Carl Weimer and Barbara Brenner have drafted an ordinance establishing a Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee to present to the Whatcom County Council for their consideration. You can read the proposal in its entirety by clicking on the link at the end of Carl’s comments below…..
Thanks for your work on the ferry advisory committee ordinance. I just incorporated many of your suggested changes and sent it to the Council’s Clerk for inclusion in this week’s packet for introduction at next week’s Council meeting. My hope is that it will be discussed in the Public Works Committee on February 14th, where changes can be made, and then potentially voted on that evening.
I did not incorporate all of your suggested changes, so I wanted to point the ones out that I did not incorporate and tell you why I didn’t. Of course all of those things can be changed in Committee or by the full Council, and I will make sure they consider each of the suggestions I did not incorporate.
Changes I did not incorporate:
1. You changed the name from the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee to the Whatcom County Ferry Advisory Committee. I left it as Lummi Island since I think that needs to be the focus, and I don’t want any chance that the committee gets sidetracked commenting on other ferry service in Whatcom County, such as the Alaska Ferry or various private ferry services that are currently operating.
2. In a few places you added language giving the committee the charge of communicating to stakeholders and the public regarding ferry issues. I did not incorporate this idea because I believe the purpose of the committee is to provide advice to the Council and Executive. It is our job to then take that advice and use it how we see fit and then communicate to the public and affected stakeholders. I do not want to set up a system where the possibility exists of having an advisory committee appear to speak for the County.
3. You included a phrase that said “The committee shall also have the authority to determine what expenditures are necessary in order to facilitate the work of the committee.” I left this out because it appears that would somehow give the committee some sort of budget authority, which is the job of the Council. The committee could certainly make such recommendations, but I don’t think they can have that “authority”.
4. You included an annual appointment of a Council liaison to this committee. I don’t have a problem with that, but I left it out to ensure the Council will have that discussion when this is considered.
5. Finally, you included a phrase in the committee staffing section to open up the possibility that committee operations could be considered “capital” expenses. I did not include that because I can not imagine how the operations of an advisory committee could be considered capital expenses.
I have attached the version that I sent for introduction.
Thanks, and stay warm in the snow.