Frank James reign of terror and oppression on our livelihoods needs to end| Letter

It appears that daddy is once again punishing the bad, bad children for not listening and following his rules. Unfortunately, daddy is Dr. Frank James and the bad children are the desperate and dying businesses of San Juan County.

Frank James reign of terror and oppression on our livelihoods needs to end. We have allowed this bureaucrat far, far too much power over our lives and economic survival. A power he appears to wield unchecked.

I have been hard on our County Council in past commentaries for handing over their decision-making powers to an unelected civil servant but we, the business community, owe great thanks to Jamie Stephens and Rick Hughes who really stood up for us, the economic drivers of our county, at the last meeting. They defended the imperative need to move forward into Phase 3 and admonished Frank’s change of mind which to me was feelings-based and petty.

Dr. James is not making science-based decisions. That promise turned out to be a lie. “I want to see what happens after 3 weeks,” and “Some protesters were not wearing masks,” are not good enough reasons to hold us prisoner. The pressure on him does not compare with businesses in their fourth month with no income and on the verge of closing their doors for good. While the taxpayers of San Juan County continue to pay Frank’s salary he allows fear of the “what if” to destroy the lives of our friends and neighbors.

He claims to have made decisions after talking with businesses. What business owners did he have discussions with? When and where did these discussions take place? Why was there not a public forum inviting all of us to express our concerns? Frank says that he is proud of the businesses but for what, capitulating to his arbitrary edicts under threat of fine, jail, or loss of license? What choice did we have?

The country is moving forward. We need to join them. Frank James needs to get out of the way.

Lauren Cohen

San Juan Island