WSF engages in a con game with city over property | Our Opinion | Oct. 15

Once again, Washington State Ferries has perpetuated a sham involving the narrow, 0.9-acre of land that lies on the west side of WSF’s Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility. It began with WSF chief David Moseley giving the city an option to either take the land or $2 million (or whatever the State Legislature deems to be an appropriate value).

The city responded by setting up two public meetings for receiving community input on ideas for either the leased land or water-related uses paid for by the money. Meanwhile, Interim City Manager Brenda Bauer and Moseley have engaged in several negotiations, which appear to be a waste of time since Moseley had insisted on several restrictions that would make the land unattractive to any operator to which the city would sub-lease the property.

The community has overwhelmingly declared it prefers having a haulout facility on the land, but Moseley’s initial suggestion of a monthly lease of between $25,000 to $30,000 for the land was an insult. He has since backed off on specific numbers, saying WSF would consider leasing it for a market-based rate.

The only legitimate idea that’s come up for use of the water is upgrading the city’s dock and creating a marina. It’s a reasonable alternative, but it’s a far cry from what the community seems to really want. But, considering the state’s fiscal crisis, who’s to say that any funding will be available when the city asks for it.

Meanwhile, Moseley keeps saying the state will honor the MOA that led to the 20-year lease some 15 years ago for that sliver of land. The lease remains flapping in the wind off Eagle Harbor as WSF keeps playing its mind games with the city.

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