Journal of the San Juan Islands


Leaning on Larson for remedy to US Customs lease | Letters

December 13, 2013 · Updated 6:32 PM

To The Honorable Rick Larsen:

I voted for you in the 2012 election, and I feel generally positive about your service to the 2nd Legislative District. My wife and I reside on San Juan Island, and we cherish the natural beauty and warm community that surround us.

We learned about one month ago that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) would relocate its Friday Harbor office to the corner of First and Spring Streets. This is the very heart of our downtown, the first block of main street, a location which every visitor to our Island will pass.

In short, this choice of location is inappropriate. Consider the following:

San Juan Island is a top tourist destination in the United States. Our economy depends on seasonal tourism and our reputation as a picturesque, laid-back community are essential to our success.

The property on First and Spring is one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the Town of Friday Harbor. The lease negotiated will cost taxpayers over ten times more than the present CBP facility.

Armed government agents will now be a regular feature of our commercial district, right next to the local toy store.

Our community demands transparency and the opportunity for public participation. Indeed, there is considerable outrage among citizens and local business owners that a public hearing did not take place before this lease was negotiated. Please insist that the General Services Administration work together with the citizens of San Juan Island to determine the best location for CBP offices.

I look forward to hearing your public comment on this issue soon. Your support will be essential to protecting your constituents from secretive and anti-democratic processes that threaten the vitality of our island economy.

Grisha Krivchenia/Citizens for the Core


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