Celebrating the Lease

The PLIC Board sent out this email today:

We are pleased to inform you that by a 5-2 vote following a public hearing last night, County Council approved and will sign the ferry lease agreement, as introduced August 9, for continued service at Gooseberry Point. The lease is for 35 years.

Please save the date and plan to attend the next PLIC all-community meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 22, 6:30 p.m. at The Grange Hall on Lummi Island. PLIC will provide main dish, drinks, and dessert for a pot-luck celebration.

Sixteen individuals spoke to Council during the public hearing. (Alphabetically) Crawford, Kershner, Knutzen, Mann, and Weimer voted for, citing that it is the best deal possible after 2 years of negotiations and no better Plan B; Brenner and Larson voted against, citing reasons of annual costs, flawed negotiation strategy (lack of leverage), and abandonment of legal positions.

Soon we will post some information about last night’s session. Meanwhile, you can read a bit on this link to a Lummi Island Friends group: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/144707378916970/

And in the Bellingham Herald:

Thank you for everything you contributed in time, energy, passion, research, dialogue on ideas and input, volunteerism, and financial support toward obtaining this security and stability for Lummi Island ferry transportation after more than two years of uncertainty affecting thousands of Lummi Island stakeholders in residency, family and other personal ties, and commerce.

PLIC Board of Directors

One thought on “Celebrating the Lease

  1. for those of you who couldn’t make it to the party–

    from Mike McKenzie……


    More than 60 persons attended last night (Thu 9/22) as PLIC held its monthly all-community meeting in The Grange Hall as a celebration of the approval of the lease. The PLIC Board provided a ham dinner, cake and ice cream, and appropriate tippling beverages for toasting. Attendees rounded out the pot luck. Megan Crouse led a group toast to end the evening.

    The Board honored former board member Fred Kinney for his long and tireless work both before PLIC was formed and on the Board for two years. A plaque was presented to him and his wife Linda for
    “going the extra nautical mile on behalf of PLIC and your community”, signed by all the board members, past and present, who served with Fred. They also received a gift certificate for Chocolate Necessities.

    Information was shared that the County attorney who has participated in all the negotiations, Dan Gibson, told the PLIC Board the lease has been approved by all parties — Lummi Indian Business Council, Whatcom County, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (tidelands lease only) and that it will be signed by all parties in the near future. He reported that he and LIBC attorney Diana Bob are ironing out “reconciliations” (legal term) of some of the language, which is appropriate and typical in a situation like this, and then it would be signed by:

    – LIBC Chair Cliff Cultee and the LIBC lead attorney
    – Whatcom County Executive (Pete Kremen) and Council Chair (Sam Crawford, who was part of the negotiating team throughout), and Gibson as a witness.
    – The BIA legal representative in the Everett regional office. (The BIA does not sign off on the uplands lease, only the tidelands lease.)

    Gibson also told the PLIC Board that he intends to remain totally transparent in the process and inform the public as events take place.

    At the community meeting, several attendees made statements about the sense of relief and accomplishment that the ferry lease represents for the Island community. The Board turned the event into a celebration of the 500-strong PLIC membership and all non-member participants who provided such wide and influential input into the two-year pursuit of the No. 1 PLIC mission and goal: long-term ferry service at Gooseberry Point (the lease is for 35 years).

    The community bonded in so many ways: financial, volunteerism, petition and email and flyer and telephone support with Island stakeholders, Whatcom County and the Congressional delegation, ideas and policy input both pro and con at monthly public meetings and through the PLIC website (www.plicferry.org), and participation in the governmental process through appearances and speaking at public meetings.

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