Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions
Open Letter to City & Borough of Sitka
By Michael Baines
April 20, 2015
Sitka Tribe of Alaska is opposed to the utility rate increases being proposed by the City & Borough of Sitka. The trend of rates and fees increases imposed this past year is just too much to bear for the citizens of this community who either live on medium or low incomes or are senior citizens who live on fixed incomes. To burden the citizens with another rate increase on top of last year’s increases in the utility rates and the increase in moorage rates - for the third year in a row - and other proposed rate increases, is unreasonable.
Especially impacted with this proposed rate increase are our STA Tribal citizens who are lifelong residents of Sitka, but are at the brink of being forced to consider moving out of Sitka because they simply cannot afford to live here. We see this trend already taking place among our Tribal citizens and find ourselves striving to provide the additional support to our citizens in need. We would also go so far as to say that these repeated increases have contributed to a growing homeless population in Sitka.
It appears that with this trend to move costs out of reach of the average citizen, the City & Borough of Sitka is purposely creating a community environment where only the elite can afford to live. That is not representative of the rich history of this community. The City & Borough of Sitka Assembly has had such a focus on serving a select population and large businesses, now is the time to consider how these actions affect the common citizen.
At the regular monthly STA Tribal Council meeting held on March 18, 2015, the STA Tribal Council unanimously approved the STA Tribal Chairman signing this letter in opposition to the proposed utility rate increases. We stand as representatives of our Tribal citizens to say enough is enough.
Received April 13, 2015
- Published April 20, 2015
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