SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Rodney Dial


September 24, 2007
Monday PM

Do you believe in conspiracies? The word conspiracy sounds ominous, but it simply means "to plan together to secretly commit an act". I have always believed in the saying that "If your cause is just, you have nothing to hide". I become concerned when those who think they know better, feel that they have to hide their actions because to them the public is simply not educated enough to make the right decision.

Borough Assembly Candidate Carol Cairnes position statement is very interesting and begins to shed light on shady local politics, shall I dare say a conspiracy? In it she accurately identifies a concern that many of us share concerning the workings of the Chamber of Commerce and local Government. I would recommend that all citizens read her statement and pay special attention to the relationships she mentions.

As many of you may remember the last Consolidation attempt owes much of its support to the Chamber of Commerce. They supported a grandiose plan to get the votes necessary to form the committee to start the process. In the end, the consolidation document was far different, and far worse. The Chamber pushed a plan that would have removed tax caps, the right to vote on new taxes, and would have eventually required us to "pick up the tab" for the services now provided by the State.

If you recall the Consolidation document indicated a projected 2-mill property tax increase if consolidation passed. As you know, consolidation failed and both the City and Borough mill rates decreased. Because consolidation failed we all have been spared higher tax bills and years of excuses such as: We didn't know, could not have anticipated, revenues were not as expected, additional costs etc.

Our local governments can not renovate a school on time - or on budget, they oversee the most inefficient bus system in the region, spend hundred of thousands on surveys - employee wage/pedestrian traffic - that city employees could do for free, and lose track of thousands of dollars worth of interest payments from the veneer plant. However, they want you to trust them to successfully complete an undertaking a thousand times more difficult and complex, all the while removing the only protections we have to keep our local government under control.

I am extremely concerned that the Chamber is engaging in EMPIRE BUILDING and is working to support a candidate that will help them push their agenda. If this is true then they should have the integrity to announce it publicly. If not, then the public should be reassured by the candidate in question that they are an independent thinker, not bound to the will of the Chamber.

Although I have never met Carol Cairnes I will be voting for her. She seems like a breath of fresh air, and I think we need new blood on the Assembly.

I haven't decided how I will vote for the second assembly position.

I do appreciate how Assembly member Glenn Thompson has consistently been the voice of reason concerning the budget and taxes. If he would be willing to respect the last vote on consolidation and not bring this issue up again during his term he would probably get my second vote. If he can't make that commitment then I have to go with someone who respects majority will, perhaps Gregory Vickrey.

On a side note to the Chamber. Proverbs has an interesting saying that goes something like, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul" . I think that this can apply to an organization as well as a person.

You have been building a rift between your organization and the average citizen by advocating repeated votes on some issues, while fighting to prevent votes on others. You can't expect the public to respect you if you do not respect them. May I respectfully suggest that after the election you work at mending fences with the public; perhaps then you will have the support you desire.

Rodney Dial
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Lifelong Alaskan"

Received September 24, 2007 - Published September 24, 2007

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Ketchikan, Alaska