Yakutat overrides mayor's Ogan veto

Assembly votes to hire the former state lawmaker

Posted: Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Yakutat Assembly has voted to override the mayor's veto of a decision to hire Scot Ogan as borough manager.

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Assembly Member Rhoda Jensen was the only one of the six members to support Mayor Dave Stone's veto, borough Clerk Cathy Bremner said.

Ogan said Friday he was happy with the decision.

"I am a lightning rod. Lightning rods serve useful purposes. I hope to leverage my lightning-rod status into an asset for Yakutat and to highlight the issues that rural Alaskans face everywhere," he said.

Ogan has said that he plans to use his connections in the oil and gas industry to develop plans for Yakutat that would help alleviate some of its high energy costs.

He also said that he and Stone had reached an understanding to cooperate.

"We don't agree on everything, but we agreed to work together," he said.

Ogan is a former Republican legislator from Palmer who resigned his post in 2004 while facing recall amid accusations of corruption.

Critics said he promoted legislation that would have benefited a company, Evergreen Resources, where he worked as a consultant.

Ogan denied the allegations and said that health problems prompted him to resign.

The Yakutat Assembly also voted Thursday to continue salary and further job negotiations with Ogan.

Ogan has been employed as a natural resources manager for the state Department of Natural Resources.

Yakutat, a small fishing community about 210 miles northwest of Juneau has been divided on the issue, said Assembly Member Rodney Anderson.

"It definitely has caused a rift," he said. "I think there have been other issues like this, and we have gotten through it."

Ogan said he anticipates a few more hitches before the offer is finalized.

"I don't have a job yet," he said. "The Assembly has agreed to go ahead and negotiate with me. I am a tough negotiator. It might take a while."

• Brittany Retherford can be reached at brittany.retherford@juneauempire.com or 523-2276.

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