Notes, Guemes Island Ferry Committee

Quarter Public Meeting of October 7, 2007

35 people in attendance.


Glen reported on several meetings the Committee has had in recent months with the County Commissioners and the Round Table. The new Public Works Director is Jim Voetberg. Jim is very interested in cost containment and looking at creative ways to achieve that. Jim informed us there will be no fare increase in 2008. He would like to move to a 3-person crew during certain times of the day. Adding to the holding lane on the Guemes side will probably occur in 2009, with design in 2008.

Cash Handling

Ron Panzero is charged with writing the policy on cash handling. Ron noted the same person cannot sell and take tickets. There are lots of logistical issues. If they collect on the boat, there are problems with people being out of their cars, for example. Also, the Treasurer has a problem with the purser walking around with a big wad of cash. He said any time there are passengers on board, there must be a captain and two deck hands on board (one of them can be no further back than the rear of the building).

Fourth Crew Person

Ron says they are looking at moving to three-person crews the first and last 2-3 hours of the day. This will take 213 crew hours off the books, which will save a substantial amount of money
Someone pointed out that on the WA State Ferry, there is no need for anyone to take tickets beyond the toll booth. Ron is looking at the possibility of a toll booth on the Anacortes side.

Boat Security

Ron is working on a plan for boat security in foul weather. There will be stronger mooring lines and the boat will be moved if high winds and outgoing tides are predicted to create hazardous conditions.


Creosote is no longer permitted, and they will be replacing the current wingwalls with pressure-treated wood that is covered with some type of synthetic material.


Ron told the County he wants three changes made to the current schedule, but the County attorneys advised him not to change it. A resolution will be presented in 10-15 days allowing staff to make minor changes to the schedule without going through the resolution process.

Emergency Service

Ron wrote a memo re: emergency service, and the County attorneys sent him a 1.5 page response. After that, Ron gave up on pursuing the issue. Ron pointed out he has had no problem getting enough crew to respond to emergencies outside normal operating hours. They have a requirement that no regular full or part-time crew will be hired who live more than 20 minutes from the ferry dock. If someone has an emergency, they need to call 911. That is the procedure. 911 will then call Ron and he will dispatch a crew.

Parking Lot Security

P. Murray pointed out the need for protection of autos in upper lot if we want to encourage walk-ons. Ron encouraged people to report any incidents to the Anacortes police. The more reports they get, the more patrols they will make. The police patrol the lots and have been putting a note on the ferry building door 1-2 times a month. Someone suggested putting up a surveillance camera, even if it doesn’t work. Ron plans to looks into the logistics of installing a surveillance camera.


Delivery is expected on Oct 15 of an 8’ x 12’ office for Ron. It will remove one crew parking spot.

Ideas from Islanders

Peggy Starr: Provide full-fare ticket books that are valid for a long period of time.
Jodi Meekins: Use rechargeable cards, like at Starbucks. (Ron noted that the County does have the capability of doing bar codes).
Allen Bush: We need to increase the volume of traffic on the ferry to get the highest throughput and efficiency.
Jodi Meekins: Can the crew wear name tags? (Yes, says Ron, and he will take care of it.)
?? Put name and photo of new crew members in The Evening Star. (Ron will do).
Jodi: Could the big hole in the pavement at the top of the road in Anacortes be repaired? (Ron will see if County catch patch it or, if not, the City).
Ron encouraged people to call him with ideas, comments, questions. Cell phone: 333-1496.
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