Road-ferry vote is a big mistake

Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2000

Once again, the folks in City Hall are up to no good. It was just this spring when the governor proposed to build a new shuttle ferry for Juneau. Remember how our fearless leaders responded? It took them months to write a weak letter of support for the new boat. Meanwhile, local road supporters roamed the halls of the Legislature attacking the new ferry. What was the result? No ferry money for Juneau.

Now, instead of trying to heal old wounds and take an easy step forward by uniting our town around improved ferry service and building a new boat, our leaders want to scratch open an old wound and make us debate the road one more time. Why now? We already had a long open comment period on the Juneau Access EIS, our city's already on record supporting the road, Haines and Skagway have already opposed the project, and our state government's already decided to postpone work on the issue. What is to be gained from whipping our town into a frenzy on the issue -- again -- at this point in time?

Here's what will happen if we vote on the road: we'll spend a lot of time, money and energy debating this issue over the next two months; we'll whip the town into a frenzy; and on Oct. 3 one side or the other will win by a slim margin. Juneau will still be split on the road issue, no decisions will be changed and we still won't have improved ferry service. I could think of a lot more productive ways to spend our town's time, energy and tax dollars. I wish our city leaders could, too.

Mark Rorick


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