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Kitsap Transit extends lobbyist for POF study

The Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners was asked Tuesday to authorize paying lobbyist Tom Luce $6,000 month, plus expenses, to “support Kitsap Transit’s Passenger-Only Ferry project.”

The resolution presented at the May 19 meetings states that Tom Luce Consulting will be paid with federal grant funds, and that the agency has utilized Tom Luce LLC “for the past year and a half ... to assist with pursuing completion of the Seattle-Bremerton Passenger-Only Fast Ferry Study in Rich Passage and coordinating those efforts with King County and other regional interests.”

Kitsap Transit is currently financing — with $5.35 million in federal funds — the completion of the Rich Passage Wake Study, which was launched five years ago in the hopes of creating a POF vessel that could shave time off the trip to Seattle without destroying the shoreline.

When Executive Director Dick Hayes presented the resolution to continue paying Tom Luce Consulting, which also states that the “research element of the grant funding” covers the cost of the consulting services for the next 19 months, board member and South Kitsap Commissioner Charlotte Garrido asked if the agency had a plan in place for POF service.

“The honest answer is, we had a plan, but the board directed me to focus on the wake study,” Hayes said. “We have a plan we could fit the boat into, but we need to update it.”

Garrido then asked if there was some “commonly held expectation of a plan?” and if she was the “only one on the board unaware of the relationship between (the Rich Passage study) and passenger-only ferries?”

Board chair Darlene Kordonowy said that Garrido’s question perhaps indicated a need for a status update, and vice-chair Josh Brown said that he would like to add three items to the contract.

“I think it’s really important that we have that person come back and report to us — we need to know what is being discussed and why,” Brown said, adding that he felt there should be a “termination component” added to the contract, as well.

Kordonowy echoed his comments, and the resolution was passed unanimously with Brown’s three amendments.

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