Letters to the Editor

Board should fire Rose, then fire themselves | Letter

Editor,

Regarding Island Transit’s surprise discovery that it must lay off 24 employees and cancel bus service on five routes: Since Island Transit cannot sustain maintenance and operations via a dedicated 9/10th of 1 percent of public sales taxes, the public deserves to be heard as to whether or not Island Transit should be dissolved and its affairs liquidated, thus reducing local sales taxes by 9/10th of 1 percent.

Island Transit’s business model is based solely on an entirely fare-free system in which collection of rider fares in smaller or rural areas such as ours generates virtually no usable revenue.

Island Transit’s perennial funding problems cannot be fixed by charging ridership fares.

Island Transit’s current PTBA, Councilmen Bob Clay, of Coupeville, Jim Sundberg, of Langley, Jim Campbell, of Oak Harbor, and Island County Commissioner Helen Price-Johnson, should fire Martha Rose, hire a new interim director, pass a resolution that would place before the voters the question as whether or not to dissolve and liquidate Island Transit, and then themselves resign their positions as overseers of Island Transit.

I urge our elected officials in Coupeville, Langley, Oak Harbor and Island County to appoint an entirely new PTBA to replace the elected officials currently charged with oversight of Island Transit.

Public oversight of Island Transit is a joke. Elected officials charged with doing so instead simply let Rose do whatever she wants, but the situation is much worse than even I had concluded.

The business model is a perennial failure.

William Burnett

Oak Harbor

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