08/15/2007: "Morris, Quall & Spanel Cut Ferry Funding"
To the Editor:
Like others in the 40th Legislative District, I recently received Rep. Jeff Morris’ legislative report. As a resident of the San Juans, I was particularly interested in his comments about Washington State Ferries.
“Inconsistency and mismanagement by WSF has led to drastic rate increases and has jeopardized some runs,” Morris writes. “I understand that there are some issues that are out of WSF’s control, but the documented cases of poor internal decision making as gone on far too long.”
Voters of this district should know how disingenuous Rep. Morris’ comments are. The “drastic rate increases” and service cuts are the result not of WSF mismanagement but of the legislature’s decision in March, 2000, to eliminate the motor vehicle excise tax, which provided WSF with the bulk of its funding. The legislature has since done virtually nothing since to restore that funding.
Rep. Morris voted to eliminate WSF’s primary source of funding in 2000. The “drastic rate increases” -- essentially a doubling on the Anacortes-San Juan Islands routes -- are a result of that vote, not WSF mismanagement.
People in this district need to hold Rep. Morris -- as well as Rep. Quall and Sen. Spanel, who also voted in 2000 to slash WSF’s funding -- accountable for their significant role in placing WSF’s operations in peril and demand they do something meaningful to solve those problems, rather than just passing blame to WSF’s management.