SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Unfulfilled Public Information Request
By Kathleen Svenson


May 08, 2008
Thursday PM

Dear Ketchikan Community Members,

You are probably aware the Ketchikan-Kanayama Student Exchange Program is funded by both the Borough and the City of Ketchikan. As a publicly-funded body, the program is required to share their By-Laws, Policies & Procedures, Meeting Minutes, Articles of Incorporation, etc., etc. with anyone who asks. But they don't.

The Kanayama Association does not even publicize their meeting place and time. Not even the Borough and City Managers can seem to extract the most baslic information from the Kanayama Association. To whom are they accountable then?

Other non-profits who stand before our governmental Council and Assembly at granting time, looking for funding, are transparent in their accounting and other internal dealings. We demand that. Why has the Kanayama Association been allowed such a "buy?"

We must be funding them the tune of about thirty grand a year in flat- out in grants (our tax dolars); not counting all the fundraising dollars they exact from our community in raffle tickets and indigestible pizzas.

"Curiouser and Curiouser"

What's the big Kanayama Association secret anyway? Why is it so difficult to get public information from them? And why do we put up with their opaqueness? The Kanayama Association depends upon our support for their very existence.

Already scrutinized for being elitist in their student selection, their financial underpinnings and "good faith and fair dealing" policies (or lack thereof, which appears to be the case) warrant more than a cursory look-see by someone with more authority and qualifications than I possess in these areas. I am merely a perplexed taxpayer who smells a rat running from what may end up being a sinking ship.

So think twice before you buy that next $10 raffle ticket. Try asking a few questions yourself. In this day of shrinking dollars and growing needs, let's see if the Kanayama Association Board (Ole Sullivan, Pat Perrier, Eileen Truitt, Carrie Allen, Christa Bruce and Jim Alguire) can pony up with some basic infrastucture answers to the same questions we ask every other non-profit we pay for.

Kathleen Svenson
Kanayama Parent & Whistle Blower
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Kathleen became affliated with the Ketchikan-Kanayama Student Exchange Association when her daughter was selected to go to Japan in June, 2008 with the group."

Sent: April 27, 2008 - Received May 07, 2008 - Published May 08, 2008


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