Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

By CVN Staff 

Geise's viewpoint dangerous


September 30, 2010

During the recent candidates' forum/chamber meeting, Linda Geise voiced her strong opposition of grant funding coming to the borough because she's "seen Native corporations go bankrupt" as a result of grant funding. I believe this is a dangerous viewpoint to bring to our borough assembly. While I believe in fiscally conservative government that keeps spending in line with revenues, I also acknowledge the immense importance grant funds have played in making Haines a more livable place for all of us. While it's not healthy for any entity to become reliant on subsidies for operating revenues, grants can also be sought for needed capital projects that would otherwise never be possible for a community of 2,500.

I can't imagine a better way to work toward economic development, revitalization and diversity than to hire a borough grant writer to garner funds for our community, provided of course, their job security was tied to their success. While generally I'd like to see government shrink, this is the one exception, since grant writers essentially create a mechanism for communities like ours to benefit from the immense generosity of others. The only possible downside occurs if the assembly does not have the courage to reign projects in, if and when, the grants get cut off. I hope that Linda will reconsider her views on this topic. Haines is not so prosperous that we can afford to leave money on the table simply because we are too proud to reach out and grab it.

Zbigniew Rozbicki


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