We need to wake up, fight for ferry service | Letter to the Editor
April 10, 2012 · Updated 4:29 PM
Beachcomber readers are encouraged to pay particular attention to Greg Beardsley and Todd Pearson’s commentary regarding ferries (“Once again, lawmakers found funds for ferries,” March 28). This is an incredible success story considering the Vashon ferry situation just two months ago. Faced with severe budget cuts and no additional revenues, the state’s option was to eliminate the Tahlequah-Point Defiance and the Southworth-Vashon-Fauntleroy triangle routes, along with a 265 car-per-day loss in Vashon-Fauntleroy service. It is not hyperbole to suggest that those losses of service would affect everyone on Vashon. The nature and viability of the Islands would negatively change.
Thus, it is very much worthwhile to acknowledge and applaud the ceaseless, multi-year efforts of Greg Beardsley and Kari Ulatoski, a few other Islanders and some of our elected representatives in achieving the final budget result. As successful as Greg and Kari have been as Vashon’s ferry advocates, they can’t be expected to continue as the Islands’ “army of two” in Olympia.
Yes, everyone has their day-to-day demands — sometimes overwhelming. But what if you woke up one morning to a drastically reduced level of ferry service? What would you do? It can happen and almost did!
Business owners, real estate agents, school officials, contractors, people with off-island jobs, fire/rescue personnel — no disrespect, but wake up. This is a bread and butter concern for you.
Greg and Todd noted the same status will exist six to eight months from now as it did two to three months ago. The state requires a long-term, sustainable, predictable revenue stream far beyond fare box collections. This is an impossible lift for two people (plus a few helpers) to accomplish, even with the help of sympathetic lawmakers.
So please, when asked to sign a petition, complete a survey, write a letter to the legislature, advocate with friends and family outside of King County, do so. Everyone makes a difference.
— Jim Otis