GUEST OPINION – Open letter to the County Council

Dear Council Members:

I am extremely distressed about the Council’s decision to “fire” long time FAC member Alex MacLeod. In doing so, you have removed years of expertise, hard work, dedication and service to this community. It has also prompted the resignation of committee members Charles Glasser and Jim Smith and possibly another member. Again, we have lost two valuable and knowledgeable members with the experience we so desperately need. I have always found Mr. MacLeod personable, prepared, and to the point at the meetings with WSF representatives that I have attended. He has also been accessible and helpful when I have called him at home. The FAC represents this county and it’s citizens and does an incredible service. The committee is our voice and Alex has been one our biggest champions. In taking this rash action you have removed three, possibly four very important voices. I realize that you appoint the members of the FAC but they also are working for the needs and concerns of the people who live here.. I also realize some “rules” seem to have been broken, but a reprimand may have been in order not a dismissal. To accuse Mr. MacLeod of causing “irreparable harm” to the counties relationship with WSF and “numerous” State Officials is below the belt if you can’t pinpoint who these officials are or the specifics of the harm done. Mr. MacLeod and the citizens of this county have a right to know.

I have spent hours writing the WSF, my Legislators, the Transportation Commission and the Governor about my concerns and only Rep. Haugen has bothered to reply. So much for representation on the state level. I also feel that it could and would be very frustrating dealing with the bureaucratic mind set that doesn’t seem to care about our island needs. I can’t imagine not stepping on some toes to get some action! I would rather have a slightly aggressive committee representing me that a pandering one which is ineffective. The WSF is in major transition and is facing a financial crisis. This is not the time to shake up things. In firing Alex MacLeod you have done a grave disservice to the citizens who elected you. I am urging the Council Members to put away the egos, eat a little crow and re-instate Alex. Hopefully Jim Smith and Charles Glasser would consider coming back on board if this happened. Your decision is a negative mark against the Council. It is disconcerting to feel that not only have we lost a strong advocate and voice, but we don’t seem to have a voice with the Council Members who voted to do this drastic deed.


Patty Pirnack-Hamilton