There are some very interesting posts on the Seatlle Transit Blog 

http://seattletransitblog.com/2014/09/16/north-by-northwest-15-island-county-commissioner-helen-price-johnson-statement/ 

I suspect  some  of the posts are from  Island Transit  employees  voicing  their  thoughts free  of fear  of  being  canned  if  voiced  locally; “Operator” and “Clif” at least. 

The “CLIFF” is Cliff Howard,  of  Island County’s Island Politics

“CLIF” is a different poster with a lot of insight regarding what’s been going on at Island Transit.  

 Following are a few of the Seattle Transit Blog’s comments: 

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With over 10 years of real world involvement in acquisition, disposal (bankruptcy) and turn around   management of some large sick companies i.e., Wicks Furmiture, Admiral Corp,  Aldens, Western Digital and Hitachi-Koki DataProducts, etc,   and  the more I think about this  mess, the  more convinced I am  that we need to get our  related elected   officials,  Dave Hayes, Barbara Bailey,  Norma Smith, etc  to  work with  and encourage the  state  auditor  to complete  their  audit of Transit  as soon as possible.

If  their  findings are  like the  financial data we have seen,  then take  legal action to  declare Chapter 9 Bankruptcy  for Island Transit thus taking  total control  of Island Transit away from the  Current Board of Directors and Management
Chapter 9 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code provides for the financial reorganization of municipalities, including cities, towns, villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts, facing a backlog of unpaid bills.
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At the last special board meeting of Island Transit Board Member Mr. Dudley questioned whether Island Transit has the funds to hire an interim Manager for the agency. It was a bitter discussion between Board Member Dudley and the Chair Mr. Clay who was not allowing a discussion on the finances. The board wanted to delay any discussion on the finances because they had appointed a finance committee to research the finances and the board is relying on that committee to make recommendations. It appears from looking at the cash flow balance sheet that Board Member Dudley may have had solid concerns.

The cash flow balance sheet which is current through 9-17-2014 shows a negative balance of $31,717.44. The previous month showed a positive balance of $373,244.80.

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Recently the finance director of Island Transit Sandra Kuykendall wrote a letter to the editor which attacked one of the board members of Island Transit and Mayor of Oak Harbor. She also referred to the public who spoke at one of the meetings as a “vigilante mob” who was “lynching” a public servant and that the supporters of the Mayor are “dopes” and that he “intimidated” the board into firing Martha Rose. She then went on in this letter to the editor to state that what was happening to Martha Rose was “McCarthyism”. She wrote this letter to the editor and signed it in her official capacity as “Sandra Kuykendall Acting Financial Manager, Island Transit”.

If this was not bad enough she then sent an e mail to some 46 people who all appear to all be past or present employees of Island Transit. She apparently even sent this e mail to the rank and file employees of the agency. The e mail was a description of the word “McCarthyism” obviously to explain in detail the comments she made to the local paper.
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 This video is of  Special Island County Transit Board meeting   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBHZNyHgiMQ 

AND,  part 2:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c22wPvCEj0

 At the meeting the majority of Board members decided to  eliminate the Executive session portion of the agenda Dudley   wanted that   session  to  discuss a performance  problem and recent  letter  to  Editor, WNT  by Transit’s  financial guru, Sandra Kuykendall,  and limit the meeting agenda to only discussing just how to get a temp  Executive Director for  Transit to relieve Board Chair Bob Clay of that responsibility.  The majority also voted  to reject Board member Dudley’s request for discussing how Transit could pay for this Temp position. Guess they’ll worry  about  how to  pay for it  like  they have  done  with past  spending fiascos

The Board also decided to not  allow any comments from Citizens wanting to express their thoughts on the Agenda items and  Transit’s  critical financial problems. 

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In January 2014 Island Transit missed its $438,740.00 payment to WTIP, WTIP is the Washington Transit Insurance Pool which supplies insurance for Island Transit. In February WTIP contacted Island Transit about the missed payment and at that time WTIP was informed of Island Transits financial difficulties. Island Transit management, Martha Rose and Barbara Savary, arranged with WTIP to make 3 payments on the outstanding balance of $438,740.00 that was due in January. 3  payments were made, one in March, one in May and one in July of $146,246.00 each.

In July of 2014 Martha Rose and Sandra Kuykendall (Barbara Savary had been replaced) approached WTIP to make arrangements to delay the 2015 payment due next January which totals $319,372.00. (A reduced figure from the previous year reflecting the loss of routes and employees) The delay of next year’s payment that is due in January is until October 2015. Concerned about Island Transits finances and payment the WTIP questioned Island Transit management on the tax figures that Island Transit supplied them which claimed an increase in the tax entering Island Transits coffers, Island Transit claimed the increase would be around the 8% figure but WTIP questioned this as to whether it was accurate or not. They were also questioning that if the 2015 payment was delayed until October would Island Transit be able to pay the next years insurance due some 3 months later.

