A letter I received this morning from Port Commissioner Fred Felleman in reply to my letter to the Port Commissioners yesterday.
>JC — if the legislators want independence from the Port, they don’t have to take its recommendations. I’ll look into the history of the issue, but like I said, I’m committed to having the Sustained Airport Master Plan (SAMP) review be as objective as possible. Please don’t question my motivations or commitment to the environment, which includes the human environment. I am fully aware of the lack of trust by those in the community based on history with the Port. Â I’ll do my best to regain that trust but I understand it must be tough to live near the flight path of the only major airport in the region.
Again, the Commissioner says that legislators should push back against Port lobbyists. And as I wrote in my last post, I agree 100%. However, what strikes me most about Commissioner Felleman’s tone is that he downplays the importance of the Budget Proviso and tries to get attention focused on the SAMP. I believe this is known as ‘pivoting’ in politician-speak. The only problem with that is that the SAMP’s rules of engagement dictate a far more limited scope of inquiry. The defining benefit of the Budget Proviso was supposed to be that it would give the airport communities complete control over what was to be studied.
Once again, I appreciate your courteous reply.
—Before the bill passed: According everyone in the room, the legislators (Rep. Orwall and Pelliciotti) were told by your lobbyist that if they did not accede to the requested changes in language the Port would use its influence to encourage Jay Inslee to veto the bill entirely.
—Unfortunately, my legislators have lost their sense of ‘boundaries’. That’s not the Port’s fault, but it also does not excuse your man’s efforts to lobby a bill created with the express intent of excluding Port input.
—If you want to regain trust? This is great place to start: Pearse Edwards wrote me the following yesterday.
…This meant that we neither supported or opposed the legislation. Neutrality did not mean that we would not engage in the formation of the bill (My italics)
That sentence is exactly the kind of double-speak the airport communities loathe. People who’ve done nothing wrong don’t use that kind of tortuous language. If you want to be neutral on this bill? Do as I asked below: Instruct your people to stay out of it. It’s simple. It’s fair. And that alone would greatly improve the atmosphere between the residents and the Port.
Thanks in advance.