Just prior to that, Morrison had been appointed to a Port sub-committee. Then, the idea for the sprint boat deal was suddenly discussed at a meeting of the Port Commissioners – even though it wasn’t on the agenda, which is a violation of the law. The fact that Morrison was on a Port sub-committee created a clear conflict of interest issue. The Port didn’t care about either of those things.
The land in question was essentially ALL of the land left in Port Angeles that was zoned industrial. Sprint boat races aren’t an industrial use. Giving it to Morrison for that use would preclude any actual industry or employer being able to open or expand in Port Angeles. The Port didn’t care about either of those things.
Then recall that during the public comment phase on this ramrodded idea, both the Port Angeles Parks Commission and the (Worst Ever) City Council voted unanimously to oppose this sale. During public comments at one Port meeting, a former Port Angeles Port Commissioner (I forget which one – his name is buried in my notes from that meeting) testified against the idea, and specifically pointed out that THIS WOULD DESTROY THE ABILITY OF THE AIRPORT TO EXTEND ITS RUNWAY, WHICH HE STATED WOULD LIKELY BE NECESSARY VERY SOON. The Port didn’t care about any of these things.
The deal was a done deal. Morrison got the land, and the City got the headaches. (See previous posting about Nathan West and his apparent inability to see Dan Morrison’s huge permit violations and destruction of wetlands. Morrison is a macho, land-raping bozo with a long history of ignoring laws meant to protect the environment.)
And so, we end up in a situation where the Port knows the airport will soon need to expand its runway, but they proceed with a land sale that will make doing that very thing nearly impossible.
Lincoln Park: Which brings us fairly up to date, and to the point where – Gosh! Surprise! – the Port says the FAA says the City will have to cut down those pesky trees at Lincoln Park so that planes can continue to land. The Port Commissioners in their comments on this issue always harp on safety, the need for runway access in case of some sort of natural disaster, and, of course, how they’re willing to help however they can.
But so many questions remain unasked and unanswered.
Like, why did you sell the land that would have allowed you to simply extend the runway?
Is it really realistic for an airline (even a small one) to expect to be a viable business servicing the Port Angeles airport?
In the case of an emergency, like an earthquake or something, couldn’t planes and jets just land right down the road on ACTI’s airstrip? It’s built to accommodate planes as big as 737s. And again, it’s just down the road.
And again, is an airline really, really a viable business in Port Angeles? With a shrinking population and declining numbers of passengers, the answer would seem to be no. So why are we going through so much trouble and expense to save a most likely dying business?
All this foolishness then, as you know, leads to amazingly stupid outcomes like the consultant that the Port hires suggesting a $25 million dollar makeover of Lincoln Park – that the City will pay for.
Other foolishness: Some City Council members make a great show of wanting to know about the health of some of the big trees in Lincoln Park before deciding on what to do. So they send Scott Johns to examine the trees and report back. Now, this is the exact same Scott Johns who was sent to Dan Morrison’s property, and apparently couldn’t see the large-scale (over an acre) destruction of wetlands that the Army Corps of Engineers found. So Scott can’t see big things like an acre of destruction – but they trust he’ll be able to “see” the health of individual trees in Lincoln Park clearly? I think not.
Other foolishness, that’s not surprising: Oh, and by the way City, those offers to help pay for your grand and wonderful makeover of the park? Well suddenly the Port doesn’t remember saying anything like that. You must have misunderstood. You’ll be on your own in paying for whatever happens to Lincoln Park. (But hey, we’re sure it’ll be nice – now could you please hurry up and cut down those trees?)
And on and on and on. Meanwhile, only City Council member Max Mania really speaks up against the plan. Meanwhile, the City just ignores the thousands of citizens who sign petitions in support of leaving the park as is. Meanwhile, the City also ignores the fact that the plans to increase the amount of open ponds in the new Lincoln Park will attract more waterfowl – which will create a new hazard for aircraft.
Meanwhile…Left unanswered are all questions about the actual long-term viability of the airport, trees or no trees.
And so here we are. The City has gotten screwed by the Port – again. This leads the City to want to screw the citizens of Port Angeles – again. And make them pay for it all – again.
What do you have to say? Are you happy about any of this? Do you think this process was as clean and open as it could have been?