SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

RE: Public restrooms on docks closed too early

By Douglas J. Thompson


June 27, 2016
Monday AM

Editor Sitnews;

Regarding the letter from Mr. Phil Borngraeber published recently in Sitnews: We have ten harbor employees and probably more with their 'summer help'. They are costing Ketchikan's taxpayer between ninety and one hundred forty thousand dollars per year each. We pay for a multitude of vehicles for them and all expenses. The department is supposedly run by Corporan under Amylon. Somewhere along the way as I have pointed out before they have decided they no longer need to work to collect their salary. Case in point is Mr. Borngraeber letter showing they once again "contract out" the most simple menial tasks that they themselves should be doing. It is ridiculous that cleaning Harbor Department bathrooms is approved for contracting out. With the overstaffing it should easily be handled and could even be done with 1/3 of the employees currently employed to no discernible benefit in that bloated department.

They should keep the restrooms we pay for open and accessible in a sanitary condition year round for the public. That is part of their job. Instead of dreaming up needless "programs" to harass segments of the boating population here they should be doing productive work just such as cleaning restrooms. Cleaning the bird crap off the docks in the winter so residents could enjoy a walk and keeping them from deteriorating needlessly would also keep them busy rather than doing nothing.

The harbor department is a large parasite in the city tax rolls that provides nothing in return. It is the perfect example of what could easily be drastically cut in a time of dwindling revenues. There was a time (not so long ago with the same number of stalls) when the harbor department was run out of a desk at city hall. They (two employees) didn't do much then either but they cost a small fraction of today's expense which produces even less actual service to the community.

The bottom line is if everything they do is contracted out as at present then why have them at all? We can contract out the work just as now and be rid of millions spent for salaries and support. It would also stop this ever growing bureaucracy that continues to expand without doing any real work.

As an update I have never received to date any logical reason for my eviction from the harbor. My activities with my boat were no more and no less than what many others were and are doing to this day in the harbor. There has never been a justification for their actions.

As always this just comes back to poor city management/manager. The question is how long are we going to put up with it in a time of lessening revenues? When simple things like this restroom issue aren't handled it really points to the need for an entirely new city council. Keep it in mind when you vote in October.


Douglas J. Thompson
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received June 24, 2016 - Published June 27, 2016


Related Viewpoints:

letter Public restrooms on docks closed too early By Phil L. Borngraeber


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