Public should have had chance to volunteer for advisory board | Letter to the editor

Posted 1/19/22

I want to bring to the public’s attention the fact that, solely on her own, County Commissioner Kate Dean has decided to not advertise an opening on our local Ferry Advisory Committee. Instead, …

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Public should have had chance to volunteer for advisory board | Letter to the editor

Posted

I want to bring to the public’s attention the fact that, solely on her own, County Commissioner Kate Dean has decided to not advertise an opening on our local Ferry Advisory Committee. Instead, she has decided to simply award the position to the city of Port Townsend’s selected person, Steve King, who is the city’s Public Works Director.

While Mr. King would appear to be a qualified candidate, I object to the fact that the position is not being made available to any other member of our community.

I requested that the opening on the Ferry Advisory Committee be advertised in the usual way; Commissioner Dean responded:

“I see zero benefit in undergoing a time-intensive process when we have a highly qualified appointee that has been authorized by the city to serve. I see many reasons NOT to do a time-intensive process.” “As such, I’m asking staff to move ahead with putting Steve King before the board for approval.”

It seems odd that a county commissioner, one who is no longer the chair of the board of county commissioners, would feel empowered to direct county staff to take such action.

Members of the Ferry Advisory Committee serve for four-year terms; the position being filled is to serve out the 1½ year remainder of a term that was held by a committee member who has left the area.

More information about the role and responsibilities of Ferry Advisory Committees can be found on the Washington State Ferries website at wsdot.wa.gov/travel/washington-state-ferries/about-us/community-participation (scroll to the bottom of page).

Persons interested in serving should contact the county.

Tom Thiersch
Chair, Jefferson County Ferry Advisory Committee, Port Townsend terminal

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