SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Al Johnson


November 19, 2006


Galvin Piercy has asked key questions regarding Consolidation. Let me offer what I understand to be fact. There is no reversal of the action to consolidate if the vote is in favor of. It is specifically denied by statue.

As to the thoughts on including specific actions that will result from a vote to Consolidate. The escape clause offered, "The newly elected assembly will decide" is the standard cop out by the proponents.

I offer as an example of what could have been the model and did happen in the case of Sitka, which chose the route of Unification over Consolidation.

Sitka's city Mayor and borough manager jointly agreed that unification would provide efficiencies and potential savings. Together, they literally sat at a kitchen table and formulated a successful campaign strategy on butcher paper.

What they did would be viewed today as collusion and unethical by the Political Correct crowd. They designed single-handedly, the format and consequences of the goals for Unification and put their names and reputations on the line for the effort.
The Sitka Borough manager, Rocky Gutarrie and the City mayor, a fellow named Dapavich took the prospective homemade Unification proposition door to door throughout Sitka. Both gentlemen vowed that taxes would remain at a set level for a minimum of x number of years. They laid out specifically what managerial positions would be eliminated, what departments would look like, and the manning/cost of unifying would be and the projected long range budgets numbers could be expected within reason.

The Sitka Unification vote was successful. The projected mill/tax rate, cost, and departmental changes developed as swore to by the two managers was maintained for several years.

Unfortunately, as with any governmental activity that bares no responsibility or consequence, for both gentleman's good intentions, several years later following their era of political leadership, Sitka more and more reflects the general lassie fair attitude of government in general.

Mr. Piercy, as well as Mr. Thomas have again clearly pointed out the inexcusable ability of the proponents to do anything but offer pompous pontification platitudes of wondrous projections.

In my opinion, what is lacking in the current Ketchikan Consolidation effort is the credibility and honor of character. The same elements found lacking in the previous efforts to unify/Consolidate this borough.

Let me add to the conversation the subject of senior citizen property tax exemption. I have not pursued the matter save to wonder how Juneau is in the position of circumventing State statue which mandates established boroughs to honor the 50% or $150,000.00, which ever is greater senior personal housing property. My assumption is that the statue applies to any and all boroughs established before or during the birth of this statue. Juneau is challenging that assumption and the Ketchikan Charter commission has done nothing to assure to the contrary of that assumption.

I close with a cautionary note: "A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away."-Ronald Reagan


Al Johnson
Ward Cove, AK

Received November 18, 2006 - Published November 19, 2006

About: "Long time resident involved in opposition to the last three efforts to Unify/Consolidate this borough."



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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska