Appeal to Governor Baker and Attorney General Healey to intervene with Steamship Authority
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Request for intervention by Governor Baker
We are appealing to you because we do not have proper representation within the Steamship Authority and because it is unclear to whom the Authority answers. The Board of Directors of the Steamship Authority is heavily weighted in favor of the Islands, where Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket each have a 35% vote, while Woods Hole, Hyannis and New Bedford must share the remaining 30%. This leaves Falmouth and Woods Hole residents, the people most affected by the Board’s decisions for freight travel to the Vineyard, with almost no say in what happens here. The SSA’s Board of Directors has been dismissive of our concerns without giving us a genuine hearing, nor have they offered a single significant compromise to our appeals. The operations managers and staff's efforts to mitigate problems have been almost entirely ineffective.
As the residents most directly affected by the Steamship Authority’s presence, we recognize that we have to expect a certain amount of disruption as the price we pay for living in Falmouth and Woods Hole. Nevertheless, over the past several years, the situation has become untenable for those homes in Falmouth and in Woods Hole village that are directly affected by the Steamship Authority’s freight operations.
We are asking you to intervene with the Steamship Authority in order that it engage in a good-faith and sustained effort to work with its host community to minimize the negative impact of their operations on our lives. We appeal to you in order that the Steamship Authority begin to find a way to address and resolve these specific issues:
1. Increased growth can no longer be safely accommodated by the limited terminal and geographic constraints of the communities that serve as the mainland gateway to Martha’s Vineyard.
2. The terminal in Woods Hole, including what is proposed by the renovation, has already exceeded its available space and cannot handle present or projected additional freight traffic.
3. Congestion is compromising safety.
4. It is time for creative solutions. For example, move freight to the commercial port of New Bedford, which could be set up to handle freight traffic safely, and create a cell phone lot in Falmouth.
5. We request the establishment of voluntary quiet hours on the part of the Steamship Authority for its freight truck traffic on Palmer Ave., North Main St., Woods Hole Road, and in Woods Hole village, between 10:00PM and 6:30AM. The sleep deprivation that the Steamship Authority is now causing Falmouth residents is unacceptable.
6. The structure of the SSA Board does not fairly represent the communities which host the islands’ lifeline. Such an imbalance is creating irresponsible practices which place undue and dangerous burdens on Falmouth residents. We ask for an investigation into any and all options that would address the imbalanced governance of the SSA which is ignoring the concerns of its host communities of Falmouth and Woods Hole.
Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.
Signed by residents of Falmouth/Woods Hole
Senator Edward Markey http://www.markey.Senate.gov/contact
Senator Elizabeth Warren http://www.warren.Senate.gov/
Representative William R. Keating http://keating.house.gov/
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts William Francis Galvin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senator Vinny deMacedo (email@example.com)
Senator Julian Cyr (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Representative David Vieira (email@example.com)
Representative Dylan Fernandes (Dylan.Fernandes@mahouse.gov)
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