The tourist trap waterfront village of Langley, Washington is having an ethics problem. Seems that six months after voting to create an ethics board to oversee the towns business they can’t seem to find a single person to sit on the panel. The board was meant to have seven members, large enough so two or three members couldn’t bullyrag the minority, but still small enough to be manageable and of an odd number so tie votes could be broken. A couple of people showed an interest in the gig, as in two people asked about it, but when it was revealed they would have to provide five references, one backed out and the other declined when it was revealed they had worked as a salesperson. The ethics board was created in the wake of a minor small town scandal that involved a former official falsifying some documents, presumably, although he did plead guilty to the deed. Filling the seats has been difficult, one resident said, “because it’s a little cheeky to claim to be ethical”.
Most small town governments are comprised of local builders, bankers, real estate agents and speculators who have a vested interest in shaping the rules and regulations in their favor. Typically they serve to purportedly improve the lot of the citizenry until such time as they have made their own pile and can either rest easy or move on to greater glory in service to the state or nation. Along the way it is not unusual to break a few eggs in the baking of the cake nor is it out of the ordinary to have ones finger in the pie. It is disconcerting however to find that seven persons could not be located who could not at least lay claim to probity, and successfully find five good buddies to affirm it, true or not.
Langley, Washington is a small town on the southern end of Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound, but don’t look for it using Apple’s mapping software, it ain’t there. In unrelated news Whidbey Island is where a local bus system managed to misplace a couple million or four of the taxpayers dollars yet still intends to pay the Director, who retired when the scandal broke, a severance bonus.