With dignity and respect

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2002

A few years ago, at a Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon debate regarding the growth and management of Juneau's tourism industry, a local political activist asked the question "How many jobs does Juneau need anyway?" Since I knew this person to be an avid Democrat supporter, I contacted several key Juneau Democratic officials and asked if they agreed that Juneau did not need more job opportunities. Each official replied promptly and politely, responding that despite this local Democrat's position, they personally were in favor of opportunities to expand Juneau's economic base and provide more jobs for Juneau at all levels. The only official who did not respond in such a manner was Kim Elton.

I received from Mr. Elton a long letter. He angrily defended the local political activist and berated me for calling her views into question. Apparently, Mr. Elton felt that every citizen graduating from high school or college should be able to step right in to a $50,000 a year salaried job and bypass the entry level positions available in the summer tourist industry. I was shocked at his response and could not believe the rudely unprofessional tone of his letter. Needless to say, I have never bothered to contact this legislator again regarding any concerns I may have had about Juneau's political issues.

I would like to tell you about another political experience I had regarding his opponent, Cathy Muñoz. A few years back, when Cathy was running unopposed for the Juneau Assembly, I was involved in another candidate's campaign. As a result, I attended every public debate and appearance throughout the campaign. I didn't know Cathy very well before that campaign, but she captured my attention and won my respect and admiration. When the election was over, I contacted Cathy and told her how impressed I was by the way she thoughtfully and earnestly presented herself to the voters, despite the fact that she had no one to run against. I told her that I would like to help her in any of her future political campaigns.

Cathy Muñoz has continued to build upon that first good impression as I have grown to know her better over the years. I am pleased to have the opportunity to vote for someone who I know will listen to me with the interest, dignity, and respect I failed to receive from Kim Elton.

Betsy Fischer


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