City's “Berth Lease Proposals”
By Mike Cruise
December 17, 2019
Mike Holman and Charlie Freeman have recently written opinion / information letters about the City's “Berth Lease Proposals”. These actions would surrender the community’s four downtown cruise-ship docks to private control for up to 30 years. Mike and Charlie have been around and I value their opinions. On this issue I think they are absolutely right……. This is not a wise decision and the process being used doesn’t pass the “smell” test.
We are always reminded that issues like these are too difficult, complicated and delicate for the Ketchikan Voters to grasp and should not be put up for them to advise or decide on. Somehow, those same voters were wise enough to elect the people who make these disparaging remarks. I guess that this proves or destroys the argument, depending on your point of view.
All that aside, the issue of the Berth Lease Proposals is of such importance that any and all impute should be sought, considered and evaluated….. even by those local leaders who believe that the public is too dumb to have anything of value to say.
I understand that high priced consultants and staff have been employed to ponder the proposal and render their opinion. Keep in mind that it is difficult to hire a pricey professional and then argue with them about their conclusions. It just goes against the grain. I will offer a prognostication (for free) that you can accept or discard as you see fit: The Money and the Consultants will have stolen away out of town, long before the full effect of their recommendations are felt by the citizens of our Community.
Further, I don’t believe that any of our elected leaders should be secreted away on a cruise-ship or to a corporate headquarters to be wined and dined until they submit to a proposal whose specifics will not be made public until it is time to award a contract. To have “executive” sessions that exclude the voters from viewing and hearing about the issue adds insult to injury, regardless of the excuses offered as to their appropriateness.
I will agree that the issues are complicated and at times convoluted. Which is of course is all the more reason to get ALL the information on the table for as many as are concerned to evaluate, ponder and discuss.
Then, let those folks (the citizen voters of the town) decide the issue.
Received December 17, 2019 - Published December 17, 2019
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