SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



By Bobbie McCreary


March 07, 2006
Tuesday PM

Public testimony presented to the CITY COUNCIL on 3/2/06:

I urge you not to spend extra taxpayer money to inform the voters - just post the information on one or more websites (for example, the City website and SitNews... or the City website with an index on SitNews) in a manner that is easy to read and understand.

Then advertise widely to the public how to access the information. You can put flyers up around town with the web addresses and you can prepare original packets available for viewing at the City, the Library, the Schools, wherever people can get to, easily if they cannot access the online information.

This will remove the criticism the City suffered from last year's failed communications effort. There is considerable "sales" effort going on under the banner of KPE, the City simply needs to provide the background information so voters can become informed and avoid voting emotionally.

The kinds of information the voters need include:

Facts about Tourism:

  • Chart of passenger count (including 2006 and Prince Rupert) - see chart attached, this shows the volume at other ports as well as Ketchikan, giving the big picture of SE
  • Realistic projection for passenger count over next 5 years-prior consultant (KPFF?) estimates were too high?
  • Chart of total # of cruise ships, and # of hot berthing, or anchoring out, last 3 years (and 2006) - this documents the need to get tourists on shore
  • Chart of total sales tax (and property tax) revenues generated by tourist-based companies (include projection for 2006)

Facts about the Revenue Bond

  • Cash projections that were used for bond underwriters
  • Copy of Bond application
  • How bond underwriting works and the difference between a general obligation bond and a revenue bond (see attached write-up as an example)
  • Terms of agreement within the Revenue Bond that stipulate only revenues from Port operations are used to repay the bonds; clarification that citizens cannot suffer property or sales tax increases to pay back revenue bond if port receipts are insufficient

Plans for the Berth renovation and building of new berth

  • Show the specific design anticipated for Berth II renovation (becoming Berth III) and estimated construction costs for Berth and uplands development (so voters can compare these costs to the bond limits)
  • Show proposed berth design proposed by Survey Point Holdings (although this is not directly related to the Berth II extensionit helps people understand the bigger picture)

Plans for relieving congestion of traffic: both vehicular and pedestrian

  • Report of consultant treating this issue

Plan for providing adequate parking North (West) of the tunnel (and downtown)

  • As these plans are not yet resolved, perhaps a summary of what projects can be considered to provide parking relief

I believe it would also be valuable to provide FAQ's: Questions and Answers written as simply and clearly as possible. Voters could go to the FAQ's and get their answers, or research further into the other information that is posted on the web site, or included in the package, in order to understand the issues more deeply.

Bobbie McCreary
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Bobbie McCreary is a resident of the Newtown neighborhood and a concerned citizen.


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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


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Ketchikan, Alaska