I disagree with the comments made by Rosalee Walker in her letter of April 19. Her claims of rude behavior by Sen. Dave Donley I believe to be erroneous.
No excuse for Sen. Donley's behavior
Of the more than 230 people who testified, a very few went over the allotted time. When someone did they were asked politely to conclude their testimony so others could speak. In fact, many people were complimented on their testimony and thanked for taking the time to speak to the committee.
Juneau and Anchorage testimony was scheduled at night, so it was more convenient for people to contribute to the decision-making process. Everyone was welcome to testify, latecomers were accommodated, and the hearings started on time so that those wanting to testify could do so without an unnecessary wait. No one who wanted to speak left without being heard and no one was treated rudely or in a demeaning way.
Sen. Donley spent over nine and a half of the 10 hours of testimony in the committee room listening, while coordinating hundreds of testifiers from dozens of locations. This could make anyone looked fatigued or even inattentive at times, but don't confuse that with rude.
Public testimony is a constructive interaction between lawmakers and the people of Alaska, and is taken very seriously by those of who are involved in the process.
Alaska Senate majority
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