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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions


By David G Hanger


April 30, 2018
Monday PM

I had lunch a few days back with an old friend and lifetime local who recently returned from a two-year project in Juneau. I am sure you are all pleased to hear that Scott Gray, long-term and current Juneau resident and current Ketchikan area roads & highways supervisor, has those roads in Juneau in absolute pristine condition, smooth-surfaced and not a pothole anywhere. Everyone in Juneau apparently thinks he is a wonderful nice guy. How much are we here in Ketchikan paying for Juneau’s pristine roads and highways?

Obviously, the first thing we are paying for is highway maintenance crews that are supposed to be working here, but are not, while in the meantime the supervisor and the bulk of the resources are in Juneau.

Dan Ortiz, you are supposed to be our local representative. Why have you permitted this to happen? Your silence on this issue is deafening, while the conditions are worsening daily and have been unacceptable for quite some time.

Rodney Dial, David Landis, and the Ketchikan Borough Assembly where the hell are you? And what of our Borough Manager who seems rather inattentive to his local plant. Rodney is always, always form over substance with emphasis on “See, see, see,” combined with his emphatic timpani, “I-I-I-I-I.”

While duly noting that Ketchikan is the most over-taxed locale in the state, he fails completely to address the fact that we are getting very little bang for all those bucks. The town looks like hell.

A somewhat standard game in this town is to have at least one spouse working for the government in some capacity in order to qualify for those $25,000+ medical insurance policies that government provides its employees. Not that many outfits in the private sector can afford $25,000+ medical insurance programs for their employees, so with government employment representing 28% of all local employment simple math suggests that 45% to as many as 50% of the families in Ketchikan are covered by insurance provided by government. This is perceived locally as a public good, but it ignores the fact that 50% or more of the population are paying for this easy ride for others before they get to pay their own medical insurance, or anything else for that matter. Apparently this has reached the point where the bureaucrats are just supposed to be gathering paychecks and insurance policies without doing anything of consequence.

An oddity of local government that is of some curiosity is the fact that virtually all elected officials and most of the workers are Republicans, and the Republican charade in this state has been to cut state government to the bone. Somehow these local bureaucrats don’t quite get that supporting those policies will put a lot of them in the unemployment line, too; and it is issues just like this one that will get you there sooner. If you cannot maintain the infrastructure, employing you is pointless.

Fix the potholes or quit.

Remember this crap come election time, people. Enough of letting your Chamber of Commerce pick your Council and your Assembly for you. Find people who want to fix this town and are prepared, if necessary, to replace bureaucrats with asphalt expenditures if that is what it takes.

Or don’t. And reside in squalor while paying the highest tax rates in the state. Do you think all those bureaucrats are planning on retiring here with their giant government retirement accounts? Not a snowball’s chance of that happening.

David G Hanger
Ketchikan, Alaska



Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received April 24, 2018 - Published April 30, 2018

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