Letter to the Editor: Alaskans need budget solutions, not anger and infighting

I wonder why, when a professional is named to head any state department, they didn’t get clear, complete and concise directions from previous governors? Why aren’t they directed to thoroughly scrutinize for efficiency and effective organization? If they were so directed, why haven’t they done so and why do they stay in those positions?

I wonder why our legislators have neglected to rein in their own spending habits? I wonder why decisions seem to be so difficult? Is it the fear of not being elected again or is it the possible loss of connection to corporations for future, lucrative positions? Most of the time, I wonder why our legislators are there at all?

Our governor just put the sad truth on the table before our legislators and the citizenry of Alaska. The budget is there to ponder and discuss a sound course of action. It isn’t put in front of us to incite anger that turns to hate and disrespectful words. We seem to be in the grip of fear and emotion and our brains can’t function like that.

I wonder if there are school districts in Alaska that would benefit from consolidation? More students, better and meaningful competition in sports, arts and academics will result from that sort of thing. There would also be some reduction in administrative staff and the overall budget, without affecting the education quality in the classrooms.

All bureaucracies grow and build more bureaucracies. They aren’t meant to function sensibly, from national level, all the way to local levels. Government consumes and produces nothing. Why do legislators pass laws that are for all of us residents but exempt themselves from such laws? Is conflict of interest not a real thing if a fellow legislator deems it OK to discuss and vote on an issue that is by definition, a conflict of interest? Why isn’t the law on open meetings adhered to at state level when they demand it at local levels?

Rather than being caught in the same grip of fear and anger, can’t we provide some suggestions rather than just hurtle insults: Think, ‘value-added’ ideas that can manufacture finished products from our own resources. Maybe we can export some of that rather than having to import everything from outside. Think ‘services’ and charge fees for things like big game tags. At least recover the cost of printing, distributing and following those tags. Think, ‘state lottery’ where all income is a voluntary, ‘tax’. People do gamble; check out just how much money is spent on pull tabs in this state. Put it to a vote of the people if you don’t think so!

— Charles Saylor, Ninilchik

More in Opinion

Shana Loshbaugh (Courtesy photo)
History conference seeking input from peninsula people

The Alaska Historical Society will hold its annual conference on the central peninsula this fall

Coach Dan Gensel (left) prepares to get his ear pierced to celebrate Soldotna High School’s first team-sport state championship on Friday, Febr. 12, 1993 in Soldotna, Alaska. Gensel, who led the Soldotna High School girls basketball team to victory, had promised his team earlier in the season that he would get his ear pierced if they won the state title. (Rusty Swan/Peninsula Clarion)
Remembering my friend, Dan Gensel

It’s a friendship that’s both fixed in time and eternal

(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The false gods in America’s gun culture

HB 61 is a solution in search of a problem.

KPBSD Superintendent Clayton Holland
Reflecting on a year of growth and resilience

A message from the superintendent

Jim Cockrell, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. (Courtesy photo/Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)
Honoring the 69 peace officers who have died serving Alaskans

Alaska Peace Officer Memorial Day honors the brave men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty

Rep. Maxine Dibert (Image via Alaska State Legislature)
Opinion: The economic case for a significant investment in education

As our oil production and related revenue have declined, our investments in education have remained flat

Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion
Smoke from the Swan Lake Fire impairs visibility on the Sterling Highway on Aug. 20, 2019.
Don’t let the abundance of snow fool you; Alaskans should prepare for wildfire season

Last summer’s 590 wildfires burned more than 3.1 million acres in Alaska, about 41% of the total acreage burned in the U.S.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
Former Gov. Frank Murkowski in May 2019.
Opinion: Statewide sales tax just doesn’t make ‘horse sense’

Money for the dividend was meant to be sized after State government services obligations had been met

The Alaska State Capitol. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Point of View: Big steps to strengthen child care system

Funding in the budget, statutory reforms and support from the administration are all necessary to strengthen the child care system in Alaska

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a news conference in which options for a long-range fiscal plan were discussed. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tax talk should be paired with PFD pragmatism

Alaska is 30 years into state budget deficits, borrowing billions from savings to pay the bills.

Opinion: Seafood Producers Cooperative responds to WFC ruling

“I want to convey our great disappointment…”

Lawmakers, staff and other workers inside the The Alaska State Capitol are preparing this week for the upcoming session of the Alaska State Legislature that starts Jan. 17, including the release of the first round of prefile bills published Monday by the Legislative Affairs Agency. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Voices: Senate tax bills threaten critically needed community investment

Hilcorp Alaska’s role as a major sponsor of our race is a source of great pride