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At the end of the County Commissioners  September  22  meeting during  Commissioner comments  portion…
Price-Johnson   made the  following comments:
* the Auditors report is  progressing
* Rose  deserves  credit  for 25 years  of  building IT
* the  operations staff working  on plan  for right sizing
…but  she   then added 
“The part  that was  most unfortunate  was  the political grand standing and she didn’t think bullying  was  even  appropriate

Commissioner Vaughan   then  took  his turn  to comment re Island Transit with:
* a financial committee  was  established  a week or so ago; they  are working  on a plan  to  know  what money  is available  and  spent
*The situation leading up to Rose’s  resignation
*Remarks made upsets him…, doesn’t help to rub salt in to  wound, insult  people
*Rose  left with head  held  high
*This is not the time  for recrimination and name calling

Not one word was said by Commissioners Prize-Johnson or Vaughan about Island Transit’s  violating conditions of grant fundings for years, the missing  3-5 million dollars or possible violations of laws

IMHO  Price Johnson  and Vaughan should be replaced  on the IT Board ASAP

 Nothing  will ever change  with   board Members   with  “let’s all  just be nice” attitudes  like   Price-Johnson and Vaughan demonstrated

 

“Meet and Greet” with Rick Hannold Candidate for Island County Commissioner District 3

Tuesday September 23rd

Clinton Community Hall

6411 Central Avenue, Clinton

Please join Rick to learn more about his vision for Island County and to discuss topics of interest or concern.

Light refreshments will be served.

http://www.rickhannold.com

From Andy Valrosa:

We need to vote for Rick Hannold for Island County commissioner, District 3, this November. Here’s one big reason why: “Progressives” backing liberal Karla Jacks for the District 3 job are after Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

Make no mistake about it. Jacks and company want NAS Whidbey gone. This week, a Jacks backer was the star of a hit piece in the Stanwood/Camano News that flayed the hide off the Navy for flying training runs for the Growler squadron.

The hit piece star — a California refugee in Chanel makeup who wouldn’t dream of shopping outside of Whole Foods — said the Growler noise was just awful. Then the article went on to tout the Whidbey Island “Progressives” who want the Navy to stop using Coupeville’s Outlying Field for training landings.

More Jacks supporters, of course.

Look, folks, if the Navy cannot train its pilots because a selfish band who have theirs and don’t give a darn about the rest of us succeeds in stopping it, we can kiss NAS Whidbey goodbye.

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At the Island Transit Board meeting today the Board entered executive session for over an hour with the result being that Martha Rose tendered her resignation effective immediately. The vote was unanimous with all Board members voting yes to accept her resignation.

We all knew this was coming especially with the addition of Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley as an alternate board member and present at the meetings. Mr. Dudley certainly has no problem taking action on important issues and it is likely that it was his actions that encouraged the board to make this decision.

The Board will meet again next week to start the process of finding new management for Island Transit. Bob Clay the chair of the board of Island Transit will serve as interim director until replacement management can be found.

It is a new era for Island Transit.

 

The first meeting of Citizens for Better Island Transit was held last night at Whidbey Coffee. Not a lot was accomplished but there was a lot of good information presented and a lot of questions answered. Anna Marie Nunez, Island County Treasurer was at the meeting and gave an overview of how the treasurer interacts with Island Transit. She answered all questions and was very informative, open and answered all questions presented to her.

There was no one present from Island Transit with the exception of alternate board member Scott Dudley.

As the meeting was a short one it ended rather early as the room was reserved for only 1.5 hours. Most of the discussion was held after the meeting ended and those that stayed had a lot of good ideas and a lot of concerns.

One thing that did come out of the meeting was the knowledge that the Treasurers office has very little if no control over what happens internally at Island Transit. As the Island Transit funds are deposited into one account at the treasurers office there is no way that the treasurer has any control or knowledge over what funds are spent from or for what account. This is obviously something that could be changed to give another level of control over Island Transit funds. As it is now there is no way for the treasurer to tell Island Transit if they are running low on one fund or another as all funds go into the same account.

It will be interesting to see today what happens at the board meeting that started at 9:30 AM. More to come.

Below is a link to the Island Transit Draft budget for 2015:

http://www.islandpolitics.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2015-Budget-DRAFT-1.pdf

The link below is to a letter that Martha Rose sent to the Board of Directors on September 16th 2014.  The letter outlines the 1 million dollar mistake in the previous years budget, lot’s of missing documents, misfiled documents and claims of shock and mystification. I am not quite sure what to say about this letter to the board but it just goes to show the depths of the mismanagement that has occurred at Island Transit. Below is a link to this document:

http://www.islandpolitics.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Septbd2014.pdf

Be sure to attend the meeting of Citizens for a Better Island Transit tonight at 5:30 at Whidbey Coffee on HWY-20 in Oak Harbor.

Here is a link to a map of of tonight’s meeting:

http://goo.gl/maps/JGaiB

For those of you that do Facebook here is a link to the Citizens for a Better Island Transit Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/citizensforabetterislandtransit

Hat’s off to the creator!

 

At tonight’s Oak Harbor City Council meeting the City Council voted to appoint an alternate board member to the Island Transit Board. Jim Campbell, the current representative from Oak Harbor, is on an extended vacation until the first part of October and with all of the emergency meetings of the board it was clear that this was a necessary move.

Who did the City Council appoint as the alternate? Mayor Scott Dudley. Mayor Dudley will be a positive force in helping make the necessary changes we all know is needed at our local transit agency.

A new citizens group has been formed, Citizens for a Better Island Transit. This group will be attempting to make Island Transit a better more accountable organization to serve the citizens of Island County.

The first meeting will be held at:

Whidbey Coffee
31275 SR 20
Oak Harbor, WA
98277

5:30PM to 6:30PM

The next meeting of the Island Transit Board will be held on Friday the 19th of September and this meeting will be important for those looking to help and improve Island Transit.

 

 

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