Thoughts on Orcas airport plan | Letters

I asked our airport manager, Tony Simpson, to explain how our comments to DOWL, LLC would be used to effect the preferred plan. Anyone can ask for my email to Leah Henderson at DOWL dated Aug. 31, 2018, and Tony’s response on Sept. 4, 2018; RE – Public Records Request; Port Commissioners copied in a public records request. Two things in Tony’s explanation of all factors considered alarmed me to the point where I felt the need to go public:

1) The reiteration that this is “not a democracy” and that he didn’t think the commissioners were “deciding by poll.”

2) Quoted verbatim: “… So, my recommendation to the commissioners is to effectively ignore comments that advocate the extreme ‘no change’ alternative because doing so would severely jeopardize the sustainability of this facility to serve the entire population of Orcas Island.”

“No Build Alternative 1,” presented by DOWL consultants in June, has been the majority of the public’s preferred alternative. Minimal-impact solutions and compromises were offered by some members of the public, including Bea Von Tobel and Clark Cundy, to name two. Were these considered?

I requested the Capital Improvement Plan letters 2014-2018. There are funding requests and approvals for:

2020 – Environmental Review of MPU Projects – (I’m assuming the preferred plan dictates what’s reviewed.)

2023 – Runway/Taxiway Separation Standards Project, phase 1 – design

DOWL has put the preferred plan and our comments up on the master plan part of the port website at Make sure to scroll down.

Anyone who signed the petition circulated or made comments to DOWL requesting “No Build, Alternative 1,” should make their voices heard to DOWL, to the Port Commissioners, to our legislators and to the FAA. The majority of the public asked for transparency, a balanced and fair advisory committee, and minimal to no impact, considering geographic, density and land-use constraints.

The next Port Meeting is at 6 p.m. on Sept. 13.

B. Sadie Bailey

Orcas Island