By Robert D. Warner
April 10, 2010
Dear Sitnews Editor:
Will the Ketchikan City Council have the courage to recognize
that last Tuesday's special election was not a clear mandate
from city voters to sell KPU Telecommunications? Major questions
about this issue remain.
1. Why was it necessary to have a "special election"
on this matter and force taxpayers to cover the additional costs?
What was "so urgent" that it could not wait until
the regular city/borough election in October? Could it be that
those leaders in city government trying to shape the outcome
found it easier to accomplish their scheme in a special election
when fewer voters make it to the polls?
2. Why was the city's pre-election propaganda on this matter
also funded at taxpayers expense, but did not allow space for
the opposition to express their views?
3. The issue of excluding many KPU rate payers from this vote
is very complicated, but should have been addressed to make an
election as democratic and as fair as possible. Was anything
ever said about this issue?
4. With the close outcome of this election and so few citizens
voting, the process for calling "special" elections
needs reform. Citizens and taxpayers need better controls over
city management and elected officials.
5. Are Ketchikan citizens prepared to pay major increases for
their telecommunications services if the KPU system is sold and
privatized? How is the Ketchikan City Council going to continue
its control over rate increases?
Perhaps the idea of mandating a 55% yes vote and a minimum percentage
of voter turn-out to approve "special" election issues
would help protect the community from whimsical decisions.
Robert D. Warner
Received April 08, 2010 - Published
April 10, 2010
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