Business Digest

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2008

Former DMV director moves to Juneau

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JUNEAU - Skinner Sales and Service announced this week the hiring of Duane Bannock as its general manager.

Bannock will oversee all operations at the Ford Store, formerly Evergreen Motors, and Skinner Used Car Sales across from Costco.

"I'm very excited and proud to be reunited with Bannock," said owner Rob Skinner, who worked with Bannock for several years in Kenai.

"Bannock is a tremendous leader and has the ability to inspire those who work with us to create an unparalleled experience for our customers," Skinner said. "Bannock will help our entire organization and will team up with Mark Flora and myself in fulfilling our vision."

Bannock has lived in Alaska since 1966 when, as an infant, his parents moved to Kenai. A 1982 graduate of Cook Inlet Academy in Soldotna. He spent 18 years in the retail automotive industry, first as a sales representative and then general manager and vice president of Kenai Chrysler Center.

In 1993, he was elected to the Kenai City Council, a seat that he held through February 2003. In 2003, he stepped down when he was appointed director of the Division of Motor Vehicles. Bannock is a board member of the American Red Cross of Alaska and Life Alaska Donation Services.

Owners weigh in on state minimum wage

JUNEAU - In a poll of Alaska small-business owners released Tuesday, 51 percent of voters opposed raising the state's minimum wage rage.

Forty-five percent supported keeping the state's minimum wage rate 50 cents above the federal level. Four percent were undecided.

When asked if a provision should be made for training wages, if the minimum wage were increased, 56 percent of respondents said yes, 41 percent said no and 4 percent were undecided. Asked if a tip credit should be included if the minimum wage were increased, 69 percent said no, 21 percent supported it, and 10 percent were undecided, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

When asked if the state's unemployment insurance benefit should be increased from $248 a week to $370 per week and the maximum wage base boosted from $26,750 to $42,000, 69 percent of small-business owners voted no, 19 percent said yes, 8 percent were undecided, and 4 percent did not respond, according to the federation.

On two health care questions, 78 percent did not believe family health insurance plans should be required to keep dependents on policies until age 26, 14 percent supported doing so, 5 percent were undecided and 3 percent did not respond. Asked if workers' compensation fees for medical care should be limited to a prescribed schedule, 41 percent said no, 40 percent supported it, 15 percent were undecided and 4 percent did not respond.

The National Federation of Independent Business centers its state and federal lobbying positions on what its members say is important.

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