I am writing this letter in rebuttal to the statement made by Assembly member Jim Powell in the July 8 Juneau Empire.
The Empire quotes Mr. Powell as saying: "This governor does not support education or local government as past administrations have."
My opinion has been that the governments (both state and municipal) have not been spending funds wisely for the last eight years. I may be mistaken but I think there was something in the order of a $800 million budget shortfall last year. I do recall the papers reporting a billion-dollar deficit at one point.
With that kind of shortfall, we need to ask ourselves what would we like to have and what is necessary. It seems that we have been spending a lot of money on things that we want to have but are by no means necessary. For example, bus turnarounds at Auke Bay harbor (maybe the tour industry could invest in their own infrastructure instead of our property and sales taxes paying for it), a new high school, skating rink, re-paving the bike paths in the Valley. All of these things are nice to have but we don't need them.
The fact is that the state's current administration has had to make some tough fiscal decisions that have been avoided in the previous administration and I applaud them. It's not a matter of not supporting education or local government but a matter of the reality of our budget and fiscal responsibility.
Dan M. Worsham