SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


A new course for the borough assembly
By Michael Spence


October 01, 2007
Monday PM

It has been a decade since the pulp mill closed. In those ten years several HUNDREDS of millions of dollars have flowed through the community in the form of economic relief, cleanup, and infrastructure development (DOT) funds.

What is there to be seen for this massive investment? Are the schools and the roads being maintained properly? Is it safer to walk or drive on Ketchikan's streets? Are there any more private investors interested in funding new enterprise?

Very little, and probably not.

Over the course of this same decade, politician after politician have issued their rhetoric about "job creation , and about economic and resource development". The borough assembly, for its part, has held court, supervising the disbursement of funds to entrepreneurs of all sorts.

The money has been disbursed.

Meanwhile Ketchikan is still shrinking. Its economy is less diverse. The line of repeat customers for free money is longer. The businesses that have received the money are weaker, not stronger, as a result of a subsidy-based system.

Meanwhile, there has been little or no public money to fund things like the schools, the roads, the library, and other things that public funds are normally used for. Those public funds have instead gone to help private enterprises like the veneer plant and the sawmill.

Wake up, people.

Ketchikan is a small town, with small resources. To attract the contributors and enterprise-growers of the future we have to offer them a high quality of life. The schools, the roads, and the infrastructure are the foundation for a high quality of life, not a few short-term construction jobs.

Michael Spence
Ketchikan, AK

About: " a ketchikan voter"

Received September 29, 2007 - Published October 01, 2007


Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.

SitNews ©2007
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska