As the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) and Flagship Niagara League (FNL) attempt to reach a formal contract agreement, Erie News Now has learned that two of the FNL's board members have resigned.

The PHMC and FLN recently reached a tentative deal for the FNL to become the associate group for the Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara.

Meanwhile, Flagship Niagara volunteers Steven Perry and Ginny Sivak say they've been left out of the dicussions, regarding the future of the Brig Niagara.

"I think the biggest concern is that it is all happening in the dark," said Perry. "The Niagara is owned by the state of PA, so if you're a taxpayer, you own Niagara. It's the community's resource. Why is the public not being included in any of those discussions? Why can't the public ask questions?"

In a news release, the PHMC said there are still several issues that need to be resolved before reaching a formal agreement with the FNL, including the future of the Lettie G. Howard.

"I also have a lot of concern about it," said Sivak. "A lot of questions. It seems as though it paints a very rosy picture, but doesn't answer any of the details or questions that we have."

The Flagship Niagara League is looking for another organization to take over the operations and sailing programs of the Lettie G.
FNL Executive Director William Sabatini is set to launch a fundraising campaign, to keep the Lettie G. in Erie.

"Erie and Lettie have been tied together now," said Sabatini. "Lettie G. has been here for six years. Lettie is the back drop of every sunset picture that's taken on the bayfront, and we want to keep that."

In the meantime, both Perry and Sivak are calling for a public meeting with the PHMC.

"Right now, we're hoping to see a siutation where the public can ask questions and that both the PHMC and FNL are open to the public being willing to answer the public's questions and explain what is going on with the Niagara."

Perry and Sivak have started a petition for a public meeting.

It can be found here.