Since I know former commissioner Pat Kemp on a professional level, I’ve been disappointed to see him getting so much negative press, including in our local media. As commissioner, Mr. Kemp was the face of DOT and I understand that such things come with the territory. If it makes the folks that oppose Juneau Access feel better to use Mr. Kemp as the scapegoat, then it is what it is. I think it’s worth mentioning, however, that Mr. Kemp dedicated his entire 30+ year career to Southeast Alaska. He was the only commissioner to be born in Alaska and work his way all the way from the bottom to the top. He actually came out of retirement to serve as commissioner under Gov. Sean Parnell. As such, he served at the pleasure of that administration and did what they wanted him to do, which included Juneau Access among other things. I think it’s safe to say and worth noting that all residents of Southeast Alaska drive on roads, land at airports, go across ferry terminals, and use other DOT infrastructure on a daily basis that over the last 35 years, Mr. Kemp has had something to do with. Regardless of opinion on specific projects, Mr. Kemp did Southeast a lot of good, probably more than we’ll see again in a long time.

Matt Boron