SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Bravo! Mary Lynn Dahl
By Ed Fry


August 20, 2007

Dear Ms. Dahl and Concerned Residents of the Ketchikan Borough: ABSOLUTELY! You have the right to get answers and can request the public information.

Alaska Statute by authority of § 40.25.120 Public records; exceptions; certified copies (a) and 11 (a); gives any person the right to request access to records of various agencies in Alaska Governmental System and its representatives including its employees within its government. The agency must disclose the records requested unless they are protected by one or more of the exemptions found in § 40.25.120 ¶ (a) (1-11).

After reading letters of concern and disgust, it makes the process of an audit by the outside Government Finance Office Association (GFOA) a worthwhile and justified expense as millions of dollars are pouring out of the pockets of the taxpayers (you and I) from mismanagement, miss directives, and card playing under the table. It is comparable to the odor of decaying salmon! You can smell it, you know where it is, but you cannot put the smell on just one!

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Research and Consulting Center (RCC) can provide on-site assistance to government organizations as they plan and implement performance-related initiatives. Recognizing the challenge of assessing and allocating resources for performance measurement systems, the RCC and the GFOA Research and Consulting Center can help you to answer the following questions:

How does the government's current and future debt position rank, compared to a peer group of similar jurisdictions?

How do debt issuance plans affect future debt affordability measures?

Would a shift in interest rates significantly impact the debt service structure or debt position in the long term?
What policies can be implemented to preserve financing flexibility and avoid becoming overburdened?

GFOA staff can help design a performance measurement system with varying degrees of linkages to strategic plans, operational situations, and the annual budget with the following:

A clearly articulated link between performance measurement and the organization's strategic goals.

Integration of performance measures with the budget process.

Outcome/results-oriented performance measures at the operations level.

An implementation plan for performance measurement.

Training sessions and materials for application of performance measures.

Assistance with client-specific needs such as articulating strategic goals, implementation assistance, and facilitation toward creating/refining policies related to performance measurement.

Debt capacity studies:

Strengthen capital and long-term financial planning;

Provide a better understanding of a jurisdiction's current debt position and the impact of alternative funding scenarios on its future position;

Analyze/support creative approaches to long term financing within the guidelines of legislative authority, staff skill sets, the characteristics of revenues that support debt issues; and

Enable prudent debt management through the adoption of a formal debt policy.

A GFOA cutback management program produces the following deliverables/results:

Assessment of a deficit situation as either a temporary imbalance or a long-term structural deficit.

Identification of conflicting organizational policies or goals that have led to a structural deficit situation.

Financial projections to communicate the consequences of inaction, and the long-term impact of cutback decisions in the current period.

Alternatives analysis to identify resource enhancements and/or service reduction scenarios.

Recommendations to achieve fiscal balance within the character and mission of the government.

A multi-year budgeting project produces the following deliverables/results:

Recommended elements of an effective multi-year budget framework.

Revenue and expenditure forecasting methods that will support the multi-year budget process.

Enhanced long term planning through a multi-year perspective at the operations or department levels

Improved program monitoring and reduced 'opportunism' often found in annual budget processes.

Departmental incentive structures to encourage long-term decision-making effectiveness.

Suggested financial policies relevant to the multi-year budget process.

A GFOA organizational review produces the following deliverables/results:

An assessment to determine the role of the Finance function in the organization, or sub-functions within the department.

A departmental structure analysis to determine "as is" areas of responsibility and coordination.

A benchmarking analysis to evaluate structures and divisions of labor in comparable organizations.

Staff workload and skill set evaluation.

An organizational and management policy review will address the questions: Are adequate policies in place? Are they applied consistently? Do policy conflicts exist? Do policies foster efficiencies, innovation, and staff development?

Review and evaluation, or drafting, of a management philosophy.

Now that Mr. Eckert is on the out, before a new manager is brought in an assessment of the system should be done to REALLY see how where we are as a Borough and REALLY see where the inefficiency and ineffectiveness is, and REALLY evaluate programs and program development and REALLY put a glass top on the table to know what cards are being played out of the public s eyes. I have been saying it all along in letters (April 27, April 30, 2007).

What type of manager will the Borough be looking for? Will they look for the applicant to go on the side of the fence with assessment, evaluation, planning, implementation of the plan and ongoing assessment of BOTH utilities and services OR,

Bring in the bat, cause an immediate paradigm shift, streamline and become a performance model of government? Batter up!

Hmmmmm Got me thinking again .

Warmest regard for the residents,

Ed Fry
North Tongass Resident
Ketchikan, AK

Received August 17, 2007 - Published August 20, 2007

About: "Master degrees-Public Administration and Emergency Planning and Administration"

Related Viewpoint:

letter Borough Manager does not answer key question By Mary Lynn Dahl

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Ketchikan, Alaska