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News-Times Whidbey

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012 | Vol. 113, No. 70 | | 75¢

LIVING: New business inspires Oak Harbor. A12

Police chief candidates meet public Only three applicants left By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

Kathy Reed/Whidbey News-Times

Marine Lt. Col. Jeff Symons presents Montford Point Marine Allen Frazier with the Congressional Gold Medal and the accompanying proclamation at a ceremony at Frazier’s Oak Harbor home Thursday. Below, Symons presents the medal.

Marine endured segregation, receives Congressional medal By Kathy Reed Staff reporter

Allen Frazier says he really doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. The charming 85-year-old was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal by members of the U.S. Marine Corps 4th Land and Support Battalion from Joint Base LewisMcChord Thursday outside his Oak Harbor home. The Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the nation, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is awarded to those who perform an outstanding act of service to the country. “I don’t see where I did anything special,” Frazier said. “We did things and put up with things most people

in the military didn’t have to, but that was the time then.” Frazier is one of the surviving Marines of Montford Point, a satellite section of the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, located near Jacksonville, N.C. Montford Point was a segregated camp where African-American Marine recruits received basic training. Between 1942 and 1949, more than 20,000 men trained at Montford Point. During that time, none of the black recruits were allowed to enter the main base of Camp Lejeune unless they were accompanied by a white Marine. “The first time I went to mass — I was the only Catholic — they had to bring a truck to take me to the main headquarters to See medal. page A4

Oak Harbor residents will get the chance to meet the three candidates for the police chief position this Thursday night. Citizens, however, probably won’t know much about the candidates going into the low-key venue because the city won’t release their resumes. The city is inviting the public to a meet-and-greet session with the candidates from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6 at the Oak Harbor Fire Station. The candidates are Edgar Green of Port Townsend, Julius “Phil” Schenck of Sunnyside and Andrew Reinhardt of Prescott, Ariz. Mayor Scott Dudley said the three men are the only remaining of the original 15 applicants for the job. All the others, including former police Lt. John Dyer, have withdrawn their names. “We’re optimistic,” the mayor said. “There are three left and I’m certain they are all dedicated to making Oak Harbor a safer place.” Following the public session, the three candidates will be interviewed Friday by a panel that includes members of law enforcement, citizens and City Council members. The interviews start at 9 a.m. and will continue for much of the day. The panel’s goal is to forward the names of two of the candidates to the mayor for final selection. Dudley said the panel interviews will be open to the public. The city’s interim human resources director, after conferring with city admin-

istration, refused to release the candidates’ resumes. The press release from the city included no information about the men beyond their city of residence. By comparison, resumes of police chief candidates were made available to the media and public during the selection process under the former mayor. Dudley fired former Police Chief Rick Wallace in June, just before the City Council was set to adopt a measure that would have protected him from being terminated as an at-will employee. Dudley had tried to force Wallace to retire this summer. Since taking office in January, Dudley has also fired the city administrator, the fire chief and two city attorneys. Lt. Tim Sterkel, a longtime member of the department, has been acting police chief since Wallace left. Sterkel supported Dudley in last year’s campaign. City Council members, however, tweaked the police chief job description so that he no longer qualifies for the chief position. To the consternation of City Council members, Dudley delayed the process of hiring a permanent police chief after the council declared a financial emergency this summer. He argued that having interim people in administrative positions saves the city money because those people are essentially doing two jobs. See chief, page A7

Whidbey News-Times, September 01, 2012  
Whidbey News-Times, September 01, 2012  

September 01, 2012 edition of the Whidbey News-Times