What others say: Will capital flight continue?

  • Thursday, January 1, 2015 5:27pm
  • Opinion

T’was the day after Christmas, and all through the house, everyone was stirring — even the mouse.

Wrapping paper was strewn ‘cross the floor without care, and ample were the signs that St. Nicholas had been there. …

In these days after Christmas, we should thank people for the gifts they sent us, but our minds frequently turn to the things we hoped for but didn’t get.

Last week, Empire reporter Katie Moritz examined Gov. Bill Walker’s cabinet choices to see how well he was sticking to a campaign pledge. Walker received raucous applause during a Juneau debate when he pledged that he would live in Juneau and that his commissioners would do the same.

So far, that isn’t the case. Only three of Walker’s 14 commissioners have chosen to live in Juneau.

We’re not upset — simply disappointed. Capital flight has long been an issue in Alaska. Under governors Palin and Parnell, we saw an increasing number of state jobs shifted from Juneau to Anchorage and the rest of the Railbelt.

We hope Walker will reverse that trend, but so far we’ve been disappointed.

We don’t disagree with Walker’s choices for commissioners — indeed, we’ve been impressed with his balanced approach. He’s picked an excellent mix of qualified people from across the political spectrum. We even understand the commissioners’ situation. They’ve taken on what is in effect a contract job with a defined deadline. Juneau’s housing market is tight, and uprooting a family for a four- or eight-year position might not make sense.

Still, we’re disappointed. When you promise your kids a puppy for Christmas and that puppy turns out to be made of fabric and fuzz instead of flesh and bone, you should expect them to be sad.

Worse, you’ll probably lose their trust.

— Juneau Empire,

Dec. 28

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