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�erry hristmas


INSIDE: Relax, renew where the forest meets sea, A17


from the

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2012 | Vol. 88, No. 102 | | 75¢

Letters to Santa, winter wishes BY BEN WATANABE Staff reporter

LANGLEY — The Record visited with kindergartners at South Whidbey Elementary for some holiday cheer this year. South Whidbey’s youngsters

were eager for the winter break, and more importantly, presents. Kids wrote letters to Santa and winter wishes asking for more family togetherness, Legos, puppies, cookies to rain from the sky, a “rockstar cat,”

a remote control motorcycle, a guitar and nail polish. Here’s what students in Emily Czerwonka’s and Diane Burgess’ kindergarten classes wished for this holiday season.

Taylor Bagley, 6 “I wish for Santa.”

Banks sues to force Kwarsick’s resignation Council support begins to wane BY JIM LARSEN Record editor

Rocco Plastino, 6 “I wish for my room to be Legoland.”

Maia Starkweather, 5 “I asked for three things: nail polish, lipstick and I need makeup. And that’s all.”

See santa, A16

Langley Mayor Larry Kwarsick announced Thursday morning he plans to keep his position despite entering a guilty plea Monday to a gross misdemeanor that resulted in a 15-day jail sentence starting in February. Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks reacted quickly and moved to force Kwarsick to step down. He announced Thursday afternoon that he would file a lawsuit against Kwarsick on Friday, claiming he failed to step down from two public offices: as mayor of Langley as well as Coupeville’s part-time town planner. Kwarsick left town before a Langley City Council meeting Tuesday evening for a family vacation. The five council members and most of the large crowd in attendance seemed to support retaining him as mayor regardless of his legal troubles. A South Whidbey Record email inquiry to Kwarsick the next day resulted in a short reply Thursday morning. “I am humbled by the support I have received from people in the community, the staff at city hall, and the council,” Kwarsick wrote. “I plan to continue to serve the city of Langley as mayor.” Banks, speaking by phone late Thursday, said, “I am disappointed in the mayor and the council. The council

Larry Kwarsick is saying they believe it’s OK (to break the law) if he’s popular.” In fact, Banks said, Kwarsick admitted to a gross misdemeanor regarding a city permit, the conditions of which he changed to benefit a relative. The prosecutor wrote in a statement, “Today I initiated Quo Warranto proceeding in Superior Court to enforce Washington’s law that requires a person convicted of malfeasance in office to forfeit public office and be forever barred from holding public office.” Kwarsick pleaded guilty to one charge of “falsifying a city record” in Island County Superior Court. A plea agreement worked out by Kwarsick’s attorney Charles Arndt and Banks called for 364 days in jail suspended (meaning no jail time), a $2,500 fine and Kwarsick’s resignation from office. However, an angry Judge Vickie Churchill unexpectedly added 15 days in jail, saying the mayor violated the public trust. But Banks said that didn’t change the rest of the agreement. “The unmistakable understanding was that Mr. See mayor, A10

South Whidbey Record, December 22, 2012