Calls for honoring the public process have arisen regarding issues such as the Alaska-class ferry, cruise ships discharging pollutants into Alaska waters and local infrastructure upgrades necessary to make Haines an ore truck destination.
We can be most effective for the public good when citizens and government are united in upholding the public process. More energy can go into bringing relevant information to the table. When we are divided progress is stymied by counter-productive tactics that consume and fragment our intentions and undermine our community.
I believe we all have shared interests including a diverse, healthy economy that will sustain our families and our community. To understand and appreciate our shared interests we must be willing to listen carefully to all stakeholders. We must be willing to ask and answer difficult questions. We must be mindful of the consequences of our decisions.
Coming to agreement requires that each of us brings the most complete information we have to the table. We listen with empathy to find shared interests. Reaching agreement also requires taking the time to work through options and the associated benefits and liabilities for now and future generations.
A moderate, thoughtful public process based on investigation and fact-finding is necessary for effective planning. It’s time to revisit our comprehensive plan and engage in open, respectful dialog.
We all have a responsibility in this process.