SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Open letter to Southeast Islanders
By Ed “Mongo” Fry


September 07, 2011
Wednesday AM

If you are reading this, chances you are witnessing some economic effects right here locally from poor local community planning and leadership without fiscal responsibility to big spending items that are in progress.  There are many “for sale” signs posted on our island and some of those are properties are in foreclosure.

The effects of foreclosure are increasing in the area which means that both Ketchikan City and the Ketchikan Borough do not collect taxes to help substantiate the spending.  The products for those that are left in the community is, well, higher taxes; and based on several writers to SitNews, are very knowledgeable and see the writing on the wall in upcoming years.

Projects and improvements are done in haste, simply because we have to “chunk” assemble/improve as we have breaks in the weather during the summertime; there is the estimated cost, then there is the real cost as builders come back because managers did not do their preparatory homework, assessment, and recommendation that is non-bias with all exceptions.  Couple that with the tourist season, Ketchikan becomes a very busy place; it is a reality of each and every passing season.  The spending spree is gauged on projections of revenues rather than tangible revenues that are available.  So again the resident is faced with footing the bill on poor planning.

What some do not realize is that the middle class has the power to change all of this with a vote in the fall.  Election of leaders by default is not the answer; the win-win is the leader that will bring “common sense” to the table with a long term plan with the emphasis on “community sustainability” rather than trying to validate their spending through “look at what I did when I was in office”.  In our community, some are looking for that “golden business” which in reality will not happen any time soon! We have been dealt a “non sustainable hand” and now we have to face the cleanup of this financial mess.

The political model of doing business is failing for us as the government is spending more than they take in….. a term called “deficit spending”, the citizen, we the people, are left holding the bag from poor policy making, poor application of regulations, and poor judgment of what the ideal of a “sustainable” community really is.  As the “status quo” of the “five ape theory” thrives, and we do not break the “build it and we will write a check, deal with the fallout later” is not acceptable in my book!

When voting for your next community leader, vote for the one that has the voice of reason, will take the beating of the other 1, 2, 3, or 4 apes in the room, and fend for those that are part of the struggling Ketchikan economy.  If we fail to embrace that philosophy, of local “sustainability” the population will continue to decline, businesses will close, and the ships will slowly withdraw, consolidate their passengers to maintain “full” ships as the economics of the area will no longer support their pockets and the threat of a double dip recession.

Stand up and require accountability and box in the political sidestep leader.  I certainly will, because I have nothing to lose!

Power in numbers,

Ed “Mongo” Fry
Pond Reef Resident
Ketchikan, AK

Received September 05, 2011 - Published September 07, 2011



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Ketchikan, Alaska