This was originally posted to: Guemes Island Ferry Facts Coalition

Why A Guemes Island Ferry Facts Coalition?

Today, we are pleased to announce that we are forming a new support group to request that the Skagit County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) re-consider their pursuit of an all electric ferry at this time. The new group will be known as the Guemes Island Ferry Facts Coalition (GIFFC). We invite you to join us in this effort!

Many of us have expressed concern about the BOCC’s rush to build an all-electric ferry for numerous reasons including need, cost, level of service and unproven new technology. The BOCC has steadfastly refused to entertain any discussion about alternatives to their desire to build the first electric ferry in the United States.

Several months ago, we were fortunate to learn about Brent Morrison, a licensed naval architect with a family history on Guemes, who had been doing research on the BOCC’s electric ferry proposal. We have met occasionally with Brent this year to learn more about electric ferries and have been impressed with the depth of his research paper entitled “Guemes Ferry Replacement: One Engineer’s Perspective”. We have reached the conclusion that the BOCC should reconsider its own engineering findings before proceeding any further. Brent shared his findings in individual meetings with each County Commissioner and the Public Works Department show- ing them how they had chosen the “worst” propulsion system according to Skagit County’s own engineering studies. Brent was told by most County officials that the decision had been made and there was no going back. Brent then followed with a series of questions, a concept agreed to by the County, which they ultimately declined to answer.

Those of us who have studied Brent’s engineering analysis have learned that the lack of reliability of the proposed electric ferry puts us at risk when it comes to providing the same level of service we expect from the “Guemes”. We believe the only way we can avoid this mistake by the BOCC is to ask them to answer Brent’s questions related to the electric ferry replacement be- fore proceeding any further.

We hope you will take the time to read Brent Morrison’s “Guemes Ferry Replacement: One Engineer’s Perspective” and also the follow-up questions. If you agree that we should not be put at risk by the blind pursuit of an electric ferry by the BOCC, we welcome you to join our effort by adding your name to the Guemes Island Ferry Facts Coalition (GIFFC). We plan on getting Brent’s analysis out to Skagit County residents and particularly the challenging commissioner candidates over the next two months before the General Election Nov. 3. We hope you will add your name to the GIFFC to show your support. We will keep you apprised of our effort and look forward to receiving your input. Thank you!

Steve Orsini, Howard Pellett, Glen Veal

Tags: giffc