It’s not surprising that the town’s Ports and Harbors Advisory Committee is playing fast and loose with the standards for public meetings. This same group blew $20 million on a “harbor expansion” that six years later has not resulted in the addition of one single slip at our harbor (but did manage to splat four acres of asphalt on one of Alaska’s most pristine beachfronts for a giant, unused parking lot).

Last summer, borough leaders assured us the municipality wasn’t building an ore facility at Lutak Dock. Less than a year later, it turns out that the $20 million-plus “improvements” the committee sought at Lutak might just work out perfectly for ore transshipment. Members of this harbor committee in 2017 sought criminal charges against four assembly members who blocked a mayoral appointment of a friend of theirs to the committee. Now they want to use the empty, $5 million parking lot built for sporftfish boats for storage of commercial boats. Instead of looking out over water and majestic mountains, we’ll be looking at their boats’ rear ends.

Enough, already. If you want our town’s committees and commissions to serve the public and to be accountable to the public, let’s change borough law to require members of important committees and commissions to be elected instead of appointed.

Such a change would make our government more representative of the people and it can be made through the initiative process. If you’re interested in helping such an effort, contact me at 907-303-2688 or 907-766-3775.

Tom Morphet