SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Building A Sustainable Future

By Rep. Dan Ortiz


June 08 2015
Monday PM

I’m writing from Fairbanks, Alaska, where I am attending Governor Walker’s event “Building a Sustainable Future: Conversations with Alaskans.” The Walker-Mallot administration invited Alaskans from around the state with diverse interests and political perspectives to gather and gain a better understanding of our state’s fiscal situation. I was pleased to see Doug Ward, from the Vigor Shipyard and Ketchikan community, also attended the event.

Event participants were tasked with selecting the essential level of government services our state must continue to provide, while identifying areas in the state budget where reductions and savings should continue to be made. Finally, we were presented with a variety of revenue enhancement options, along with projected amounts that each option would generate, and the potential impacts each option would have on Alaska’s economy.

I am dissatisfied that the legislative budget process for the 2016 fiscal year has not yet concluded. I believe the solution to this crisis can only come through a mutual willingness to compromise between the Senate leadership and the House. We must address the buget issue before we can begin to take on the bigger issue that we face.

The magnitude and scope of the fiscal problem our state faces is significant and our resources could potentially drain away within a few years. Despite achieving an 800 million dollar reduction in state spending, the state will still face a 3 billion dollar deficit when revenue levels are compared to projected spending levels. The resources and savings we have at our disposal to bridge us to a sustainable level are considerable – in other words, we are not ‘broke’ yet. We must deal with the problem in a timely and incisive manner. There is no single action that can be taken to solve the problem and every Alaskan citizen will be impacted by the decisions that are ultimately made. It’s critically important that people and businesses from Ketchikan to Barrow educate themselves and participate in the process so we can arrive at a long-term fiscal plan that will put the state and its future generations on the path to sustainability.

People who are interested in further educating themselves about our fiscal decline and our projected future should visit the conference website, In addition, I am planning a town meeting where I will give a community presentation in order to provide further information concerning the scope of this problem.

Rep. Dan Ortiz
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received June 08-, 2015 - Published June 08, 2015



Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor


Representations of fact and opinions in letters are solely those of the author.
The opinions of the author do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.

E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

Published letters become the property of SitNews.

SitNews ©2014
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.