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Let truth rule over rhetoric
by Chris Schelb


September 21, 2004

Most recently Ketchikan has been set upon with a barrage of vicious and unfounded accusations involving Ms. Naomi Michalsen. The tirade began with a front page story in The Ketchikan Daily News. The issue had to do with an ongoing employment matter involving Ms. Michalsen and her former employer, The Ketchikan Indian Community, (KIC). Without getting into the details of the matter, for which I have no involvement or knowledge of, I came to the conclusion the KIC was guilty of whatever it was that it is being accused of. The reason behind my logic is that I find it extremely distasteful, lacking in common sense and just plain low-ball to bring into the public arena, an unsettled legal matter. This slanderous dribble left me with an implication of wrongdoing that can only be hidden by a smear job. The concept of talking to the press regarding this matter was tacky at best, and quite unprofessional at least.

The situation has grown such as with the tar baby effect. Instead of dropping the issue and admitting that it was not likely to be the brightest thing to do by taking this public, those in power at KIC continue to sink with their moral obligations. In a particularly malignant letter to SITNEWS, Ms Marly Edenso goes on to make all sorts of nonfactual accusations against Ms. Michalsen, and on top of that, purposely hides the truth. Allow me to bring up several points of fact.

First, given the self righteous and all knowing attitude displayed by Ms. Edenso, why does she bring up the topic of elders needing eyeglasses and somehow try to relate the medical needs of KIC members to personnel issue? The TRUTH of the matter is that any monetary relationship having to do with KIC and Ms. Michalsen would be covered by dedicated fund accounts that have nothing to do with program services.

Secondly, if Ms Edenso is so concerned about tribal finances, she should look within to make improvements. I would think that far more money could be saved by KIC by the simple act of limiting the travel of the KIC Counsel, and in detail, by paying the lodging fees for those traveling by direct payment to the lodging facility. As is now, by paying per diem to those members doing the traveling, it allows for people to share rooms and pocket the hotel fees as a windfall. There are enough known financial leakages having to do with KIC operations to more than go around for those wishing to show financial prudence. There is no need to talk about eye glasses and personnel matters at this time, and at least until internal fiscal change comes about.

Finally, since Ms. Edenso seems to have no problem with releasing all sorts of personal information having to do with this issue, I find it appalling and quite hypocritical that she chose not to mention that it is her sister who has direct involvement in the issue. Yes Marly, you and KIC Chief Executive Officer Georgiana are siblings. Why not be upfront about that fact that the two of you are sisters? Better yet, why are you getting involved in a matter having to do with personnel issues in the first place? What is your agenda? Since you do not mind putting the wash out for all to see - why not  show us yours? Otherwise, when and if the truth about this affair ever comes out, it might not cast such a favorable light on you. Maybe you should leave this one alone. Let truth rule over rhetoric.

Chris Schelb
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

Express your dissatisfaction with settlement by Marly F. Edenso - Ketchikan, AK - USA


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