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

Vote facts, not personal feelings


August 3, 2017 | View PDF

Jean and I decided to live here for the same reasons as many of you. The area is incredibly beautiful and Haines is one of the few remaining authentic Alaska towns. The people work hard and try to do right.

The Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, was recently asked what worried him most about America; his answer: “The lack of political unity...The lack of a fundamental friendliness.”

We are such a small town. The good will and participation of each person is required for the success and progress we hope to hand to the next generation. There are no professional politicians in Haines. The people who serve as Mayor, committee members, and assembly members are our neighbors. They assume the responsibility of working in town government on our behalf. They are amateurs who attend hours of meetings, preparing for those meetings by reviewing pages and pages of documents. They listen to our advice and criticism. We may not be pleased with specific decisions but the members try to do what they think is best for the community.

Alaska law provides that the mere allegation of wrongdoing supports a recall petition; it does not require proof. All “documented” comments to Chief Heath Scott (called coercion in the petition) were questions or comments made in open assembly meetings regarding the police blotter, a public record. An unanswered email is not a meeting.

The recall question is not do you agree with a vote. It is: are they guilty of misconduct?   Be honest. Do right.

Gerard Ballanco


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