Editor’s Note: The following is an email update sent by the PLIC Board to their membership and many others. We are reprinting it here to be sure you see it. The update on the mediation session is disappointing. Maybe next time…
Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 8:36 PM
Subject: Mediation, Fares, Task Force, and Community Meeting
1. Councilman Ken Mann, one of the 5 Whatcom County officials at the table for ferry lease negotiations with Lummi Indian Business Council (LIBC) posted on Facebook late last night after a long, long 1st mediation session: “No agreement. 11 hours of negotiation. It is a work in progress. The existing arrangement will remain in effect.”
The existing agreement is, of course, a monthly payment of $16,667 to Lummi Nation for use of Gooseberry Point, from last February 14 (when the lease expired and was not renewed) until now.
2. By now you are most likely aware that County Council passed an amended ordinance last Tuesday, Nov. 23, to raise rates by a $3 surcharge for every round trip in every fare category (except those involving students and children and Lummi Nation members who ride free). The new surcharge is set to go into effect during late January. The ordinance (which was amended from an overall stiffer fare hike) passed by a 4-3 vote.
Crawford, Kershner, Knutzen, and Mann voted for; Brenner, Larson, and Weimer against.
3. County government has received several emails from islanders pointing to seeming irregularities in the process of passing major amendments to the introduced ordinance AFTER a public hearing, and ignoring one Council member’s attempt to move to postpone the vote and permit more public input (although not in another hearing).
After the public hearing and a lengthy Council discussion and passing of the ordinance, a unanimous 7-0 vote passed a resolution introduced by Councilwoman Kershner that will form a Lummi Island Ferry Task Force. Its charge will involve a thorough study of all facets of the ferry operation and its finances and making recommendations to the County by next August 1, 2011. County will select the Task Force of seven persons — including four residents and/or property owners from the island.
The Task Force is a short-term assignment, different from the long-term Ferry Advisory Board proposal by Jim Dickinson.
County Council will select task force members with skills and experiences “in governmental affairs, transportation, economics, finances, other business related areas, and community experience.” Council is accepting applications and expects to make its selection at the first biweekly meeting of 2001, Tuesday, January 11.
Check our Web site, www.plicferry.org, for a copy of the Task Force resolution and other more detailed information. (Please forgive our inadvertent error in a Web link made in haste last week on Brown Betty during preparations for a fundraiser for the Island Boys & Girls Club.) Here is a link to the resolution: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/council/2010/res/res2010-046.pdf
4. Please plan to attend the PLIC community meeting this Thursday (12/2), 6:30 p.m. at The Grange. Discussion will center on the process for Task Force nominations and application, an update about fares and mediation, and groundwork for the annual PLIC meeting where a slate of officers will be voted on in January.
Thank you for your support.
PLIC Board of Directors