Transportation is topic at annual meeting

Many business owners have long said that the local economy is largely dependent on the ferry links to the mainland.

And with the recent trouble on the Port Townsend/Keystone route, the issue has moved into the forefront for many involved in the economic landscape of Whidbey Island.

The Island County Economic Development Council will address issues related to the ferry traffic at its annual membership luncheon on Wednesday, May 21.

The economic development council has invited a number of guest speakers who are experts on the subject. Among them are Paula Hammond, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation and David Moseley, director of Washington State Ferries, who will discuss the issue, answer questions and listen to local concerns.

Unreliable ferry service has created an undesirable impact on Whidbey Island, said Sharon Hart, executive director of the Island County Economic Development Council.

“Transportation is one of the utmost issues of importance to our Island communities,” Hart said.

But she said ferry service isn’t the only issue of concern to the South End.

“Considering the recent ferry crisis, DOT’s recent report on the Clinton area and other concerns, it seemed appropriate to use our annual membership luncheon as a forum to hear from Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond and her new assistant secretary, David Moseley of Washington State Ferries,” she said. “Our guest speakers will give a transportation update and be available for attendee questions.”

The meeting also includes recognition presentations and election of board members.

The event is open to Island County Economic Development Council members and the general business community. It will be held at the Coupeville Rec Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost of the luncheon is $20; the menu is provided by Serendipity Catering. Call for special dietary needs.

Call 360-678-6889 or toll free at 888-506-7999 to RSVP or get additional details.

Michaela Marx Wheatley can be reached at 221-5300 or mmarx