Board not in conflict

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, September 03, 2004

Responding to the Juneau Assembly reappointment actions of the Juneau International Airport Board, it appears that the concern for addressing possible conflicts of interest has the potential for eliminating some very qualified and motivated people. Before anyone takes the perception that the airport board members are putting forth their time and talents for a chance to cut a fat hog, I would suggest a more realistic look at the possible motivations they may have for accepting positions as public targets on the airport board.

Each individual on the board has a vested interest in the airport because each of these individuals has a longstanding vested interest in aviation itself. Each is successful and motivated, watching out for the best interest of the facet of aviation from which they came, a very natural trait. Each is also capable of understanding the full spectrum of duties as a board member, considerate of the positions of others as well. If the airport board is found not diverse enough with a cross section of representation from within the community, aviation or not, then that is what the Juneau Assembly should address, without suggesting any improprieties due to conflicts of interest; checks and balances, so to speak.

But it appears that only some of the Juneau Assembly members place priority on the importance of utilizing the talents and knowledge of the very people who have the passion for continuance of aviation prosperity in such a beautiful region of Alaska, so heavily reliant on air travel, both public and private.

The article (Empire, Aug. 31) suggests that the Juneau Assembly may be more concerned with potential conflicts than with the airport board itself, as stated by the delay in appointing new members to other boards. Humorously, I could suggest that the Juneau Assembly hire a few pig farmers from out of town to run the airport, but realistically it would be best to suggest that the Juneau Assembly continue to utilize the talented members of Juneau and rely on the public process to handle any improprieties, as I have never known Juneau to be passive when it comes to conflicting agendas.

Richard Campbell

Renton, Wash.

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