GIFC Minutes 2019-03-19

A meeting of Guemes Island Ferry Committee (GIFC) was held at Guemes Library on March 19, 2019 at 7:06 pm. Attendees included: Steve Orsini, Sandy McKean, David Prewitt, Bud Ullman. Members not in attendance included: Allen Bush. Guests in attendance included Barb Ohms, John Hopkins, Carson Parks, and Edith Walden.

Guest Input (limited to 5 minutes per person)
Carson Parks: The GIFC could set up a "collections box" near the ballot box so that islanders could contribute money toward the election expenses if they desired.

Costs so far for ballot mailings: • Ballot 1 (white) = $684.00 • Ballot 2 (green) = $523.00.  $451 has been raised so far to fund upcoming election expenses.
The GIFC has no bank account; so all funds are being collected, spent, and held by Allen Bush.

The agenda for the Skagit County Public Works and GIFC meeting to be held on April 16, 2019 will primarily be to review the 2019 Draft Ferry Fare Revenue Target Report.
Unfinished business


• The counters will be Reva Dugan (Election Supervisor), Barbara Schnabel, and Gail Nicolls. Barbara Schnabel asked if election training would be available for the counters. Since the time is short, and since this is a "private" election as opposed to a governmental election, it was felt that no training would be available. Also, our Election Supervisor, Reva Dugan, is well trained.

• Phyllis Bravinder will be the observer for the Hopkins campaign. Julie Pingree will be the observer for the Orsini campaign (this is a change; previously Bud Ullman was the observer for the Orsini campaign).

• The ballot counting will be done at The Hall at 2:00 pm on April 6, 2019. An announcement will be posted on our curated web page on Linetime.
Needs Based Initiative:

• Bud and Steve met with Commissioner Wesen on March 12, 2019 to discuss the GIFC proposal to provide discounted fares on a needs basis. Commissioner Wesen said he was in favor of the proposal, but expressed concerns that the system be designed such that folks could not "game" the system. He also noted that the proposal would likely require a public hearing before it could be implemented.

• After much discussion by the GIFC, it was decided that the best way to limit the county's financial and logistical exposure from the Needs Based ticketing system would be to limit either the number of tickets, or the total dollar amount, a family could receive in a year. Also, qualifying ferry rider families will have to go to the county's offices in Mt Vernon to apply for, and to purchase, Needs Based tickets. Such tickets would be good for a year.

• It was noted that any fare box revenue decrease resulting from Needs Based ticketing would eventually be partially recouped by the county since ticket fares must cover 65% of the ferry operating and maintenance expenses according to the current fare resolution.

Action Items
Set up a thermometer type display near the ferry terminal to graphically show how close the GIFC is to recouping the election expenses via donations. (Allen)
Contact Barbara Schnabel to let her know that no election training will occur. (Allen)
Post an announcement regarding ballot counting arrangements on Linetime. (Allen)
Add "limit" language to the Needs Based proposal. (Bud)