Ferry Airing

Bremerton residents get their official chances to hear the passenger-only ferry plan today. The two meetings will be at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Kitsap Transit Harborside building on the second floor.

As has been mentioned here, the meetings have drawn light attendance elsewhere. You can have differing views on why.

The low turnout is a reflection of difference between this election and the one in 2003. In that one, I attended meetings that drew large numbers. On Bainbridge they had a bona fide debate. Perhaps it’s the result of this election happening in February, what many label a “stealth” election.

It’s hard to get a read on what will happen this time around. I’ve heard voters on both sides who say they’re voting differently than they did on the last one.

Some people like to argue the “Why is thing being brought up again when so many people opposed it last time?” line. Personally, I think there are plenty of reasons, the main one being that people change their minds. I saw it twice on Bainbridge levies.

I also lived in Utah for several years and in the early 1990s voters turned down a tax increase to fund light rail. The transit authority later found (Seriously, found?) money from other sources and got some federal funds to build a 17-mile rail line. People were angry that the agency was building something they said voters had rejected. Track supporters argued that what people rejected was the tax increase, so the transit agency went ahead. The trains are now highly popular and people have voted for tax increases to get commuter lines to far flung places.

Kitsap Transit has a big margin to make up. The last one had 62 percent of voters against it. If the agency were to win, it would be a pretty big reversal.

27 thoughts on “Ferry Airing

  1. Part of the reason for low turnout I believe , is in a way why the PO boats did not catch on last time , our schedules are so full and complicated , each having something different that changes it , hard to get everyone going to the same place at the same time . .. Public School Meetings attendance is low when I use to attend them , I know many school adminitrators would get so flustered about it , but it was not a guage in my opinion of the importance of the subject to the majority . Too bad he did not tape them …

    Looks to me its the same plan as last time … From everything I read and seen .

  2. I hope people haven’t attended because they have or will vote YES.

    Those opposing, if they have not availed themselves of the opportunity to ask the questions at the meetings may well be naysayers…. and likely vote no for most things. They most certainly do not represent the majority of people in Kitsap County.

    We need a start and I believe in the future of the fast passenger ferry for Kitsap County.

    Based on several comments from undecided folks at a meeting I attended last night…..a comment was that KT didn’t spell out what and how they would meet the needs of the passengers.

    Does KT plan to meet every ferry run?
    Does KT plan to set Park & Ride lots in place and how soon?

    My assumption is that Kitsap Transit will go out of their way to accommodate the needs of the people in our county.

    I believe KT will look for ways to improve service… that is their job.
    It is not KT v the citizens of our county…it SHOULD be that KT answer to the needs of the people they SERVE.
    I believe they will, if they haven’t before.

    When something tried yesterday doesn’t work, do we quit or do we try another avenue, another approach?

    Newspapers are a good example. They evolve or die.
    Time moves on. Some of us like it, others want to stay in a spot of comfort… no changes…and that’s okay too.

    The newspaper that ignores and does not anticipate and search for ways to be of use, of service to the population, the generation they serve and look to the next will eventually run out of the black, run awhile in the red, until it too, disappears.

    I recently gave back shares in a newspaper I love.
    Giving them up felt like I was giving away a part of myself. But if the newspaper was to continue, that was part of the deal and had to be.

    As long as that newspaper, any newspaper, town or county, evolves, it connects the past to the present and to the future. It will continue to serve the people.

    Why should any of us expect perfection from the beginning?

    We START and we evolve to meet and -hopefully- exceed the expectations.

