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


Does CVN scare off best, brightest?


On behalf of those who volunteer time to solving issues on behalf of the public, I am reacting to your editorial last week about the quality of our local government.

Several years ago I suggested that CVN sponsor a game of “dream assembly,” like “fantasy football,” wherein people submit their roster of people they would like to see serve on the assembly. We would solicit those community members that were named most frequently, and possibly, elect them. I don’t recall your reason for not undertaking the challenge, but I wonder if you would be happier with your government if you had.

What qualifies our best and brightest? The only quality that functions in a representative democracy is the will to serve. He who raises his hand gets the opportunity to be selected. But, you have to raise your hand.

Perhaps the best and brightest are impacted by common comments and writings of those who see us as not-so-good, dull and rudderless. Perhaps, as you suggest, our only prior experience in group decision making was in student government, before we entered the real world where the number and variety of variables in any issue can be overwhelming. If we want only the best and brightest, I suggest that we abandon democracy and employ credentialed professionals to make our decisions.

I recognize that we don’t always do well; we could always do better. You too.

Debra Schnabel