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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Open Letter: Budget Reductions

By A. M. Johnson


March 17, 2015
Tuesday PM


The following has been submitted to both Senator Stedman and Representative Ortiz regarding budget reduction recommendations.

Senator Stedman,
Representative Ortiz

The issue of compensation for deputy commissioners and directors has been brought to both of you in prior public submissions and or post to your office. Seemingly there is lack of enthusiasm to consider the suggestion. This lack of action or consideration then takes on the vision of Don t rock the Boat with the insiders of Alaska Government. Tragic as it was felt that Everything in the Budget is on the Table mentality was given in a serious vain.

Were you to peruse the following pay scale schedule on State of Alaska executive positions and you will find some interesting dollar amounts being paid to deputy commissioners, who are not appointed but are full time employed persons. It would be pointed out for discussion, that the Division of Forestry budget recommendations call for the elimination of the Southeast office and personnel. All fine and good, the question then is: Why should the division director continue to reap his salary of $160,000.00 if this size of his responsibility has been eliminated? Why no mention of any suggested Cuts to his salary?

Same for the Alaska Marine Highway system. Huge projected cuts with mention of laying up ships, crews furloughed etc.. Yet, not a quiver about the three highest level employees, Division Director at $135,587, Asst. Commissioner at $134,884, nor the commissioner at $142,769 none of which any reduction in salary is suggested for what now is a proposed lessor department activity.

There are many examples of apparent duplicity of coverage within divisional. Thinking back to the days when oil was not king and we had a income tax, the size of government was vastly smaller in administration positions. One would believe that common sense has the State administration and legislature achieving the obligation to meet a balance budget reflecting the reality of the fiscal situation. When no mention or reference is lacking towards the middle and top management for sharing in those reduction one becomes a bit cynical towards the words with lack of deeds affecting the general public (The little people)

Curious people want to hear:

A. M. Johnson
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received March 08, 2015 - Published March 17, 2015


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