Randy Gaylord should be thanked for his services for the past two-plus decades. But his trail of mistakes in judgment and obfuscation of events should not be a reason to re-elect him.
Finger pointing is a typical defense Randy has used during the past few years. Most of us recall the Detective Parker fiasco that could have been avoided if the prosecutor’s office had been diligent in its investigation. Randy pointed public attention off the island and called in an “outsider” to whitewash the actions. It took a state agency to finally act in any way to sanction Parker for his inexcusable actions against a young girl. (Editor’s note: According to the San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office, Skagit County prosecutors investigated Parker to allow for an unbiased probe. His work with San Juan’s prosecuting office created a conflict.)
In quite the opposite situation, Randy does not hesitate to find the most punitive interpretation of the law where flexibility clearly exists. In other words, don’t get on the wrong side of Randy or one of his current public interest groups, from which he believes his justifications flow. A case in point: Recently, a group of well-known local citizens met with Randy presenting a petition from 60 of the 61 residents of the Roche Harbor Road trailer park, pleading for him not to enforce jail time on a young man who had spent years as a volunteer worker with their children. Numerous lesser options including no jail time were available to Randy. Tone deaf to what even the judge found such public support as an unusual event, Randy endorsed a sentence that not only branded the young man with a sentence for life with no option for good behavior but extended the jail sentence one day into the period that would cancel his pending application for U.S. citizenship.
There are some who feel this approach is justified. Claiming to see a rapist behind every leaf blower is not my concept of justice or how we view our neighbors. Randy, in my view, is out of touch with today and clinging to his past.
That is why I am voting for a change and voting for Nick Power.
San Juan Island