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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

An Open Letter to the Members of the Alaska House and Senate

By Jerry Cegelske


April 23, 2016
Saturday PM

Recently I heard one of you on the radio talk about dealing with the Alaska Permanent Fund in solving the State budget crisis. What was said was "I don't think the Alaskan people are going to accept us using the Permanent Fund to fix this."

What I heard the person say is "I don't want to deal with the budget and Permanent Fund problem because I won't get elected if I vote for it."

Your inaction on solving the budget problem is creating additional problems for every other governing body in the state that is waiting for a solution to the state budget in order to set their budgets. Your inaction is creating stress for state employees, school
boards, municipal governments, parents of school children, and many others. Many administrators are asking if they can keep the people they have working for them.

You were hired to make the hard decisions as well as the decisions that make you look good to your constituants. Please make your decisions based on what is best for the State and the residents of the State, not your political future.

If it is necessary to mofify the permanent fund, it will affect most residents, encourageing them to pay more attention to what you are doing with "their" money, and thus be more willing to tell and guide you on what they want for the State.

If you are worried about your political future, put a sunset clause in so that people know the Permanent Fund monies will again be directed toward them when this crisis is over.

If you cannot make the hard decisions necessary to be made based on what is best for the State, please ask yourself if you should be in the position you are in.

Jerry Cegelske
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received April 22, 2016 - Published April 23, 2016

About: Jerry Cegelske is writing as a Ketchikan resident. He is employed by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough but is not in anyway speaking for the Borough, his opinions are his own.



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