Haugen scuttled Keystone terminal move
October 29, 2008 · 8:33 AM
After reading about and listening to so much glorification and adulation over the political career of Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, I am compelled to bring the citizens of this legislative district back into focus over her career as the power chairwoman of the State Transportation Committee.
Approximately five years ago, the state realized that the current Keystone ferry terminal was totally inadequate and plans were made to relocate the terminal eastward. This would have resolved several issues: Accommodations for larger vessels, lessening of tidal current problems resulting in ferry cancellations, a wider entry into the dock and and eliminating the need for cancellations due to minus tide conditions at Keystone. Further, other vessels of the fleet could fill in at the new terminal should emergency situations arise. This currently is not possible.
Transportation offices, headed by Sen. Haugen, held public hearings on the proposed relocation of the terminal with residents in the vicinity. Predictably, they all whined and complained and our fearless Mary Margaret interpreted that as a potential loss of votes and determined that the proposal was not in the best interest of the state after all and the state withdrew from any other proposals.
Over the objections of a few NIMBYs (not in my back yard), Haugen and company very seriously impacted great numbers of the general citizenry and countless tourists relying on ferry transportation to and from Port Townsend. The whiners got their way, the public got screwed!
It really doesn't matter what sort of solutions on ferry sizes the department comes up with for Keystone, there will always be the issue of narrow channels, tidal currents, insufficient depth and frequent minus tides resulting in cancellations of any vessels attempting to utilize Keystone.
With the proper leadership, we had the opportunity to once and for all correct the above concerns with a relocated terminal eastward of the current site. Haugen would have by now most likely been enjoying better, safer, regular ferry service. Her abysmal record of leadership in this and other state DOT projects stand as testimonials in her ineptitude and she needs to be replaced this election period.
Notice I said "with the proper leadership." Although she won't be in a position of high authority at the outset, I predict Linda Haddon's election to the State Senate will be a welcomed addition to a failing state Legislature as she is not afraid of whiners, NIMBYS or politicians in general. The public good means more to her then votes.