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

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