today, we have the following Facebook sites: City of Oak Harbor, Oak Harbor Police Department, Oak Harbor Police Explorers, Oak Harbor Fire Department, Oak Harbor Marina and the City of Oak Harbor Stray Pet Page. All of the above improvements to the City’s openness have been adopted under my term.

Not only will I continue to communicate with our citizen’s, I will continue to communicate with our City Council as well. When there are issues that have to deal with potential litigation, pending litigation or land acquisition, I will discuss these issues with our City Council in an executive session. Since you report that Councilmember Almberg states “we have had more executive sessions under this mayor than we had under (previous mayor Jim) Slowik’s entire term”, I do not deny that. Your newspaper has been covering what our City has faced as a result of actions under the previous administration. If Councilmember Almberg does not wish to be kept abreast of what is transpiring in executive session, he does not have to attend. It has been a long troubling process correcting the legal issues the previous administration created and unfortunately most of those legal discussions have had to be held in executive sessions.

The decision to cut down the oak tree was not an easy one but it was the right one. The risk and liability the City of Oak Harbor was facing was significant. Making all of the information regarding the risk public prior to the tree’s removal would also significantly add to our liability. I apologize if this action is perceived as if the City of Oak Harbor does not care about public opinion. Our number one priority (see above), will continue to be the safety of our public.

Since I continue to try to make myself accessible and responsive, I am disappointed that not once have you reached out to speak with me. I would welcome your call as well as anyone else wishing to discuss anything that we are doing at the City that may be raising a question.

Thank you,
Scott Dudley
City of Oak Harbor

work # (360) 279-4502
home # (360) 675-6561
cell # (360) 914-7126

email: sdudley@oakharbor.org



  1. “As for editorializing, the editorial appears on the Opinion page and there is absolutely no ambiguity that it is indeed an opinion, one based on information available in the public domain and reported in news articles. It is not incumbent on the newspaper to clear editorials in advance with any government representative, including the mayor. The city’s facts, position and quotes were documented in the news articles about the tree cutting.” Keven R Graves

    Opinions based on half ass “news articles” that only “reports” half the story.

    “It is not incumbent on the newspaper to clear editorials in advance with any government representative, including the mayor.” Keven R Graves is an arrogant ASS!

    1. Pompous arrogant ass…certainly not the personality traits that make for a good editor of a newspaper that is for sure.

      Keven Graves obviously wants to make the news and not just report on it. Too bad he doesn’t do some basic investigative reporting on his own instead of repeating other unknown peoples information. When he states “based on information available in the public domain and reported in news articles.” he is basically parroting only gossip. He is our own little local useful idiot.

      1. Notice that most of the “opinions” are coming from DemonRats targeting Republicans. Pam Fick, Nels Kelstrom, and Steve Erickson to name a few. Keven R. Graves and his goon squad are busily beating up on Tea Party Patriots, Republican legislators, candidates, and ordinary citizens. The 2014 election cycle is here and Keven’s three mean girls are going to do what ever it takes to get another DemonRat elected as Island County Commissioner for district 3.

        Mandated recycling county wide!

        1. Seeing how Facebook only has a market penetration of 49.9% of the internet users in the US and the Whidbey News Times has banned many conservatives from commenting in it’s comments section they have created their own little intranet that lives in it’s own little world.

          Nothing like living in a vacuum surrounded by yes men to make you feel bigger than you are…

          I don’t comment on their website and know many others that also do not, either by choice or by being banned from commenting by Mr. Graves himself. I have not been banned I just refuse to participate in Facebook. Facebook breaks the old first rule of the internet and encourages other to do so also. What is the old first rule of the internet?
          Never put anything on the internet that you do not want everyone in the world to know and Facebook makes a mockery of that rule…

          1. “Elected representatives are held to a higher standard…” Keven R. Graves

            When it comes to Sound Publishing’s three “mean girls” on Whidbey Island they don’t have a “higher standard.”

            1. “Elected representatives are held to a higher degree of scrutiny for their actions and behavior…” Keven R. Graves

              The same can be said for Keven’s little fishwrappers.

  2. The sad part of the whole subject is that, as the editor of the city newspaper, Whidbey News Times, Kevin R Graves, has NEVER made an attempt to contact the mayor, ever.
    Let see now… how many conclusions can I jump to there? I would be embarrassed.

    1. That is because he is obviously a partisan hack masquerading as a newspaper editor.

      He parrots what others tell him without even doing the basics. In this case the basics would be contacting the subject of his ire and getting the other side of the story. I guess that is the basics for being a partisan hack though. Partisan hacks always rely on only reporting one side of a story to make their case.

      It is truly sad and embarrassing to see our local newspaper editor relentlessly attacking a local politician and attacking him based on only one side of the story. Of course we saw that with the newspapers reporting about Kelly Emerson also. From what I understand they never or very rarely contacted either Kelly or Ken Emerson either. Agenda driven reporting is now what we expect from our local paper and that is why I refuse to buy or advertise in their paper and advise others to do the same. Isn’t this why you also quit advertising with them?

      When you decide to be a partisan hack you have to pay the price.

      I guess this is what happens when you have the power of being a local editor and you have all that drama and rhetoric dancing around in your head. Keven obviously thinks he is God’s gift to our local newspaper when in fact he is nothing more than a partisan shill in disguise…

  3. I could not agree more with the above comments. How is this “editor” allowed to continue making the paper i USED to read a tabloid? if we wanted one person’s opinion we would seek it out. perhaps Kevin Graves doesnt receive enough “likes” on his facebook page to satisfy his ego. The WNT has lost my respect, subscription, and any advertising i would need.

    1. The Whidbey News Times has gone from a news reporting business to one of molding people opinions for political gain much like the main stream media.

      I have lived on the Island for most of my life, moving here when I was 1. I used to deliver their paper as a teenager and had never seen the biased reporting until it was bought out by Black Press a Canadian company (appropriate name eh?).
      If you go to the library and look back through the older editions of the paper you can see the example that they set back then. There were no attacks on people or politicians as there is today, they were a very respectful newspaper that fairly reported the news and did a pretty good job for a small paper. Today they are a divisive, agenda driven organization that does not respect the role they play in the community or the community they serve.

      It is truly sad to see the paper going this route and that is why I encourage everyone and every business I talk to have nothing to do with them…

      They deserve to be censored by the public and abandoned by their advertisers.

    2. And if you read any of the other local papers in the area, the Skagit Valley Herald, The Anacortes American, The La Conner Weekly News you never see the direct personal attacks like the Whidbey News Times specializes in. They are truly an outlier in the local newspaper world and have made a mockery of the term Community Newspaper…hopefully their advertisers and subscribers will realize this and abandon them until they change their ways. I know I have.

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