By Michael Spence
May 03, 2007
Too bad for them. The world is run by those who attend the meetings,
Saddam Hussein said at the last meeting of the Supreme Council,
at which it was decided that he would be the only candidate running
for office as leader of Iraq.
It's true. The world is run by those who attend the meetings.
The tricky part, if you are a Ketchikan taxpayer, is perhaps
to determine WHICH meetings to attend. In Alaska, legislative
bodies are bound to follow the Open Meetings Act, which requires
that governing bodies NOT meet and decide issues of public importance
outside of publicly announced meetings where their constituents
have an opportunity to either attend or be informed of their
In a small community like Ketchikan it is unavoidable maybe that
some luncheons and informal gatherings will be attended by civic
representatives. Those representatives might develop opinions
and make decisions that should have been put into more open debate.
It is up to them to have the conscience to put the issues that
have long term consequence to constituents and taxpayers on the
public agenda. It is after all, upon the taxpayers that the
burden will ultimately fall .
This is not just a matter of law. History and science have shown
that larger groups make better reasoned decisions than individuals
or small cabals of like-minded people.
Prioritization of highway spending from public funds is an issue
of major implications to the taxpayers and residents of Ketchikan.
The decision whether to make Gravina Access a priority for highway
spending should have been given to the taxpayers of the community.
The only ballot ever given to Ketchikan voters on this issue
was AFTER the priority had been decided.
We are several years past the time when that decision was made.
Jobs were temporarily created, but Ketchikan is still shrinking.
The economy is less diversified than before. The road system
that residents of Ketchikan use daily is more broken than ever.
And we are still paying for building roads on Gravina.
Received May 02, 2007 - Published May 03, 2007
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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