    The good administer will listen to the people s/he serves and respond to their concerns.
    I hope we have a good administer in Kitsap County Transit. I believe we do.
    Sharon O’Hara

  3. How disappointing; I went to the Harborside Kitsap Transit office for the Proposition 1 meeting before 7pm today and waited until 7:40pm. Dick Hayes was supposed to be presenting and did not show nor did anyone else. I was on the fence but now will vote no as I cannot believe that this was so unimportant to them not to have someone presenting information. Heck with the costly special interest issue is how I feel.
    Happy at home now, rp

  4. Mr. Parker,

    I guess you were the guy who left in the middle of the presentation. KT Services Head John Carlson and KT Capital Projects Coordinator Wendy Clark-Getzin came in directly from their MTAK meeting (which went long) and answered people’s questions until 9:30pm.

    Even the Biodeisel guy seemed pretty satisfied by the end of the session.

    If you still have quetions that can only be answered by Dick Hayes, perhaps you should send an e-mail to him at ktexecutive@kitsaptransit.com

  5. I didn’t go to the meeting because of the lack of free parking downtown. And the Kitsap Transit bus route in my neighborhood doesn’t run late enough for that to have been an option.

  6. Mr. Dietz,

    I am pleased to inform you that street
    Parking is free in Downtown Bremerton after 7pm
    (when the meeting started). Feel free to see a classic movie at the Admiral Theater, or sing in Kareoke Night at the South Beach Bar, or enjoy an ice cream at Coldstone, or an exotic beer at Fritz Fries.

    As to night transportation, The last bus to East Bremerton leaves at 8:55pm. The last West Bremerton bus leaves at 9:15pm.

    And just think, persons using the Fast Ferry can use these too upon arrival and wait for the next bus. If the ballot measure passes.

  7. Mr. Brockus…I’ve voted YES, and would have for the greater good of our area…but I must ask ….
    (I did not know I had questions until now)
    I’ve presumed Kitsap Transit will arrange scheduling to accommodate the fast passenger boat scheduling and have told everyone that of course they will.
    Will buses be waiting on each side for our passengers?
    That is important. Each and every ferry needs to have a bus the passengers can depend on to get them where they need to go.
    Also, we must have a Stop & Ride outside Bremerton for the convenience of the passengers. The next to last thing Bremerton needs is more cars downtown.
    Where will it be and when will it begin operation?
    Thank you.
    Sharon O’Hara

  8. That question was asked at the meetings, and Service Director John Clauson responded that there will be Ferry Take-Home Busses and that Park & Ride Lots, such as the one at McWilliams Road will be added and expanded in Kitsap County. Things will probably be in limbo on the Seattle Side until they figure out whether it’s going to be a tunnel or a viaduct, but we do know that will be very important.

    I have also found out that more information sessions have been added for next week. Bremerton’s will be at Wednesday, January 31, 7pm at the Kitsap Transit Harborside Office, Conference Room. If Mr. Dietz wishes to come, there will be parking available on 2nd Street.

    And I before I get some picky emails, let me clarify that street parking in Downtown Bremerton is always free, it’s just that the 1 and 2 hour time limits are turned off after 7pm. Working downtown I can state that I see more street slots that are open on Pacific Ave. and Second St. during the day since the Navy Garage opened. Please come on by and see for yourself.

  9. Thank you! Great communication is vital and appreciated…after the election as well.
    Kitsap County, thanks to the good major and people such as Mr. Brock, is in good hands.
    Where and what time will the Silverdale meeting be?
    I understand that Seattle’s overpass issue must be resolved, but surely Kitsap Transit can arrange a temporary ‘something’….we can’t have people take the fast ferry and end up in a worse situation than if they had driven around.
    Will KT have a map showing the location for the fast ferry on both sides?
    Kitsap Transit arranges for bus exchanges for physically challenged folks — how about arranging connections for the ferry folks?
    Sharon O’Hara

  10. Here’s the full Press Release

    Transit Agency adds more POF Public Meetings

    Five more meetings scheduled on Kitsap Transit’s foot ferry tax proposal

    For more information, contact Cathie Knox-Browning at (360) 478-6230 or ktexecutive@kitsaptransit.com

    Kitsap Transit will have five more public meetings next week at sites around the county regarding its proposed passenger ferry and sales tax proposal. The agency decided to add more meetings after a mailer with the original 13 meetings arrived after the fact in some mailboxes in various parts of Kitsap.

