SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Consolidation - The Wrong Choice
By Eric Muench


October 30, 2006

Alaska is heading toward complete division into and coverage by boroughs, in the way that other states are divided into counties. For the purpose of having some say in federal and State management of resources, as well as a claim to part of the proceeds of resource development in their areas, this makes democratic sense. But forcing each of Alaska s wide-spread boroughs and all of each one s scattered remote settlements to be run by a central consolidated government is anti-democratic. Borough consolidation is an idea invented by bureaucrats and politicians for their own added power and convenience.

Many commentors have shown how Ketchikan Gateway Borough consolidation will cost rather than save us money, how the only positions to be eliminated will be elected representatives of the people, how the public will lose the right to vote on new taxes, and how consolidation benefits only the State administration in Juneau and special interests in Ketchikan.

But there are even more important reasons to reject consolidation. It is bad for Alaska and for any free society that values self government and local self determination. Consolidated government is central government. Under it no area of the borough - not the city or Meyers Chuck or even remote Hyder - could ever again form or keep a local government to determine its own policies. And the charter's promise of service areas is a sham.

The old Soviet Union had a central government and it had Provincial and Autonomous Republic governments. But if these pretenders at local governance dared to displease Moscow their mayors and governors would be fired and replaced by more compliant stooges. That is exactly how a consolidated central government would handle service area board members. Under consolidation they would all be appointed and replaced at will by central consolidated government rulers, not the Communist Party Central Committee in our case, but by realtors, chamber of commerce and professional politicians.

Saxman has been granted immunity from inclusion in a consolidated borough government. Its residents argued that its heavy federal funding depends on a Native majority and besides, it has a unique culture and wants to govern itself. Good for Saxman. But what's good for them is good for us all. The rest of us also want to keep some measure of freedom and self governance.

Let's keep alive the American tradition of local self determination and reject centralized consolidated rule.

Eric Muench
Ketchikan, AK

Received October 29, 2006 - Published October 28, 2006

About: "I am a 44 year resident of Alaska who values freedom and self government for the scattered communities of the state."


Related Ballot Information:

Information for Ketchikan Voters

Consolidation Election of the City of Ketchikan and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough
Election Day is Tuesday, November 21, 2006
This Election Will Be Conducted By Mail
There will be no polling place on election day.

TO VOTE: Ballots will be mailed on Monday, October 20, 2006.
Ballots must be voted and postmarked on or before Election Day, November 21, 2006.

Related Web Sites:

Alaska Division of Elections - State-Conducted Local Elections

Ketchikan Consolidation

Ketchikan Consolidation Commission
(Web site provided as a public service by SitNews)

Save Ketchikan



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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska