Freedomless places

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2002

The Assembly voted on a proposal to support completion of Juneau road access environmental impact study. They did this without any public comment or input. I was unable to exercise my right to voice my support or concerns. The public should know those that would undermine a public process. This serious offense leads us down a dangerous path.

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Mr. Koelsch is the Assembly member who slams a proposal through without public comment. He did this during the end of the meeting, not as a scheduled item or resolution. How dare he insult a process that allows him to be the input of the public! He disgraced his Assembly seat and damaged his agenda. He exemplifies a shady deal; a handshake bargain that's made in spite. The process he neglected tonight will be the process that works to end his political input in a democratic community and state.

Those feeling pressure to resolve this issue because of state opinion and not involve the people they represent also insults me! I am disgusted with Mr. Anderson, Mr. Etheridge, Mr. Wanamaker and Mrs. Johnson. They voted against tabling this to a future time when public comment would be available. They voted to have the EIS completed but never asked for any public input. Some cited the state fair as a place that clearly showed them that this was right for Juneau, and right for our community. The state fair may help clear their mind and give them a course of action but what about the people of their own community? Do they value our opinion? Do they want us to be part of our public process?

Here is my input into the Assembly's inability to represent your own community: The Assembly at its next public meeting should adopt a resolution that no further action on the Juneau access road EIS be taken until the community has an opportunity to show a majority support for completion through a vote on the initiative. Now, what will Mr. Koelsch do? I ask that he show some ability to represent the community and adopt this resolution, or fail and show his own contempt.

I commend Mr. Wheeler, Ms. Pillifant, Mayor Smith and Mr. Powell for attempting to allow public comment. This seems only a few steps away from taxation without representation and I wonder if Mr. Koelsch wants any of his decisions made for him without his input. I had absolutely no input into a decision that affects my community, my family and me. Why do I live in a place purporting to have a representative government if Mr. Koelsch wishes to make decisions for me? I am reminded of places without freedom. I am saddened because yet another part of my government decided to stop representing the people it serves. How very sad for this community.

Nathan P. Peimann


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