To the editor:
We need Mary Margaret Haugen more than ever. Haugen deserves to be re-elected on the merits of her record, but thinking somewhat selfishly, we need Haugen to do one more big favor for us, then she can retire if she wants. We need a new Mukilteo ferry terminal and that is going to take a knowledgeable negotiator with some clout. Haugen, as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, is in the perfect position to be that advocate, as she’s demonstrated on ferry issues several times over. Recently, her efforts have helped bring ferry work to Nichols Brothers.
The Mukilteo terminal needs replacing for several reasons. (1) It is only a single slip, so one ramming or major problem would have us sailing to Edmonds. (2) There is no parking and Mukilteo officials feel no need to accommodate the ferry users. (The new site has lots of room). (3) The new location gives much closer service to the commuter train. (4) A new terminal would have overhead passenger loading, shrinking trip times and allowing more efficient two boat use.(5) A convenient multi-modal, terminal-transportation hub will help island commuters continue to live here as well as encouraging tourists to come.
We have a small window of opportunity to get this done. With past funding sources gone (Motor Vehicle Excise Tax), and shrinking revenues of gas tax with more fuel-efficient cars, and the rest of the state saying ferries should be funded entirely by users, Haugen is our best bet, sitting as she is in a position of power as the chair of Senate Transportation Committee.
In this swing district (evenly divided between Rs and Ds), she has a tough race on her hands. Her opponent has access to almost unlimited national funds thanks to the Citizens United ruling. Haugen has already had a number of highly inaccurate and negative mailers run against her, and I’ll guess we haven’t seen anything yet. She deserves re-election based on her record, her concern for the well being of this whole district and the unique position she is in to influence ferry issues.