Malodorous cronyism at work

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Mr. Harris' comments regarding Mr. Smith's Sunday editorial and the hiring of a new city manager are well taken.

While Mr. MacKinnon seems skilled, committed and qualified for the job, there are other well-qualified candidates. And when other qualified and experienced candidates withdraw their applications en masse because the skids are that obviously greased for a favored local insider, well that's just plain wrong and it hurts Juneau's credibility. The five Assembly members who voted to put the lid back on the grease barrel and conduct an open, honest and above-board search to fill this important and prominent public position are deserving of respect.

Even in a hyper-political town like Juneau - where seating on prominent, influential and desirable boards and councils is open only to a relatively small group of insiders - ignoring the city charter, or doing serious harm to the functioning and continuity of the city manager's position just to place one favored insider in one particular job, is over-the-top unseemly. It is cronyism of the most obvious, harmful and malodorous sort.

Public jobs, including this one, should be filled in an open manner that honestly considers a broad range of qualified candidates.

(And if that doesn't work then Frank Murkowski is right here in town now, and he must have a spare daughter or son or niece or nephew sitting around. A second cousin? Great auntie?)

Donald R. Douglas


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