    Monday, January 29, 7pm at the Silverdale Community Center, Poplar Room

    Tuesday, January 30, 7pm in Port Orchard at the Givens Community Center, Kitsap Room

    Wednesday, January 31, 7pm in Bremerton at the Kitsap Transit Harborside Office, Conference Room

    Thursday, February 1, 3pm on Bainbridge Island at the Bainbridge Fire Station #21, 8895 Madison Avenue

    Thursday, February 1, 7pm on Bainbridge Island at the Bainbridge Fire Station #21, 8895 Madison Avenue

    Kitsap Transit is asking local voters to consider a three-tenths of a cent sales tax to fund a plan to provide direct passenger ferry service from Bremerton, Kingston, Port Orchard and Southworth to downtown Seattle. Ballots were mailed to all registered voters the week of Jan. 15th, this election is by mail only and ballots must be postmarked by February 6, 2007.

  11. We’ve sent in our YES! vote, but thank you for the generous, extended opportunity to get better informed of the fast ferry first step to Kitsap County’s future.

    Sharon O’Hara

  12. Adam ,

    Too bad there was not enough time for some open debates about this . I suppose the third time they try to put it the ballot that may happen ?

  13. In my personal opinion, I agree. It seems that the anti-ferry folk are so much more organized in their letter-writing campaign, pushing NIMBY and “no tax is ever good” buttons in their Letters to the Editor.

    However, if this fails, there won’t be a third time. This is it for Kitsap County. WSF is getting out of Passenger Ferries and the private business venture was killed by a spike in diesel prices. So, I invite you to make the most of the 12 days and 5 information sessions that are available until the Feb. 6 deadline to mail in your ballot.

  14. … aren’t the open meetings they are holding now used for ‘open debate’?
    Maybe this upcoming week, the third week of open meetings on the subject, you’ll be able to attend one and debate the issue.?
    Why do you avoid the meetings with people who can answer your concerns?
    Are you afraid logic might change your mind?
    Why don’t you meet the issue half way?
    Sharon O’Hara

  15. I have met and spoken with some of the ‘fence straddlers’ and they are sincerely undecided.
    They do not have a closed no mindset…they want what is best for Kitsap County and our environment… they’re intelligent and I hope by now, they have made one or more of the meetings.
    I believe the majority of folks in this county will vote for the fast foot ferry…if for no other reason than to take the first step and know glitches will be handled one at a time.
    Sharon O’Hara

  16. Adam,

    One thing that has been evident , is the sides on this issue have strange ideological partners teaming up with each other . I read a note that compared voting yes was like supporting the Iraq war . This was written by an anti PO supporter from the Vote No coalition .

    Unions are coming out against it because of the Union issue , and the parent company of Aqua Express operations in the Bay Area .

    You got the folks who vote no to world peace teaming up with folks who usually never saw a tax they could not support .

    I notice in the North End according to the PDC Reports the pro side heavy contributors is the owner of Kingston Lumber , Real Estate Interests , and the Aqua Express . No support really except from the Ferry Advisory Committees.

    I saw a cartoon in the Herald today that had the ballot saying dead on arrival in the mail box by Frank Shiers. .

    The PO folks needed someone besides government sponsored pro groups in their support .

    Hard to sell the average tax payer when the pro folks are government or people looking to make a bunch a money like real estate brokers and lumber yards . The small over all minority that will acctually use the PO boats , I totally understand their need, but to sell that need to make us feel like its for the public good , nope did not do it . I voted no like
    It was my civic responsibility for the bettr of all of us as the majority of us did .

    To try and paint us any other way is why you lost , what you needed were some average people with no monetary gain in your camp ..

    No where to be found ..

