Ferry Committee Candidate Statement, Steve Orsini

Candidate Statement By Stephen (Steve) Orsini
For the Guemes Island Ferry Committee

Professional  Summary:
    •    Extensive marine experience including commercial salmon fishing, and sales and delivery of large commercial fishing vessels.  Worked for ASEA, in the sales of marine equipment including Stal-Laval main steam turbine engines for large ships,  Hagglunds deck cranes and ASEA torque meters.  30 years experience in three multinational corporations in the sales of complex power generation equipment systems.  Products sold included gas turbines, steam turbines, large scale pollution control technology, large wind turbines and hydropower turbine generator retrofits.   Management experience included the development and maintenance of cost effective sales networks and contract negotiation. 
2.  Freelance Journalist with articles published in National Fisherman, Oceans, Flying, Cruising World and Sailing World.

Guemes History
My family moved to Guemes in 1954.  I grew up on Guemes and went the Guemes Island Elementary School.  After graduating from Anacortes High School, I earned a BA degree at Lewis & Clark College (Portland) and spent two years in the Peace Corp in a fisheries development program in Honduras, Central America.  I began working for ASEA Stal-Laval in their marine division in Seattle in 1980.  I returned with my family to live full time on Guemes in 1989.  I have ridden on the 6 car Guemes, the 9 car Almar and now the current 22 car Guemes. 

Ferry Committee
I am currently the chair of the Guemes Island Ferry Committee and have served on the Committee for over 25 years.   I support the Ferry Committee Charter and its concept that the Committee represents the ferry ridership.  I have years of experience with this challenging task and know the history of ferry service to this island.  This “corporate knowledge” is valuable and has been acknowledged by the County in matters of ferry operations.

I support the concept of an electric or plug-hybrid ferry, however, this has to be a vessel that is affordable and as we are a single vessel system, the demand on reliability is critically high.  I am concerned that the current 32 car design runs the risk of being inappropriately sized. 

The size selection was based on growth projections for Skagit County instead of historical and projected capacity data normally used to size ferries.  No Level of Service criteria had been set during the design phase.   The County has only now let a consulting contract to study Level of Service even though it is a key criteria in sizing a ferry.  Further, the County’s primary goal has been to reduce maintenance costs but the basic maintenance costs of a 32 vessel will be more expensive in normal hull and deck maintenance than a smaller vessel especially over time.  It has been demonstrated that increasing the number of runs is the most cost effective method of reducing line wait times. I will work to have the County fairly evaluate a smaller more affordable vessel that will meet the island’s future capacity needs while conforming to the County’s Transportation Element in its Comprehensive Plan

I would appreciate your vote to elect me to the Guemes Island Ferry Committee for this next three-year term.