We should all be concerned. Those of us so rudely ejected from the Mullis Center for saying the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag have been accepted back in the fold. And our Friday Harbor community breathed a sigh of relief, for everyone realized that injustice needed to be set straight. True, we are not going to jail, after all, our records are wiped clean down at city hall, we did not have to grovel in apologies or vow in writing we would never ever commit such an act of disobedience to the powers that be—again. But instead of feeling confident in the leadership that made the decision to drop the charges, the experience left me deep in doubts. There is just too much at stake. Let me explain.
Even as I was being cited, I tried to point out that a board should serve the wishes of the people. In a democracy, those who accept the responsibility to lead, do so to represent. Represent who? Themselves? No. The people. That day, almost all the people in the lunch hall wore badges saying “I stand for the Pledge.” By a vast majority, they disagreed with the ruling of the operations committee at the Mullis Center. Those who did not want to declare they loved our nation and felt gratitude to those who died to give us freedom of choice simply could have stayed sitting or left the room for the minute of two it took to express gratitude and honor a tradition that went back to the founding of the senior center. The experience of being disowned and cast out made me wonder what else was wrong at this million-dollar property so richly endowed. We should all be concerned and here is why:
*This property was set up to serve the needs and wishes of the Senior citizens yet they are being told and not consulted.
*Money is involved, much donated, even the property is priceless. Yet requests to see the financial condition of this treasure were met with rude expletives and flat out refusal. This subject of all subjects should be handled with transparency. There is the matter of holding a non-profit status, too much at stake here, and no audits.
*Meetings have been held in secret, requests to be on the agenda ignored, now news that they will be closed to the public. This is not just outrageous, it is terrifying.
*New rules have magically been declared to justify all the above behavior. And here is the latest: There will be no election process-only appointments to the board. Are you concerned yet? In my opinion, the above actions are breathtakingly un-American and contrary to the wishes of the founders of the Mullis center.
San Juan Island