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

 
 

Editorial

 


The Chilkat Valley News extends a welcome to new Haines Borough Manager David Sosa and his family.

Sosa arrives at a critical juncture in our community’s history, when federal and state supports are waning and local government is of increasing importance. For our community to move forward, we will likely need to accept more responsibility for services and improvements. That will require strong elected leaders and administrators, hard-working staffers, and trusting and supportive citizens.

Fortunately, many borough departments have become more professional in recent years. The administration, however, is still emerging from the previous manager’s legacy of ineffectiveness.

Assembly meeting packets needn’t be late or 300 pages long, and meetings shouldn’t last nine hours. Public documents should be made available in a timely manner. Borough officials should be reachable by the public during business hours, with relative ease and at the public’s convenience.

David Sosa has an impressive history of leadership. We trust he’ll find where to add oil and make the machinery of local government run smoothly again.

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It appears that the Haines Borough Assembly may be overthinking what is needed in a “noise study” of helicopters using a landing pad at 26 Mile. The assembly last month approved the pad on a one-year, trial basis to measure the impacts of heli-skiing tours on the residential neighborhood there.

Here’s the only study needed: Take all borough assembly members and anyone else interested to 26 Mile on a school bus and let them spend a day in the neighborhood when helicopters are making a typical day’s runs.

Have them walk around and go in and out of homes and hear for themselves the impacts of helicopters on the neighborhood.

The assembly gets to decide whether a heli-pad at the site is bearable. A day spent in the neighborhood, listening, should provide all the information they need to make that decision.

- Tom Morphet