Selling KPU Phone ???
By Charles Edwardson
January 22, 2008
Ketchikan, and the people who choose to live here, have made
many sacrifices and endured many trials and much tribulation
in the past decades. All in an effort to preserve and protect
a safe place for our families to call home.
To sell the publicly owned utility to me seems to break down
some of the fabric of this community that has been, and will
continue to be hard to hold together. It would affect jobs that
we now maintain and it would affect the families involved ability
to remain in our community.
Things we have to consider as a whole -- not only the employees
of KPU phone will be put in jeopardy of losing their jobs, although
the people wanting to take over our utility say this would not
happen ( we all know it will). This move will alter the lives
of the employees who many of them have long standing ties and
a huge investment in Ketchikan and many are second generation
KPU, with large extended families that also maintain jobs here
in Ketchikan, the spouses of the KPU employees, and their children
who are also part of the fabric of this community will also be
put in the middle of this transition. If this has a negative
effect on some of the current employees and they have to move
to find work, their families will go with them. The school enrollment
may have a slight decrease. The second job holder in the family
will be gone -- and with fewer skilled workers in Alaska due
to the aging of the work force -- and will be hard to replace.
Selling a utility that is owned by the community cannot be good.
In my opinion,, again I am sure there can be arguments made for
both positions and as with many of my commentaries this is only
my opinion and not based on any hard number business analysis.
In contrast I would hope that
the suggestion to sell part of our community brought forth by
the city council or who ever brought this subject up again, can
justify this sort of community sabotage with hard numbers, and
facts that will make sense. If our phone company is messed up,
fix it. Do not simply sell off problems for someone else to come
in and fix. The fact that someone is even interested in stepping
in and taking over points to that fact that there is a reason
for them to be interested.
I would urge the phone company
management to do what we all have done (all Ketchikan citizens)
who have survived the mill closure, decline in fishing, and timber
industry perils. We have buckled up and found a way to survive
here in a place that many people would think us crazy to live.
Difficult times need leadership not suggestions of bailing out.
And when the citizens of Ketchikan
and the city council are faced with this decision again, we all
should consider sometimes the "Bottom line " is much
more involved than a row of numbers that can be manipulated to
whatever argument you want to present.
Received January 21, 2008 -
Published January 22, 2008
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