Karen Hess’ June 24 letter condemning the CVN lead article about two borough employees writing letters against cruise ship head-tax funding of certain local projects is unfair. I find the story journalistic and not "opinion" and certainly not "slanted" or "misleading." Hess’s missive was ripe with unabashed support for the First Amendment and she clearly feels the CVN is impugning the rights of those who entered the public record by writing their letters to the governor.
We should all speak freely! Sadly, public employees and even the employees and board members of non-profits often do not. They know it can hurt their cause, and sadly, might even affect their employability.
For one to be faithful to the ideal of free speech, and for it to be truly "free," we have to be willing to accept all speech. After all, it is not possible to have "some" free speech. I wonder how Hess might respond if borough employees were to trash the CVB or the 1 percent sales tax for tourism? Probably with less, First-Amendment zeal.
I have no argument with Hess about the relative merits of the various head-tax "fundable" projects. But it’s no coincidence that multiple employees of the Haines Borough tourism department write letters (apparently on their own time and equipment) against the spending of cruise head-tax dollars on local projects, and also bash a local person to the governor. It’s newsworthy and of interest to taxpayers.