Classic leadership

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2002

Related story:

Chief ASEA staffer resigns

Alaska State Employees Association Business Manager Spanky O'Connell has announced that he will resign May 25. Sanctimoniously declaring in this statement his own vast experience, Spanky demonstrates his classic leadership style by further insulting the majority of ASEA members who voted in the recent union election, thus: "The newly elected majority of our (?) executive board has demonstrated ... that they want to manage our (?) union from a political perspective based on their own narrow frame of reference."

It appears that instead of serving as responsible, accommodating employee of the union representing a majority of state employees who must themselves be responsible and accommodating, Spanky instead patronizes the leadership as one might expect from a political challenger. A threatening letter from Spanky's attorney to the recently held ninth Biennial Convention of ASEA backfired. Chaired by a reinstated president who had been charged by Spanky and his gang of causing fear of immediate harm to the union, that body recessing until May 25 - instead of adjourning - so a forensic audit of management practices since June of 2000 could be conducted. (That news item hasn't yet made it onto the ASEA Web page.)

As the Republican majority of the Alaska Legislature calls for a hiring freeze on state employees, this news of Spanky's promised departure must be unsettling. After all, between the almost unbelievable personnel practices of the Knowles/Ulmer Administration, and the spectacle of Spanky and his gang representing GGU employees, many self-respecting Alaskans have long ago dismissed the possibility of state service as a career.

Will they change their opinion of state service with a Republican governor?

Donn Liston


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