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Archive for May, 2010

PLIC Meeting Minutes

Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 06:05 PM
posted by mike

May 19, 2010 Community Meeting

RESEARCH: Fred Kinney reported that efforts are underway to gather information relating to:

  • Ferry operating and capital costs,
  • Reasons for major cost increases,
  • Ferry ridership analysis,
  • Possible sources of funding,
  • Legal issues related to ferry operations.

The objective is to provide information to the Island and County Council members in a clear and concise manner, and to seek ways to obtain funding to ease the Island’s and County’s financial burden.

As an example, Fred pointed out that the State provides $500,000 annually that is shared by Whatcom, Skagit and Pierce County. This level of State assistance was established in 1991 as a stop-gap measure and has never been adjusted upward to compensate for rising costs since then.

He suggested that officials from these three counties could work together as a political team to get additional State support.

A number of attendees volunteered to assist in research efforts as information becomes available and specific tasks become better defined.

MEMBERSHIP/FUNDRAISING: Dave Wing brought everyone up to date on the efforts of the membership drive. Through one-on-one contacts with neighbors, various current members helped sign up 241 new members. (Note: at the time this report was submitted, PLIC was approaching 300 members, and now has surpassed that on the way to a stated goal of 500.)

During a small group breakout session several additional members agreed to do neighbor-to-neighbor contacts in the areas where they live.

Members also signed up to work an information/membership table at the Farmers Market on Saturdays from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The breakout group discussed other ways to increase membership. Methods will be implemented as soon as possible, such as a mailing to off-island property owners and to PLIC donors.

Any islanders who want to assist in the membership drive in their neighborhood, please contact Dave Wing, [email protected]

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS: Mark Sexton reported that the county Council took action last week that may affect our future ferry service, and we should all try to be as informed as possible. To quote from the county update:

“The Whatcom County Council was updated on the status of the negotiations on Tuesday night, May 11, during an Executive Session. During the regular County Council meeting that evening, a motion was made and approved requesting that the County Administration work with the Port of Bellingham on alternative options for the ferry dock.

The Council took the action to assure that all options and financial considerations were pursued. Both the Lummi Nation and Whatcom County continue to negotiate and both groups believe that a solution is possible in the coming months.”

Dave and the Board encouraged a strong turnout at the next County Council meeting, May 25, because numbers count in getting the Council’s attention, and we need to demonstrate the consensus that exists on the Island regarding Gooseberry Point as the only reasonable option for our ferry terminal. Dave suggested that a few volunteers speak during open session, and stated that our attendance will be noticed.

PLIC will help organize similar attendance to all County Council meetings, every other Tuesday, until an agreement is in place for ferry service.

We broke out into small groups and brainstormed ideas, with great input from all the participants on how to engage more of our neighbors to write letters, attend PLIC community meetings, and generally to speak with a positive voice to our county representatives.

COMMUNICATIONS: Mike McKenzie revealed that a new, professionally produced PLIC official Web site, www.PLICferry.org, is in design phase and expected to go live very soon. It will contain numerous elements and links to enhance more rapid, frequent, and informational updates to PLIC membership and other Lummi Island stakeholders, and to the public at large.

A regular blog, current events and news will anchor the site. The PLIC mission statement and by-laws, plus community meeting minutes will be archived. It will contain a photo album, Ferry Tales feature, Lummi Island history, and other materials.

Additionally, the site eventually will have interactive features, and in the meantime several ways for site visitors to communicate with the PLIC Board of Directors and County Government officials.

Part of the master plan for the site includes use of audio and video, photos and other graphic images, newsletter sign-up, membership form, links to other vital information and related sites (such as contact info for county government officials), and more.

A task force chart was distributed detailing all the needs for volunteer assistance to grow the communications channels for the PLIC community alliance and movement. This included compiling an area media list for regular distribution.

In a break-out group following the general session, nine volunteers committed to task-specific areas of carrying out the vision for effective communications.

Mike emphasized how critical this is, in light of developing news in the negotiations and of the plethora of rumors, gaps in information, and the need for accurate information.

MANAGEMENT: Stuart Rich discussed how PLIC is moving from a committee structure to a Volunteer Task work model in order to promote efficiency and individual initiative.

PLIC defined five work areas with project managers who prioritized projects, created chunk-size tasks, and who will support and assist the volunteers assign to the tasks as follows:

  1. Membership/Fundraising – Dave Wing,
  2. Government Relations – Mark Sexton,
  3. Research – Fred Kinney,
  4. Communications – Mike Mckenzie,
  5. Management – Stuart Rich.

Given the new County/Lummi Nation developments, Stuart urged everyone to pitch in and help with at least one task in order to get the job done during this critical period.

A break-out into small groups filled the last half of the meeting. Attendees chose a work area, learned of the different projects, and selected a task to work on with the help of the project manager.

Stuart reported that there had been contact with PLIC’s law firm, GTH, who had been asked to review and possibly assist with the current County/Tribe developments.

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