Detailed Comparison of 2 Lease Agreement Versions

Betsy Schneider, intrepid sleuth aided by equally intrepid Michael Schneider, reveal the major differences between the July 5, 2011 and the revision that was introduced by the Council on August 9, 2011 (AB2011-238).

The complete text of AB2011-238 that was introduced can be found under here. (Note: The cover sheet of this document  AB2011-238 incorrectly shows a “July 5” cover page. However, the text of the introduced version is the correct, revised version, not the old first draft from July 5, 2011.  The July 5 draft is no longer on the County’s website, but you can find it here or on the PLIC website.)

The link to the comparison between the two versions is follows Betsy’s  email.  

Thanks to Betsy and Michael.

2011-08-10 Email from Betsy:

I read through the original drafts of the ferry lease agreements when they came out in July, so I was a little dismayed when the August 3rd draft came out without any indication of where changes had been made.  SO . . . I’ve finally done a line by line comparison (with Michael’s help) of the July 5, 2011 draft agreements and the August 3, 2011 draft agreements, and I made a list of the changes that seem to amount to anything.

 Of course, as soon as I finished, the August 8, 2011 draft agreements were released, but we’ve talked to Dan Gibson about those, and he told us that only two changes (one just a typo) were made from the August 3rd drafts to the August 8th, draft, so I’ve included those changes here too.  So, for the benefit of anyone who read the July 5th draft when it came out and isn’t compulsive enough to go line-by-line to find changes that were made in the August drafts, here’s a list of the significant changes.

This is not a complete list of every single change that was made.  Many minor changes were made that cleaned up the wording without changing the meaning, or that made changes that were very minor.  Those are not included here.  The changes listed here are the ones that I thought might be worth examining and thinking about.

Please keep in mind that this is not a full analysis of the agreements themselves, but is only a list of areas where the new draft(s) of the agreements differ from the first draft.


Betsy Schneider


Links to the comparison (in 3 formats to help those with different software):

6 thoughts on “Detailed Comparison of 2 Lease Agreement Versions

  1. I sent the email below to county officials, local news media and non-incumbent candidates for County Council and Executive. I doubt any of them will read this or even the ‘introduced’ version of the contract, but a gal can try, can’t she? So if any of them plead ignorance on this issue, it’s not that we haven’t provided them with what they need to be informed.

    (Aside: I need others to start taking on some of the Forum work, as I’m nearly totally burned out! Colleen is stretched, too. We appreciate thanks but what we really need is help.)

    The email
    >From: Wynne Lee
    >Sent: Aug 13, 2011 7:42 AM
    >To: county council , Pete Kremen , Dan Gibson
    >Cc: “jared.paben” , John Stark , John Servais , KGMI , cascadia weekly editor , Crosscuts Editor , edito-NorthernLight , editor ferndale record , editor-LyndenTribune , Shane Roth , lummiferry
    >Subject: Detailed comparison of two versions of proposed County-Lummi agreement/lease now available
    >The Lummi Island Ferry Forum has now published a detailed comparison of two key versions of the proposed County-Lummi agreements and lease.
    >This detailed work was done by Betsy and Michael Schneider, two island residents, property owners and thoughtfully involved citizens of Whatcom County.
    >This comparison will allow all county residents/taxpayers/voters, property owners, news media, county officials and candidates for County office to more easily see what’s been changed. With luck and work, this should facilitate more informed public comment and smarter decision-making by the Council before it votes.
    >Unfortunately, a yet newer (presumably) version was released at the last minute — the one that the County Council voted to introduce last week, Aug. 9. How that version (AB2011-238)compares to earlier versions remains to be seen.
    >Wynne Lee
    >Lummi Island

  2. I just sent this email to Frank Abart with copies to Council and Pete Kremen:

    Subject: Ferry Lease Map

    Hello, Frank–

    I remember one time you mentioned that formal public disclosure requests take more time to process than direct requests, so I thought I’d try the direct approach this time.

    Would you please send me a copy of a map showing exactly what land the ferry dock lease is about? I’ve heard a million different verbal descriptions, but I would like to see exactly where the land is in relation to the rest of the dock area. I’d prefer getting it electronically via email, but let me know the alternatives if that’s not possible.

    Thanks for your time,
    Nancy Ging
    Lummi Island

  3. I don’t know if this is a change in the original or not, but I found it notable. In footnotes to the legal descriptions of the boundaries of the areas to be leased, there seems to be an effort to avoid anyone questioning if the area is being illegally leased by the County. The language in the uplands lease in particular seems to mean that even if the Lummi’s only owned 10 sq feet of the area described, the County is agreeing that the lease payment is fair compensation for just that 10 square feet. Slightly different in the tidelands footnote, it seems to say the County is agreeing to the area claimed by the Lummi Nation/BOIA even if the state disagrees. Here are the footnotes:

    2 It is the intent of the Parties that this Uplands Lease and the consideration given for it provide for lease by the Lummi Nation to Whatcom County all uplands owned by the Lummi Nation within the external boundaries of the upland property described herein, in the event that the County’s ownership of upland properties is different from that set forth in the description above.

    3 In case of any discrepancy in ownership between the description of tidelands provided herein and the description of bedlands claimed to be granted by the State of Washington, this lease shall be deemed to cover all tidelands within the description above that are claimed by the Lummi Nation and/or the United States in trust for the Lummi Nation.

    • Note from Colleen: I sent the following email to Pete Kremen, the County Council, Dan Gibson, and PLIC:

      I am wondering if you could explain the following footnotes (I inserted the above footnotes here) to the legal descriptions of the boundaries of the areas to be leased in the latest version of the Lummi Island ferry lease. It seems to disallow any challenge to the specifics of Lummi Nation’s claim of ownership or fair compensation.
      The intent, as well as the ramifications of these footnotes are confusing. Thank you for translating.

      I received the following response from Dan Gibson (Asst. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Whatcom County):
      The purpose and effect intended is simply that any property within the described boundaries that does not belong to the County or the State of Washington and which is owned by the Lummi Nation or by the U.S. in trust for the Lummi Nation is subject to the applicable lease.
      Dan Gibson

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