02/06/2008: "Re-instate Alex Macleod To FAC"
San Juan County Commissioners
I live in a Democracy - or so I thought.
I trust my County Commissioners in an era when there is little trust in our political leaders.
Was I wrong?
Was my trust misguided? With regards to this Council and the decision you make regarding the
Ferry Advisory Committee........I was wrong! My trust was misguided!
You evidently can't be trusted to represent the residents and businesses in San Juan County. Why are you so concerned with Skagit County?
You are, by virtue of your election to this body by the people of San Juan County, commanded to represent us, not Skagit County residents and businesses.
You should be part of the solution......but, I dare say.....you are part of a great big problem. Start doing the job you were elected to do. Make some difficult decisions. Decisions that may not always be "popular".
Decision to be accountable to your public - that very public you were elected to represent. The decision to back off - for the sake of the people, is the right decision.
This council has "awakened a sleeping giant" with it's decision to fire a talented, professional, educated volunteer who knows the meaning of peace, love and respect to all he represents.
You are losing "FAC" members. Are they too leary of your "wrath" of public humiliation, slander and demeaning rhetoric, if they can't be "silenced"? If they make too may "waves"? If they are not "yes men"?
Our ferries are in crisis mode, now even more than the last ten years, that you were supposed to proactively get something done. We have lost at least 3 ferries in the last two weeks. Anything from a rogue wave, to slamming into docks, to testing hulls and putting a hole in it. For heavens sake, this is not the time for "on the job training". This is not the time to place and appoint new FAC members.
Now is the time for the experience of the people you had in place, yet, single-handedly lost. Do the "right thing". Reinstate Alex MacLeod and do not accept the resignations of the other members. Be part of the solution.
Lorelei G. Molitor
An Open Letter:
To the County Commission:
I would like to add my support to the citizen's petition to re-instate Alex Macleod as a member of the Ferry Advisory Committee.
Competence and Commitment
I can add little to what the citizens from Shaw Island so eloquently said today at the Council's Citizen's Access to support Alex. He has been a dedicated and intelligent Chair of the FAC. He has been committed to the interests of our County. It has been a pleasure to work with him.
The process by which Alex was examined by the Council was demeaning. It was demeaning to Alex. It was demeaning to each member of the Council. And it was demeaning to our system of governance.
This public interrogation should never have happened. If the Council was concerned about Alex's performance as Chair of the FAC, then it should have discussed this with him in an informal setting when the allegations first became known to the Council.
I am also troubled by the failure of the Council to document its charges against Alex. What he said and to whom has never been made public. Unspecified accusations by nameless persons is too reminiscent of military tribunals where the accusers are faceless. It is too reminiscent of the unsettling backdrop to Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon.
If indeed Alex did use strong language to criticize the management of WSF and the State for its slow response to the crisis, then he regrettably is on a very solid factual foundation. The Council has yet to grasp the full extent of the crisis facing our County. WSF is literally running out of ferries. The latest casualty is the Hiyu which was scheduled to be our interisland boat from early February to mid-June. Last week a worker rapping on its hull with a hammer punched a hole through it. Now the Hiyu's availability is uncertain. We could be faced with a reduction in the number of ferries serving our islands as WSF juggles mandatory dry-dock schedules and Down-Sound requirements among its decreasing fleet of boats. If that were to happen, the impact on our islands would be incalculable.
I was disappointed when today one member of the Council noted the issues he wishes to discuss with Senator Maria Cantwell on his forthcoming trip to Washington. It was an indicator - albeit a small indicator - that the Council has yet to come to grips with the potential impact of WSF's crisis upon our County. If I were going to Washington to see Senator Cantwell, these would be the priority issues on my agenda:
1. immediate federal funding for new ferries;
2. federal pressure on Olympia to remove its restriction that new ferries be built in Washington State; and
3. profound concern about the Coast Guard's utter failure in its oversight responsibility for the structural integrity of our ferries.
I ask that the Council acknowledge the extent of the ferry crisis and support its FAC.
I ask that the Council reconsider its action against Alex Macleod.
Robert T. deGavre