Scott Ogan says he's a good hire as Yakutat's borough manager because his connections to the oil and gas industry might help bring small-town Yakutat an economic boom and alleviate high energy costs.
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"I have invested considerable research, which I do not wish to disclose publicly, into solving some of your 'high cost of energy' issues," he said this week in a letter to the Yakutat Assembly.
The letter was in response to Mayor Dave Stone's announcement he would veto the assembly's selection of Ogan. The former Republican senator faced accusations of corruption three years ago and a threat of recall by his Matanuska-Susitna Valley voters.
He was accused of promoting legislation that benefited Evergreen Resources, a company he worked for as a consultant.
Stone said he did not believe Ogan to be the right fit for Yakutat not only because of the recall threat, but because of Ogan's stance on subsistence issues in a largely subsistence community.
"I am not calling the man a crook or anything else," he said. "I am just looking at the history."
In his response letter, Ogan requested that the assembly call an executive, or confidential, session to share the fruits of his research on oil and gas issues in Yakutat, which is about 210 miles northwest of Juneau.
"The justification for this is the proprietary nature of some of the confidential records I have researched and potential investors that wish to remain confidential at this time," he said.
Click below to see Scott Ogan's letter to Mayor Stone and the Assembly.
Letter from Ogan to Mayor Stone and Assembly dated April 18th, 2007
Letter from Ogan to Mayor Stone and Assembly dated June 4th, 2007
Please Note: Both items above are MS Word Documents.
He said he would be willing to answer any questions related to his past and allegations against him during open session.
"Most people would simply turn their backs on a community that treated a potential professional employee with such disrespect," he said.
After his resignation from the state Senate in 2004, Ogan took a job as a natural resource manager at the Department of Natural Resources.
Stone said he did not know whether the assembly would agree to Ogan's request for a confidential meeting and that "this idea of future generation of revenues has no place in this," he said.
The borough of Yakutat does have some history of oil drilling.
"We have been getting requests from (the Bureau of Land Management) about leasing lands to drill," Stone said.
"The stuff I believe he will be presenting will be things we already know. We have the drill data on gas drills here. That is also public information and no one is telling us anything new," he said.
Stone said the borough could pay up to $135,000 for the manager position, depending on the salary negotiated. This would be based upon a maximum $85,000 salary, retirement benefits, health insurance and housing.
Brittany Retherford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 523-2276.