Fived showed courage

Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2002

Congratulations to Assembly members Koelsch, Etheridge, Johnson, Anderson and Wanamaker for showing courage as leaders. Their support of the resolution calling for completion of the EIS for the Juneau Access project with a preferred alternative of a road up the east side of Lynn Canal is the action needed to keep Juneau as Alaska's capital.

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The Assembly members who voted no profess to support a process that included public input. These same people did not cry out for public input when the Knowles/Ulmer administration picked a fast ferry for Lynn Canal. That decision was a last-minute backroom political decision that never had one public hearing.

Jim Powell, who said he was on the verge of changing his mind in support of a road, actually said a few years back that he would author a resolution in support of a road. Now he needs more time to make up his mind. Exactly how many years of input does it take to make a decision?

I heard Mayor Smith on the radio say she has spent two years working to get the EIS completed. Then she said she had a conversation with Lt. Gov. Ulmer and one with Gov. Knowles. In my humble opinion, two conversations over a two-year period does not show much concern for an issue that may cause her city to lose its economic base. And please tell me when did the Assembly hold a public hearing on the issue of completing the EIS. Surely, the mayor did not pursue the EIS without public input.

When will all of our elected officials admit that the ferry service inspired by the October 2000 vote for "improved ferry service" and designed by the Knowles/Ulmer administration is actually reduced service? That should be unacceptable to everyone.

I think that some of our elected officials really believe that the capital is going to move no matter what we do. I'm glad that we have five Assembly members who are not willing to go down without a fight.

Rick Urion


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