John Whetten has been kind enough to share his notes from this week’s FAC meeting in Friday Harbor. These are not the official minutes, but we thank John for letting us know what was covered during the meeting. Please note that the March FAC meeting will be held on Lopez, probably in the library and probably during the afternoon. Let’s make sure we have a good turnout!
Here are John’s notes:
In attendance: All FAC members except Pat, Jim Smith and Gordon Jonasson (Lopez), Liz Illg and someone representing the League of Women Voters (San Juan).
1. Most of the meeting was on the Governor’s proposal and the blizzard of letters, meetings, newspaper articles, caucuses, conference calls, and newspaper articles responding to the proposal. Although the proposal appears to have little, if any, traction, there is general agreement that the proposal has caused the “ferry problem” to significantly rise in priority with the legislature. With FAC help, the County Council has become involved and sent a letter to the Governor yesterday. Howie Rosenfeld commented: “Stuff is coming at us fast and furiously, and we’re trying to respond as best we can.”
2. Much of today’s WSF budget problem is blamed on I-695, passed in 2000. It was pointed out that in 2000, WSF was 15% of DOT’s budget, now it is 3%. If the Governor’s fare increase holds, it will be down to 1.5%. Despite I-695, WSF’s budget has not kept pace.
3. Our new State Representative from Anacortes (name?) is apparently very interested in ferries–much more so than her predecessor.
4. Melissa Johnson reported that as of January 1, eastbound traffic (vehicles and foots) are being counted and entered into a computer data base by terminal agents. Hooray! This will make allocation-setting easier.
5. A meeting with WSF will be scheduled for Anacortes later this month to begin discussions of the Summer schedule.
6. The March, 2011 meeting will be held on Lopez–probably the library, from 1-3pm or so.