SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Selling KPU Phone ???
By Charles Edwardson


January 22, 2008
Tuesday PM

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.

Charles Edwardson
Ketchikan, AK

Received January 21, 2008 - Published January 22, 2008


Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.

SitNews ©2007
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska