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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Protection, Safety & Welfare

By Lavenia Sylvia


August 16, 2015
Sunday PM


Since VPSO Sgt Clinton O Malley left, the City of Thorne Bay has not had a VPSO.

I am told by City of Thorne Bay Councilman Harvey McDonald, that the Kasaan VPSO is covering Thorne Bay (Goose Creek, Southside and City Center), Kasaan, and Hydaburg. That is mind-boggling as two VPSOs are required to adequately service the three disparate sections that comprise the City of Thorne Bay. According to Councilman McDonald, this is all due to lack of funding for the VPSO Program.

But wait…there’s more!

I learned this morning, that the City of Thorne Bay had two opportunities to have a VPSO in the very recent past. Two months ago the City Administrator interviewed a prospective VPSO candidate before the funding deficit and refused to hire him. What made this prospect a poor fit for the City Administration? The prospect knows a prior Thorne Bay VPSO who knows a certain outspoken resident.

The second opportunity occurred one month ago when the prior VPSO offered to return to Thorne Bay as a transfer, a move which would not be impacted by the funding issue. This second opportunity for a VPSO was turned down by the City Administration as well.

Never mind that when he was here at Thorne Bay, the prior VPSO was actively involved in Fire and EMS, that he was involved with Thorne Bay youths even promoting a youth group for EMS/FIRE, that he was evenhanded, effective, and honest in upholding the laws. The prior VPSO wanted his community to be safe so he would take a walk about town in the evenings to more-or-less tuck the town in. So what makes the prior VPSP a bad fit for Thorne Bay City Administration? The prior VPSO knows the outspoken resident. The City Administrator Wayne Benner told the prior VPSO his presence would supposedly bolster the outspoken resident in the resident’s lawsuit against the city when in fact he is not party to any litigation in Thorne Bay. 

City Mayor Jimmie Gould and Administrator Wayne Benner have put their internecine warfare with the outspoken resident above the safety and welfare of residents of the City of Thorne Bay, Villages of Kasaan and Hydaburg, and the safety of the Kasaan VPSO.


Lavenia Sylvia
Thorne Bay , Alaska



Received August 12, 2015 - Published August 16, 2015

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