StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Pete von Reichbauer issued the following statement regarding Governor Christine Gregoire’s announcement of a proposal to create a regional ferry district including King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Clallum, Jefferson, Island, San Juan and Skagit Counties:
“The ferry system has been a state responsibility for a century. This plan would create another level of government and further balkanize transportation funding, which is a solution we don’t need. In addition, it would require a massive tax increase to pay for existing services.
“In 2007, the state forced King County into creation of a local Ferry District by threatening to cut passenger-only ferry service. That has not been a successful experiment and should not be repeated.
“The Governor and legislative leaders need to sit down and work through their own problems without dumping them on local governments. Counties across the state are already dealing with a long list of unfunded mandates and potential cuts to state funding for public health and many other programs. We suspect that if a plan like this was passed, it would not get a good reception from us or and other local elected leaders.
“This is a Trojan horse that should not be permitted in. King County is struggling to maintain basic services and we do not need nor can we afford this.”