SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Charles Edwardson


February 06, 2008
Wednesday PM

I have written one or two commentaries about this subject. I do not claim to know everything about this issue, but one thing I do know is that I am disappointed that I do not hear from the phone department employees. I heard there is an obscure website for KPU employees -- this is not enough. Have things got so bad that adults cannot express their opinions in public about a subject that will effect their lives to a degree that will alter their very existence for a number of years to come. Everyone is whispering about this subject yet no one will voice their opinion publicly, I have spoken to a number of you guys face to face you all have very pertinent opinions but seam hesitant to express your opinions to the city council members on a one to one basis.

I encourage you all to voice your opinion, what is the worst that can happen? Will you be fired or reprimanded? I have news for you, this is going to happen anyway if this sale happens so what do you have to lose, stand up for yourselves and have your union stand up and fight the fight you have been paying all of these years for them to fight. This is not a good idea, you know it, I know it but the people that make the decisions apparently have another opinion. Who gives a rip if you offend your supervisor or shop steward. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain by the sale of KPU telephone division.

I would table this issue if I was on the City Council and all I would need is a "second" to make this issue non-debatable. If I was in your position (KPU PHONE EMPLOYEES), I would implore at least one city councilman to rally support of one of his or her constituents and table this issue, FOR THAT MATTER I WOULD APPROACH ANY OF THE CITY COUNCIL AND ASK IF THEY HAVE A BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PROCEDURE.

I have witnessed many things that seem to be shoved down the city councils' throats and they seem oblivious of the fact that "THEY RUN THE SHOW NOT MANAGEMENT"(majority vote rules) -- no if, ands or buts. I believe that this city council has it backwards. They do not realize that they make the rules and policies and have staff implement these policies, not the other way around. Staff does not march in to council chambers and say "this is what we should do" -- do they??? If that is the case, there is no need for a city council.

City Council do your jobs and ask the questions. Ask yourselves "can I make this decision without public support, do I actually know more than the majority of the public?". Humility cannot be underestimated, and understanding that we as individuals cannot understand fully everything that is put in front of us. But by the same token, you must endeavor to understand to the best of your ability as a public official what you are contemplating. Is this the best thing for the community overall?

I as a lifelong Ketchikan resident who intends to be here for the long haul would expect our city leaders to step up and lead, and not sit there and blindly accept staff recommendations on huge community issues such as these. I have said it many times, what this community needs now more than ever are leaders not politicians. Politicians are a dime a dozen, community leaders are hard to come by.

The ones we have at this time I would encourage them to stand up and lead this community or step down and let someone else do it. The long term economic effects of displacing workers may work in the lower forty-eight, but not here. For that matter how many company takeovers and large scale layoffs have benefited long term employees in a community in a positive manner? This is not a good idea, to sell KPU PHONE.

As always this is my unsolicited opinion not representing any particular, lodge or group of people. Opinions, everyone has one. My plea to the public is "use it".

Charles Edwardson
Ketchikan, AK


Received February 06, 2008 - Published February 06, 2008


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