Letter: Navy seeking comments on nonexisting agreement

Editor,

A Memorandum of Agreement, or MOA, means acceptance or endorsement.

Unfortunately, the Draft MOA released by the Navy to the local newspaper was none of these. None of the consulting partners listed in the Navy’s release agreed to the document as presented to the public. Its publication was a total surprise.

For months, the Navy asked for a public meeting on the historic properties affected by the Section 106 Growler Expansion Plan. Multiple requests from all levels of leadership in our state have been met with silence. The end result — no public meeting, as is required by this federal process — has taken place.

Without a public meeting process there is no way the public can understand what a MOA is or the purpose of a Section 106. This is the Navy’s responsibility. Sending people to a website is insufficient as compared with the impacts of the proposed effect. Asking the pubic to comment on a Memorandum of Agreement that has not been agreed upon is a totally false note.

This recent action demonstrates an ongoing lack of understanding from Washington, D.C of its military decisions and the incremental impact of those decisions on Northwest Washington state.

This brings us closer to an impasse that should be as unacceptable to the Navy and the Department of Defense as it is to the local community. We must keep asking for better results for a Memorandum of Agreement and a better record of decision that provides a respectful and sustainable outcome for Whidbey Island and Northwest Washington.

Northwest Washington communities have been partners with the military in protecting our national security. The latest proposals by the DOD dramatically increase the number of Growler jets and flights — putting us all at risk.

It’s time we stand up for our communities. It is time to say no new jets, no new flights. For information, go to sounddefensealliance.org online.

Patrick Hurley

Coupeville

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