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

Divisiveness and vitriol behind us?


September 21, 2017 | View PDF

It’s difficult to sit through candidate forums and hear some say the recent political divisiveness is “behind us.” It’s not. To casually dismiss that awful period that included criminal complaints against assembly members, threats of lawsuits and the recall, when some of us were just doing the job we were elected to do the best way we could, doesn’t help heal the community.

While I’m trying not to base my vote on recent events, it’s hard to do when some of the major players won’t take responsibility for their role. I tried taking responsibility for my actions by resigning. Maybe it was a cop out, but I saw no other way to be effective when there were so many forces working against us. Even our own leader, our Mayor, wouldn’t speak out against it.

In December 2015, when faint murmurs of a recall effort against her surfaced, she said publicly, “The threats of recall and bullying that have gone on recently are totally inappropriate and unacceptable and must stop.” This time, as a recall effort was pushed to a vote and cost the borough thousands of dollars, there was silence from the mayor’s office. I wish just one person who contributed to that vitriol, either directly or through ambivalence, would acknowledge the tactics and words were horrible. It would help the community move in a positive direction. Until then, many of us cannot trust the sentiment that it’s “all behind us” and won’t happen again under the same leadership.

Margaret Friedenauer


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