In Our Opinion

Sorry, Kitsap County, but it’s your dilemma now

Whether it’s Plan A or Plan B, Washington State Ferries’ latest scheme on how to right its sinking ship is an insult to the communites that depend on the boats on a daily basis. One option offers no financial solutions going forward and the other would continue to dismantle a system that has been serving Puget Sound for nearly 60 years.

Plan B is a ridiculous afterthought that is obviously the result of the budget-squeezing that’s now occurring statewide and isn’t worth a moment of consideration. And Plan A is just more of the same, which means WSF muddling along as a second-class citizen in the state’s financial pecking order, abusing the pocketbooks of its dedicated users and operating in many instances as if it actually makes a lot of money. Vision? There is none.

However, there were some positives coming out of WSF’s meeting on the plans Tuesday night in Bainbridge, beginning with the many inspiring ideas offered by most of the people who testified before WSF chief David Moseley. Generally, they simply demanded a plan that takes WSF forward, not backward.

They mentioned practically every thing that’s wrong with this exasperating system and how best to fix it. Clearly, the users are more attuned with its problems than anyone else. What’s remarkable is that it took only 90 minutes to list the afflictions while it has taken the state six decades to screw it up.

What people deserve is simply to have the state subsidize WSF just as it does our highway system, which is generally toll-free unless your traveling across water. What burns users is that the short-sighted state has encouraged them – at a very high cost – to build their lives around the boats, and now, the state says it’s broke. Well, there’s plenty of money to build a billion-dollar tunnel on the Seattle waterfront, but not enough to bail Kitsap County out of the dilemma the state has concocted.

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