An Accounting of Whatcom County’s Ferry Accounting

Tomorrow night (April 4, 2011), in Bellingham at the Garden Room (see News page for directions), 6-9 PM, the Ferry Task Force will present information about ‘all things accounting’ related to the ferry.

This is a session to attend if you’ve ever asked yourself or heard others ask, “Why are docks now under operations rather than capital equipment?” or “How come administrative costs jumped so hugely a few years ago?” or “How reasonable are Whatcom County’s ferry expenses compared to the Guemes or other comparable ferries?”  and (the long-time rumor), “Aren’t the county’s ferry expenses way too high or even being padded somehow?”

Here’s our chance to become informed rather than continuing to wander the crazy labyrinths of rumor, supposition and ignorance we’ve been lost in for so long.

Pat Dunn’s report should prove enlightening. She’s a CPA and very experienced with transportation systems and accounting issues. She, along with Diane Harper, have done a huge amount of work trying to figure this out. Hope you’ll come hear the report.  Numbers may seem dull, but they count!

4 thoughts on “An Accounting of Whatcom County’s Ferry Accounting

  1. I think you are doing a great job. I would like to point out, however, that for Jerry and me to drive into Bellingham to attend this meeting would cost us a $21 ferry fare plus gas. And we wouldn’t be able to make the 9:20 ferry, so we would not get home till after 10. Is there some way we could get this information without the expense and hassel of a trip to town?

  2. Hi Anne & Nancy

    I imagine there should be a written report, hopefully complete enough to answer questions. Maybe someone will be recording this session, too — don’t know; I’m out of that loop.

    I believe this session is being held on the mainland because the Whatcom County ferry operational costs are borne not just by ferry users, but by all those whose property taxes pay into the road fund (that 45% or more of annual operating costs), The task force reasoned that this session should be held at a mainland venue to make it easier for those many people to attend. Yes, it means another cost (time, money) for islanders to attend.

  3. Back in January when the Task Force was setting out a work program we decided to have two meetings a month on the island and the 4th Monday to meet on the mainland. Mostly this was to fulfill the Council’s request for outreach to the larger Whatcom County community, but also we have two wonderful volunteers from the mainland who come to all the island meetings at theri own expense.
    We did deliberately pick the accounting topic for a Bellingham meeting because we hoped to have public works staff attend. That did not happen, but Carl Weimer did come. Pat’s handout and presentation will be available this weekend. We will also be presenting a recap of all the topics we’ve covered thus far at our Open House on 5/2. I hope many of the FF readers will be there.

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