Retain our ferry committee
March 3, 2009 · 1:47 PM
I read with interest your editorial recommending abolition of the “North Sound Ferry Advisory Committee.”
There is in facts no such committee, per se. That term is used by Washington State Ferry management personnel when referring collectively to the four local terminal ferry advisory committees in their North Sound territory - Mukilteo, Clinton, Keystone and Port Townsend.
The local ferry advisory committees are appointed by the Island County Commissioners. They communicate informally among themselves by telephone and email, and arrange for public meetings in their local communities when requested to do so by Washington State Ferries (usually three to four times per year). The chairpersons of the local committees (known collectively as the Executive Committee) travel to Seattle regularly — at their own expense — to meet with various ferry management personnel and discuss both local and system concerns. They receive no per diem funds or cost reimbursement. Their identities and contact information is published on the Washington State Ferries Web site.
Were it not for the efforts of these dedicated volunteers, no regular local input would be provided to Washington State Ferries. I, therefore, suggest that abolition is not in the best interest of the citizens of Island County or of Washington State Ferries.
Julia L. Hodson