SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


More taxes to fix our streets??
By Chas Edwardson


February 26, 2009

We all know that taxes are necessary and that certain taxes are needed to maintain the town we live in. But it should not be the only answer our elected officials come up with every time there is a problem. Come up with an original idea for once.

We all have written about our objections to these new tax increases for the crumbling infrastructure, I am not at all sure I can afford much more of Ketchikan and why should we all have to constantly endure new taxes year in and year out.(due to the complete lack of planning and management in this city concerning the streets). My question is, have we not been taxed for this before and where is the money we put aside for just such an event (crumbling bridges)?

We seem to have little trouble finding the money for 'cost of living adjustments' for city employees, and an ever increasing over inflated salary for our city manager and the surrounding cast of characters that are supposed to be monitoring the inevitable problems a city faces. It should not come as a shock, or be an emergency measure every time there is a maintenance need in Ketchikan. What have we been paying our city manager to do other than manage the city? Is not our infrastructure on top of his list? What measures has the City of Ketchikan taken to maintain our streets that are not state monitored highways? Why does it seem like the city management team is always caught with their pants down, and always in a constant state of confusion when it comes to basic government functions, such as the streets we use to conduct daily business?

Where does the City Council fit in? The incumbents of the last race and the new incumbent challengers better start asking these same questions. If you sit around and wait for staff to do your work for you Council members, then all you will receive at your table will be in crisis management mode. These poorly thought out predictable problems presented to you at your council table will not be able to be taken care of in any other way than with a knee jerk reaction by council members. You react this way to appear to have a handle on things.We are not that gullible. You do not have a handle on basic services. we all know it, and hopefully will remember this the next election (by the way how's the library doing). It's time for the Council to address real issues and stop dreaming about big grandiose projects. Council members need to get a grasp on providing essential services without having to add a new half penny tax every time they hit a snag.

I am not offering any answers, just questions,, Questions someone who is making one of the highest salaries a city manager has ever made in Ketchikan -- and I would guess pretty much anywhere in the country -- should be able to answer. Is our highly paid and, according to some city councilmen and mayor, "brilliant' city manager even going to be around to help pay for some of this stuff he has created after he gets that big old Ketchikan sponsored, tax generated, retirement he has been building up? My guess is no.

I urge the residents of this city who plan to "live here" when they retire to question who's going to pay the taxes we are creating, When people start leaving because of the ridiculous cost of living in Ketchikan, the ones that are left will have to pick up the bill .How, more taxes??

Chas Edwardson
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 25, 2009 - Published February 26, 2009



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Ketchikan, Alaska