No time to point fingers

Posted: Monday, August 20, 2001

The Legislative Move Initiative circulating up north is not about who resides in Juneau, their beliefs or business practices. Moving the capital (piecemeal or all at one time) is purely about economics and until the Legislature funds every needy school, road, ferry, piece of railroad track and other important state infrastructure concerns - Alaska simply doesn't have the money to indulge a bunch of politicians who are more concerned about where they work, than what they do for Alaskan residents.

In the wake of the recent $3.1 million federal credit card fraud, is Alaska going to follow the national example of spending money on frivolous concerns instead of improving the state's infrastructure?

This move initiative is not about accessibility. Our legislators have offices in their districts and a good politician reads every letter and e-mail that passes through his or her office. No matter where the legislative session is held, there will be constituents that will find the location inaccessible. As long as the Legislature cries poverty by not funding the basics (i.e. schools), who in good conscience can support spending money on moving the location of where the Legislature convenes?

Another thing to consider is that moving the capital would decimate the economy of one of only three urban centers in the state. Can Alaskan residents really get behind depriving its third largest city of its economic backbone? Is destroying the economy of Juneau good for Alaska? If Juneau's economy is crushed, the entire Panhandle will be affected since the capital city is the region's hub for health care, affordable supplies and transportation. Tourism alone cannot float an entire region. Juneau and all of Southeast need to work together to keep the capital where it is.

So, let's stay focused on the facts instead of wasting time airing local pet peeves and pointing fingers at each other. We need to pull together as a community to once again defeat this bad, and costly, idea. But if you're really determined to point a finger, use it productively and call up Win Gruening of the Alaska Committee to find out how you can help keep the capital in Juneau.

Joan Pardes

Juneau



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