Guemes Island Ferry Committee Meeting, 10 November 2022

Shortly after 7:30 pm, the committee meeting came to order at the Community Hall.

All committee members were in attendance and the meeting was provided for the community on Zoom.  

Andy Leech addressed the committee members at the outset of the meeting about his recent health issues that made fulfilling his duties as a committee member challenging.  Rather than resigning, he asked the committee to provide their support as he continues his recovery.

Gabe Murphy then read a prepared statement addressed to the committee expressing his concern with what he considered rude and bullying behavior towards him by Sandy McKean at the last meeting.  Gabe outlined the way he wishes Sandy to communicate with him in the future. (Gabe has requested that his statement be attached to these minutes.)

Chairman John Hopkins then asked for approval of the September and October meeting minutes.  The September minutes were approved as revised.  More discussion followed on the October minutes which were finally approved in version 4.  These minutes will be posted on the GIFC web site.

Treasurer Allen Bush reported that there remains a $200 deficit for costs associated with the last election.  There is a $100 surplus in the account for purchase of another wheelbarrow when needed.  It is agreed that these funds are not merged.

Gabe will write a letter of appreciation to community member Jim Lemeuix for his contribution of $300 for the purchase of three wheelbarrows.

Gabe will forward two drafts prepared by committee members to ferry management for their consideration in preparing a notice to ferry riders on the process of purchasing tickets.  This notice would be for the benefit of ferry users unfamiliar with existing procedures.

A discussion ensued surrounding Public Works RFQ on a Rate Study.  Zoom participants were invited to comment on this topic.  Mike Murphy recalled an earlier conversation with the county in which the ferry was considered an extension of the highway system.  Ferry users would be responsible for crew wages and benefits, fuel, lubricants, and insurance.  Jackie Gladish stated her agreement with Mike and stated her belief that the county makes money off ferry and reiterated that the ferry is an extension of the highway system.  Allen expressed a different understanding of profit being made by the county from ferry operations.  Sandy pointed out the county’s long-standing policy is the farebox revenue (what Islanders pay) is only expected to cover 65% of the operations/maintenance costs of the ferry; therefore, the county cannot make  profit on the ferry service.  John expressed his belief that the GIFC should offer comments.  Sandy said the period for comments on the RFQ closed on 1 Nov.  The firm KPFF was selected.  Most of the committee feels that it is appropriate that a comment be provided for several reasons, the County suggestion to do away with the 65% rule and for the GIFC to express interest in being involved in ferry related conversations.  It was noted that GIFC has been involved in all ferry related conversations since the inception of the current ferry.  John has prepared a draft memo to the county expressing these concerns.   All but one of the committee members agreed to send John’s memo to both the county (Commissioners and Public Works) and ferry operations management.

Allen brought up the County Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) that contains multiple topics related to the ferry and of importance to Guemes residents.  Among these is the topic of Guemes Island Ferry Parking Lot Improvements and Passenger Shelter.  The TIP provides another opportunity for comment.

The meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.

Andy Leech, Note Taker

Tags: linetime meeting minutes