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I have taken several cruises on the Holland American Line. I hope to take more. I support the tourism industry generally as a boon to the local economy. I believe the cruise ship industry in particular has been and will continue to be an engine for prosperity in our community. I do not share the belief of some that the inconveniences of being a major cruise ship destination outweigh the many benefits. I enjoy talking to "boat people" on downtown streets and will continue to do what I can to see that they enjoy their visit to Juneau -- the place I have been proud to call home all of my life.
Having said that, I am utterly appalled to learn that Mr. Parsons has served as an advisor to Holland America Line since 1994 and, as a candidate for mayor of Juneau, failed to disclose this obvious conflict of interest until confronted by the Juneau Empire. The debate over the costs and benefits of the cruise industry to our city has been the focus of intense debate and public interest in Juneau for several years. Only a fool or a charlatan could fail to recognize the conflict of interest inherent in running for mayor while at the same time acting as an advisor to one of the major cruise lines.
By his own actions, Mr. Parsons has demonstrated he is unfit to serve as mayor of Juneau or in any other position of public trust.
Elmer A. Lindstrom