Keep train in Anacortes

I was mystified listening to the City Council discussion regarding the Tommy Thompson train to hear so many wonderful things about the train expressed in one breath followed by the same individuals desiring to sell it. Oddly, these were all council members whose families are local to the town.

From my listening, it seems they have a majority on the council. And they originally wished to sell it quietly without getting it appraised, or opening the process up for other offers. Sounds like a train on the fast track out of our community for good. Is this how transparency works now? Is this consistent with how city assets are to be handled? One wonders.

There are two memorandums of agreement regarding the train. One makes the city owner of the train and specifies a static display be created for the train. The second allows for the sale of this city asset.

I have no personal memories of this train. I do, however, have a fondness for history and hand crafted things. It surprises me that council members recently bent on saving an old building and historical signs created by a local artisan could in the next breath want to rid our town of this piece of unique Anacortes history.

There is nothing in the MOA to preclude establishing a static display and running the train locally. Perhaps some local mechanical engineers and architects could come up with plans to alter wheels to run on city streets instead of tracks and propose enclosures to display it. There is already a serious local group of knowledgeable train enthusiasts who have long ago stepped up and invested in the train forming plans to operate it.

There are lots of ways to honor the family’s wishes as expressed in the MOA (a paramount consideration to some) without selling the train. A community that raised funds to rebuild a bridge damaged by fire and tax itself to save a building would probably donate to such a cause if asked.

Joseph Mulcahy



Don’t miss out

on voting

A central idea of American law is “justice delayed is justice denied.”

Likewise, in Donald Trump’s America – where Republicans have elevated voter suppression to an art form, even undermining the capacity of the U.S. Post Office – the Post Office – “voting delayed is voting denied.”

Our ballots will come soon. Vote early, use the drop-off ballot boxes like the one behind the Anacortes Public Library and tell all your family and friends to do the same.

Our democracy depends on it.

Aaron Katz


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