SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Consolidation: Are you serious?
By Rick Grams


August 16, 2006

That s a nice bit of research someone has taken the time to provide. However, I don t think it tells the whole story either. Undoubtedly the ramifications of political entities in Juneau, Sitka and Anchorage have taken advantage of loopholes or weaknesses with the resulting consolidated governments which may have been unable to legally stop the harmful action in time.

Having lived in Sitka I can tell you there is a giant divide between the haves and the have nots. There are many homes in Sitka that are valued at over $400,000 and the people that own those homes do not work in Sitka! How else can the area have a per capita income of $31,467 and the average home cost $230,000? Even if the household is a two income household the average becomes $62,934. That is barely enough income to pay for that $230k home provided there is a down payment involved. I can t speak about the Juneau and Anchorage areas.

Now if you want to speak about rent, the issue with renting in today s market revolves around the price of oil (when heat is included). Rent increases with the increases in oil, but it never goes back to the original rates when the price of oil has declined. I m not saying that a consolidated government does or does not increase rent, but it does not automatically mean rent will increase further.

In my meager attempt not to bore everyone with a long winded opinion here goes my little pep talk on consolidation. It will be fine only if the voters get out to exercise their right to not only vote but to also communicate with the elected officials. Ketchikan can show other areas that by working together and consolidating, the tax burden can be lessened while businesses and the population grow. The sooner consolidation becomes real, the quicker the Ketchikan area can reap the benefits of an economic turnaround.

In the end it is not just about the vote; it will have to be the determination and tenacity of the involved citizenry that makes consolidation worth the effort.

Rick Grams
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: "I have lived in Ketchikan, Alaska since June of 2000. I have four children, all of them grown and living here in Ketchikan. I currently belong to the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce at the individual level, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Board of Ethics, and I am currently pursuing an MBA. Most of all, I desire to see year round jobs that provide career opportunities to our local population without the need to relocate people from the lower 48."

Related Viewpoint:

letter Are you serious? By Rodney Dial - Ketchikan, AK - USA

Related Information:

Ketchikan Charter Commission



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