Recent comments by Vashon’s fire department and Washington State Ferries (WSF) left me feeling that islanders are being held hostage. Here’s what I have to say to them.
To the fire department: Chief Charlie Krimmert implied that if islanders don’t agree to the largest possible property tax increase, we’ll be putting our homes and lives at risk. Yet, it’s the district’s leaders and commissioners who failed the island by allowing the district to approach bankruptcy.
Like the park district before you, you have some explaining to do before you ask us to reach deeper into our already overstretched pockets. How did the department get to this point, and what are you going to do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again? Until we hear answers to those questions, it’s hard to stomach yet another tax increase.
To WSF: While you may be analyzing whether the new loading plan at the Fauntleroy dock is more efficient, I have yet to see anyone monitoring how much farther up Fauntleroy the lines go now or how late in the evening they last, nor how many cars are being left in those lines when the ferries pull away. Nor have I seen anyone from Ferries breathing in the pollution created from all the idling cars now that we have to crawl our way, inch by inch, to the dock.
I invite Amy Scarton, head of WSF, to commute from Vashon for two weeks. Perhaps then you’ll find the wherewithal to come up with a real solution. First suggestion, stop saying you can’t reinstate the bypass lane out of a fear of safety issues. Do the work to fix the safety issues and open it back up.
— Lesley Reed