SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Integrity and Ethical Behavior Part II
By Jon T. Van Essen


May 02, 2006

First of all I'd like to apologize to Lynne Miller for not emphasizing how much my wife and I enjoy living in Bear Valley and how glad we are to have neighbors such as you to stand together to fight for what we believe is right for our neighborhood.

Ms. McColley, I would like to apologize to you as well for misstating the appeal fee, but it is a fee just the same. As much as I searched the Borough's web site I could not find the Rules and Procedures you stated in your response. What I did find in the Borough's Code of Ordinances under Title 35 Section 35.20.065 Meetings public: notice and rules of order Paragraph (a) All meetings of the planning commission shall be open to the public. The commission shall provide reasonable notice for all public meetings and shall provide reasonable opportunity for the public to be heard at public meetings. I did ask Mr. Lappin as to why we were not allowed to speak and he did not direct me to the rules you stated, but did say we could appeal the decision of the commission. The notice I received for the Meeting of 25 Apr 2006 was the same as every other notice I received concerning this Issue. I have written my concerns and have addressed the commission in person as well. So I ll ask the question again, why were my neighbors and I not allowed to address the Commission? If your response is that reasonable opportunity means I have to write my comments on the notice and send it in, apparently the commission does not read them.

You stated that the reconsiderations were filed by members of the prevailing side, Who? Mr. Johnson (Bicknell inc.) or one of the commission members. I believe the vote was unanimous against the asphalt plant during the meeting of 11 Apr 2006. Again I believe Mr. Lybrand should have had to file an appeal as you pointed out to me in the first paragraph of your response dated 28 Apr, 2006. If you're referring to Mr. Johnson, I'll note he is not listed as the person applying for the permit. He gave public comment on the evening of 11 Apr, as a member of the public like many of my neighbors and myself. Commission member Sande stated at the meeting of the 25th that Mr. Johnson had conversed with him on the 12th stating he only needed to operate the plant a few more days in order to complete the Tongass Ave project. He (Mr. Johnson) stated this during the public comment portion of the meeting on the 11th , again why was he allowed to provide additional comments (which weren't really additional just a repeat of what he stated the night before) and we the residents of Bear Valley were not? (Unless we put it in writing only).

This will be my last letter to Sitnews in regards to this issue, and I bear no disrespect or grudges towards the commission. I only feel it is right that I speak out as to what my interpretation of how my local government is looking out for it Citizens. I have received extensive training in ethics during my career and the one thing that is always beat into my head is that somethings don't always have to be unethical, just appear unethical.

Jon T. Van Essen
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Jon T. Van Essen served 21 plus years Active Duty in the Coast Guard with 5 Tours of duty in Alaska and 3 in Ketchikan. He is retiring this summer in Ketchikan.


Related Viewpoint:

letter Response to integrity & ethical behavior lacking By Tamela McColley - Ketchikan, AK - USA

letter Bear Valley Pride Despite Zoning Ruling By Lynne Miller - Ketchikan, AK - USA


Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


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Ketchikan, Alaska