  17. Mr. Brockus,

    I’m glad to hear that there won’t be a third time. I thought that the message sent the first time was pretty loud and clear but I guess they need to hear it again.

  18. “Average people with no monetary gain…” are exactly the kind of people voting FOR the fast passenger ferry.
    They are looking beyond a few pennies out of their pocket to Kitsap County’s future…something the naysayers aren’t doing.
    Most of the folks that I know voting FOR will seldom have cause to use the foot ferry, yet have or will vote for it.
    Those folks I respect for looking beyond themselves.
    Sharon O’Hara

  19. Sharon ,

    The people who vote in this county , for or against this issue do so without any regards to gaining your respect .

    And as for possible a life learning lesson , it takee no character redeeming quality to respect the opinion of someone who agrees with you .

    Your Friend , Mickey Mouse .

  20. Read it again.

    “>>>Those folks I respect for looking beyond themselves.””””

    Fact is, looking beyond one’s own pocketbook to the greater good is worthy of anyone’s respect… I always thought so..

    Except for you folks, I guess.

    Sharon O’Hara

  21. Read it again.

    “>>>Those folks I respect for looking beyond themselves.””””

    Hmmm, could it be looking beyond your own pocketbook include being say a Real Estate broker who voted no on this ?

    Or could it be looking beyond themselve could actually be disagreeing with Sharon O’Hara ?


  22. just returned from kitsap transit’s hopefully last presentation of prop 1 info. was quite interested to hear dick hayes response when asked why the proposition was not written with tax ending wording if foot ferry attempt fails. this was discussed with him, mr. templeton who wrote the draft and others. the responsed was loud and clear-why give the money back if we are able to get it. some public servant. p.s. does adam brockus really want to be the next mayor of bremerton? if so should he not poll his constituancy better to know what they think? his guesses are not always correct. i hope his stint on the kitsap transit board is one of true positive impact for all of kitsap.
    happy at home again. dp

  23. Mr. Parker,

    Firstly, I am not running to be the next mayor of Bremerton. It doesn’t pay enough.

    Secondly, I do talk with my constituents in Manette and I’ve found them to be pro-Passenger Fast Ferry. There are some which are against it like Ms. Brown on Entai, but a good portion do use the existing ferry or make trips to Seattle. What I also hear a lot is that no one trusts WSF to do anything for riders in Bremerton, and that there needs to be a run in that big hole between 12:35pm and 3pm.

    Also they’re split 50-50 about letting dogs in bars.

    But finally, this is a ballot and it’s not about me polling the citizens and then voting. This is where you, the voters decide. So thank you for getting as informed as you can and make your vote count by sending in your ballot by Tuesday.

  24. Dear Adam,

    Apparently I need to state more clearly my position on the passenger-only ferries. I am not opposed to them, and have, in fact, ridden the Chinook (when it was operating) so I could add to my knowledge about it. It was a stormy day, the boat shuddered as it hit the waves of Elliot Bay, and the floor of the unisex bathroom was covered with water from the toilet splashing over (so hygenic!)

    My concern has been consistent for several years: the actions of government and/or other agency employees that adversely impact our environment, with no recourse or access to information by the citizens who are impacted.
    In this current case I am trying to be pro-active, by pointing out the problems that have not yet been addressed: the completion and evaluation of the wake-test trials; the SEPA process for beach replenishment studies that is only in the permit step; KT promises for 30-minute trips that are, in fact, 38-minute trips until there is a boat that can pass the tests.

    I love to take my visitors and grandchildren on boat rides, whether it is personal watercraft or ferries. If we are adding a new type of ferry, I will most certainly ride it. But I cannot support a ferry that will damage our beaches, nor should anyone else. I think that point has finally been made and accepted.

    Finish the studies! Find boats that can pass the tests! Don’t damage our Kitsap shores! Be honest with the public! Only then will I be quiet and stay home and turn my attention to other things.

    Ms Brown of Enetai Beach

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