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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

RE: Smoke and Mirrors

By Michelle O'Brien


December 22, 2015
Tuesday AM

In response to the recent letter by Agnes Moran, my question would be: If you are so keenly interested in education, as you seem to have been in the last five years, why have you not run for the Board of Education?

Instead, Ms, Moran chooses at every possible moment to belittle those that serve on the Board of Education, and those that dare question her.

Furthermore, Ms. Moran, at the November School Board-Borough Liaison meeting equated that it was not appropriate for Board of Education members to ask questions regarding Ordinance 1777 and Contractual funding. She, as a former Assembly Member, dominated our School Board-Borough Liaison meetings for years with hundreds of questions that required an immediate and intensely detailed response, all of which equated to hundreds of hours of staff time to deliver information in a manner that suited her needs. We delivered those requests for information, and we are always happy to do so to any member of the public. Anytime.

This leads to me to question: Why is it that the Board of Education is not allowed to ask questions, but some members of Borough Assembly are given a blank slate to demand whatever they wish?

Ms Moran, would like you to believe that she has the education of our students in her best interests, but in reality, she plays the role of an antagonist to the issue. Has she offered any alternatives to education funding? No.

Instead, as an Assembly Member, she played an integral part in reducing the local contribution of education funding in our community to new lows.

Lastly,your Board of Education believes we should be asking questions about our community's true investment in education. I assure you, our community's direct investment in educating our students does not include contracted services. Ms Moran's attempt to fool the public into thinking that we are "lavish" in our investment fails to ensure the success of our students, our community, and you.

The Ketchikan School District understands tightening budgets, and we've dealt with that effectively over the last several years. The Ketchikan School District has been lauded statewide for our successes.

Ms. Moran. If you don't like what you see, then run for office.

Your absence on the ballot speaks volumes, but if you are elected where would you make the next and seemingly inevitable cuts? Student activities? Music? The arts? Alaska Native education? Technology?


Michelle O'Brien
Ketchikan Gateway Board of Education
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received December 20, 2015 - Published December 22, 2015

Related Viewpoint:

letter Smoke and Mirrors By Agnes Moran



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