Just before our ferry landing agreement was expiring, I wrote about what that ferry means to us – and the frustrations of depending upon our County representatives to negotiate a “new deal” for a landing lease. What I said in January and February still stands – bummer!
We are now using our mainland ferry landing on a month-to-month basis – our County paying over $16,000 a month to the Lummi Nation for the ferry’s right to pass through a few yards of the Nation’s tidelands. The negotiations are still being held in secret, with even the County Council being kept in the dark about any progress. Our representation – a lame duck, retiring soon, County Executive and a Councilman who has publicly stated that he doesn’t care about us or our ferry. Hmmm – something is VERY wrong with this picture. They told us they would have a “deal” by June and that they were “on track.” Now they are estimating even more months of negotiations and are again looking at using Fairhaven as an alternative ferry landing. From where we Islanders sit, it seems that there has been absolutely NO PROGRESS since the beginning of the year.
So, many of us have banded together to have someone represent our basic right-to-a-road-to-the-island needs. We have formed Protect Lummi Island Community (PLIC); membership is growing; lawyers are now working to represent our needs and to help us have a louder, more effective “voice.”
Sometimes I wonder why we even bother to pay our County property taxes, when our representation is so ineffective. The bright side? If this goes on much longer, we can all ask for reassessment of our property values and our taxes should go down considerably.