Meeting Notes: Ferry Committee Work Session with Tom Ballard 2009.11.16


November 16, 2009


Present:  Tom Ballard, Ron Panzero, Glen Veal, Carl Cady, Terry Ebersole, Dyvon Havens, Allen Bush

Meeting held at Skagit County Public Works 10:00 am to Noon.


Purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Roundtable Operating Principles (Attachment A to Resolution #20040393). The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) has requested the Roundtable membership be expanded. At the last meeting, Tom Ballard handed out draft Resolution Rescinding R20040393 and Establishing a Guemes Island Ferry Citizens Advisory Committee (refer to ) and Draft Attachment A By-Laws of the Guemes Island Ferry Citizens Advisory Committee (refer to


Concerns expressed by the Ferry Committee (FC) about the draft document were as follows:

1) If only one FC member were on the Guemes Island Ferry Citizens Advisory Committee (GIFCAC), the other FC members, who have all been very active thus far, would lose interest, and the viability of the FC would be in jeopardy;  2) The Berk study consultant suggested the FC work directly with Public Works; 3) In this draft, the County has no responsibilities in the process.


The FC recommended using most the same wording from R20040393, but changing the section about Roundtable participants to include more representatives. Tom does not wish to go this route, preferring the new and more formal structure of the draft GIFCAC resolution.


Discussion was held re: the value of continuing with a Roundtable (RT). Values include 1) Acts as a buffer between the public and the BCC, thus easing pressures on the BCC; 2) Provides an avenue of communication between County staff and ferry users; 3) Encourages an attitude of collaboration and perception of fairness among stakeholders.  


Lengthy discussion ensued re: potential membership makeup of GIFCAC. Tom Ballard said the BCC would like to each appoint a member to represent them. Ideas re: membership makeup included: Might be tied to sources of ridership revenue; groups represented should have identifiable membership and defined and open organizational structure; why the BCC need reps on a citizens’ advisory group to them; the pending Subarea Plan for Guemes is expected to have a citizens advisory group that may play a role in ferry matters and needs to be considered in the GIFCAC development.


An initial list of potential members to include was developed as follows:

Guemes Island Property Owners Assn (GIPOA)

Guemes Island Community Center Assn (GICCA)

Guemes island Ferry Committee (GIFC)

City of Anacortes

Skagit County Public Works

Representative of each of the BCC districts

Sixth Street neighborhood group


Other organizations or groups, such as SKAT, might come in as resources for particular issues.


It was agreed by consensus that Public Works would chair the meetings of the GIFCAC.


Tom will attempt to work into his draft proposal for a GIFCAC some of the elements of the original R20040393. The group will attempt to get a final draft worked up through email discussions in the upcoming weeks. No date was set for a future meeting.


Tom Ballard and Ron Panzero were asked if they had a process in place to assure that the change to a three person crew would be successful. Ron said that on some days the three person crew was now operational, without problems, so the new schedule should have no difficulties. FC noted that often,  when the ferry  was on a one hour schedule, the crew starts ticketing late enough that the ferry leaves late for the next run. He was apparently not aware of this situation.


No date was set for a future meeting.



Note taker: Dyvon Havens




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