City request for Town Hall style Question & Answer sessions refused by Port

South King Media has learned that – despite requests – the Port of Seattle has refused to allow any public town hall style question and answer sessions at the upcoming Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) Near Term Projects Environmental Public Scoping Meetings beginning this coming Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

The requests for a town hall with live questions and answers, and the Port’s denial by airport director Lance Lyttle, are summarized in an attached letter (PDF file) from Des Moines City Manager Michael Matthias.

The letter explains that the residents of Des Moines have been excluded from a town hall style engagement from the Port:

“As we expressed we are concerned that Des Moines residents have not and will not be afforded a “town hall” style question and answer session with Airport representatives. Our concern was that knowledge of the components of the SAMP with explanation by Airport planners and consultants would help inform our resident’s ability to comment on the scoping process with full information and would help avoid confusion.”

Port refuses Federal Way’s request to extend time frame to respond
Federal Way citizens will have just two weeks after this first and only Public Scoping Meeting to comment, with a deadline of Sept. 28, 2018.

We have also learned that the City of Federal Way’s request for an extension of time for citizens to provide comments to the scoping of the SAMP has been refused by the Port. The Port’s refusal is set forth by Arlyn Purcell, the Port’s Director of Environment and Sustainability, in a letter to the City of Federal Way (PDF file). The Port’s refusal appears to limit Federal Way citizens to a window of only two weeks following the Federal Way Sept. 17, 2018, SAMP Environmental Public Scoping Meeting, to comment on the SAMP.

The Port also by e-mail on Friday stated the public scoping meetings are “to allow members of the public to interact with subject matter experts.” While Ms. Purcell’s letter references that the SAMP Scoping Comment period is 60 days, which is greater than the 21-day minimum under law, the letter does not:

It’s possible that the Port doesn’t want a repeat of this Public Comment period from its May 30, 2018 SAMP presentation at the Burien Community Center:

The Port’s SAMP Near Term Projects Environmental Public Scoping Meeting is at the Highline College Student Union this coming Monday, Sept. 10, and since there will be no public comment/Q&A, all those who have concerns or comments MUST submit them either at the meeting via paper, or get them transcribed by a Court Reporter at the event.

The Port has assured us that there will be clear signage indicating where to leave comments.

You can also submit comments online via the Port’s website here:

The event will run from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Monday in the Student Union/Building 8, located at 2400 S. 240th Street in Des Moines:

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