SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Pete Ellis


April 05, 2010

So it is sort of like voting to sell your birthright and the right to choose services to be offered and their cost. A contrary vote is for the unknown. A yes vote results in an inability to provide further input as to any sales analysis, other than the limited opportunity to appear before the Council and urge their rejection or further negotiation of a sale proposal. Voting NO guarantees continued control and input.

Although KPU needs a full-time manager, who is totally devoted to the utility and it's future , the present operation is successful and remains profitable despite declining revenues. The potential of cellular service is open to KPU access. It's implementation by KPU could certainly provide substantial additional revenue in the event of adequate investment .

The present sale proposal would create a substantial fund controlled only by the Council and management dictates. It will not last once sale funds become available and demands and requests for the same surface and are considered. If a sale is authorized, and should occur, the entitlement to the proceeds should perhaps entitle the present KPU users to an appropriate dividend in accordance with their long term prior contributions through monthly billing payments. Chugach Electric, just recently, has approved reimbursement and credits to their customers as a consequence of accumulated profits over the years. Certainly a sale of KPU telecom represents the sale of a profit to which the local public and rate payer users are perhaps more entitled to receive than the to use these proceeds for other needs determined at the whim of the Council.

Recent publicity and advertising efforts in support of the sale represent a totally biased view without a presentation of factual circumstances and information controlled by and known only to the Council and the City Manager. We have not been provided with the full report of the consultants. We have not been provided with an in-depth analysis of the financial potentials in continued telephone division ownership. No one has analyzed what cell-phone ownership and operation could provide in terms of revenues to offset declining land line usage.

Nothing has been supplied as to the consequences of other telephone utility sales to third parties. To what extent and by how much have rates elsewhere been escalated pursuant to third party acquisitions? We just do not know and have not been informed. There are no budget predictions which could provide appropriate consideration of future development needs devoted to a path of telecommunication progress which the community should be entitled to pursue.

The Borough Assembly is apparently unconcerned as to the needs of local residents residing outside of the City and who nevertheless have to bear the burden of future potential rate increases in the event of sale and has made no effort to fill the information gap.

A sale is not appropriate without a careful and detailed presentation of pertinent information affecting the same and the future of all of us. The vote on the forthcoming election issues should be we can win this battle and proceed with our future separate choices.

Pete Ellis
Ketchikan, AK

Received April 01, 2010 - Published April 05, 2010



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Ketchikan, Alaska