If you follow the Ferry Forum you will have read Bill Fox’s comprehensive legal case against the proposed ferry lease and Jim Dickinson’s excellent common sense analysis plus Tip Johnson prediction that there could be a satisfactory political solution to the ferry crisis. I find I am in agreement with taking a position against this lease.
It’s just bad business to pay an unsustainable amount.
In the future, when the County is even in worse shape than it is now, when the Loonie has sunk back down below par and there aren’t as many of our Canadian brothers and sisters available to keep Whatcom County going, the politicos will looking for quick ways to cut costs. The ferry lease, with its excessive cost, will be a prime candidate.
John Robinson, on the ferry forum, has made the point that we need to think about Lummi Islanders of the future and not hamstring them with costs so onerous that it will be difficult if not impossible to consider a replacement boat for the Chief.
Chandler Johnson has demonstrated that the lease is so front end loaded with costs that the County will not have any wiggle room after the first few years.
If you are worried about being isolated, this lease should be your biggest worry. It takes away all the options leaving us with an aging boat and no money available for upgrades. The future alternative may include a private ferry system and a passenger boat at that.
My argument has always been that we need to maintain flexibility, particularly as to our destination, because of unknown future costs (such as severe increases in the cost of fuel or its unavailability). This lease undermines flexibility.
I commend PLIC for hiring a bus. It’s a rehearsal for getting to town or some distant parking lot in the future.