Administration’s attitude on fish board appointment disconcerting

  • Saturday, May 23, 2015 7:01pm
  • Opinion

The appointment of Bob Mumford to the open Board of Fisheries seat concludes yet another contentious chapter in fish board politics.

Mumford is Gov. Bill Walker’s third pick to fill the seat left vacant with the resignation of Karl Johnstone in January. His first pick for the seat, Roland Maw, withdrew during the confirmation process just before he was charged with improperly receiving resident hunting and fishing benefits in Montana. The Legislature narrowly rejected Walker’s second pick, Robert Ruffner of Soldotna, during a joint session in April.

Mumford’s appointment came with its own controversy — in that it was unclear whether the governor had actually made the appointment by Tuesday’s deadline. The appointment was not shared with the public until Wednesday. In fact, when asked by the Clarion, the administration declined to disclose the appointment — while insisting that one had been made — in addition to declining to release the list of applicants being considered — while acknowledging that list is a public document.

Further complicating the matter, a week before the deadline for filling the seat, the governor’s director of boards and commissions abruptly resigned. In an interview with the Alaska Journal of Commerce following Mumford’s appointment, Karen Gillis said she resigned after she was told that the governor’s pick for the seat was Roberta “Bobbi” Quintavell. Gillis said she was never consulted on the selection, and that she was told the governor’s decision was final.

A spokesperson for the administration insisted that appointment was never made.

House Speaker Mike Chenault of Nikiski said the usual procedure for the governor after making an appointment is to transmit it the chief legislative clerk. According to Chenault, as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, no names had been forwarded to the Legislature.

A spokesperson for the administration said the governor is not required to follow that procedure when the Legislature is not in regular session (legislators were in special session on Tuesday).

Quite frankly, this “take our word for it” attitude from the administration on crucial board appointments is more than a bit disconcerting. Fish board appointments require careful thought and consideration, not knee-jerk reactions or last-minute decisions.

And we expect the administration to be forthcoming with its appointments — especially appointments it claims to have already made.

We know the governor has a lot on his plate, but we hope that next time around, board appointments are given the attention they deserve.

More in Opinion

Opinion: Here’s what I expect of lawmakers in a post-Roe America

I urge lawmakers to codify abortion rights at the state and federal levels.

Opinion: Confusion over ranked choice voting persists

Voter confusion over ballot procedures will continue

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Voices of the Peninsula: A vote for Walker/Drygas is a vote for Alaskans

It’s easy to forget some of the many lost lawsuits, devastating budget cuts and general incompetence that defines Mike Dunleavy’s term as governor

This photo shows a return envelop for 2022 special primary. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Voices of the Peninsula: Learn how to access your ballot

The recent special primary election was the first time the state conducted an all mail-in ballot election

The Storyknife Writers Retreat in the summer of 2021 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Storyknife: Invest in women writers, read the rewards

Storyknife is committed to providing opportunities to a diversity of writers

Residents line the Sterling Highway in front of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office to oppose Pebble Mine on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: No more delays — finalize protections for Bristol Bay

How many times do we have to say NO to a bad project that would harm Alaskans?

Peter Asmus (Photo provided)
Why Alaska is leading the nation on energy innovation

Alaska is a unique vantage point upon which to review the world’s current energy conundrum

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stands in the Peninsula Clarion office on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: On Alaska’s gasline, you can’t schedule opportunity

Alaska has the largest source of stranded conventional gas (no drilling required) in North America

Charlie Pierce stands in his home on Thursday, March 11, 2022, in Sterling, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: When politics get dirty

So, let me step out front and dispel the already debunked false narratives …

Most Read