We really do need to fix this

The election is over. It’s time to get back to business. When the state legislature reconvenes, one issue they will face–yet again–is  sustainable funding for the ferry system. The band-aid approach isn’t working. The following was posted yesterday on the Kitsap Sun website:

OUR VIEW | For ferries, the coast still isn’t clear

  • Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:04 p.m.

It doesn’t appear Washington State Ferries will protest a Coast Guard directive on increasing ferry crew numbers, despite a likely cost of $14.1 million in 2013-15 being added to the agency’s current pr oposed cuts of $4.8 million for that biennium.

It seems reasonable for WSF head David Moseley to ask for more time to implement changes — right now, only the addition of one crew member to Jumbo-class ferries should be in place this month — as well as seeking some compromise on Evergreen-class ferries changes possible for next spring, a meeting on which is scheduled for this week. Both the Coast Guard and WSF share some blame for allowing reductions last summer that now compound the agency’s deficit — not to mention a number of missed sailings during the past few months due to short-staffed crews.

Safety shouldn’t be compromised, but adequate crew levels may not mean much if ridership dwindles due to massi ve fare increases or route cancellations, both likely scenarios to be discussed in Olympia. The trap underscores again the need for a stable revenue stream for the ferry system in the transportation budget, which our recently re-elected legislative delegation is tasked with pushing — again.

We encourage our delegation — and their constituents — to keep the ferry system as a priority, as we’ve written before on this page. Consistently having routes threatened is unacceptable to West Sound residents, just as shorting staff levels was untenable in the Coast Guard’s evaluation.

In the coming months we will be suggesting ways you can help.

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About sjbrooksyoung

Susan Brooks-Young has been involved in the field of instructional technology since 1979. She was one of the original technology users in the district where she taught and has continued to explore ways in which technology can be used to facilitate student learning. She has worked as computer mentor, technology trainer, and technology curriculum specialist. Prior to establishing her own consulting firm, Susan was a teacher, site administrator, and technology specialist in a county office of education in a career that spanned more than 23 years. Since 1986, she has published articles and software reviews in a variety of education journals. She is also author of a number of books which focus on how school leaders can implement the NETS*A Standards. Susan works with educators internationally, focusing on practical technology-based strategies for personal productivity and effective technology implementation in schools. Susan and her husband live on Lopez Island, WA.

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