SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Ketchikan Politics
By Greg Harris


June 09, 2006

Mr. Maki, I am sorry that you too have become victim to the needless harassment by City officials in your quest to make Ketchikan a better place. As a "solid waste collector" for Ketchikan during 1994 and 1995, I had blood sprayed on my clothes on two separate occasions at the hospital while collecting trash, fell through rotted decks and saw several coworkers, including myself, face surgery due to accidents while working collecting trash.

I raised my concerns to superiors to no avail. I was told to "collect the trash absent a life threatening situation." I wrote Alaska OSHA, I went to the City Council and all that happened was a smear campaign to rid me of my employment, which they succeeded in doing. In my opinion, your City Manager will not stand for people like you and me and will do whatever is necessary to keep that $140,000 a year job and the cushy benefits that come with it.

I sued the City of Ketchikan and it went on for about four years before the judge declared the suit a "draw" if you can believe that. The City had to of spent hundreds of thousands fighting me and even intimidated my attorney into withdrawing from my case just weeks before it went to trial. I had to represent myself because no other attorney in town would touch it with a ten foot pole.

Meanwhile, the hospital spent $500,000 on a new system to destroy bio-waste, the city went to a type of curbside automated collection and solid waste collectors now have an easier time with the rigors of their job. Was it worth it? Yes it was. Because like you I live to serve my lord and my fellow man with integrity and honesty and up front relations. I fought hard and tough to stand up for my beliefs and it was very hard, troubling and all, but it was worth it.

Stand tall Officer Maki. The people know you tried your best and they appreciate it. Even if City leaders smear your name, you and I are head and shoulders above the likes of the career "do-nothings" that sit in their offices on Front Street.

Want proof of my allegations? Go to the court house and look up Harris V. City. You will be amazed.


Greg Harris
Springfield, OR - USA

About: Greg Harris lived in Ketchikan for 14 years and previously employed by the City of Ketchikan.

Related Viewpoint:

letter An Open Letter to the Citizens of Ketchikan By John Maki - Ketchikan, AK - USA


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