Thursday, February 14, 2008
Around Alaska, coastal communities lucky enough to have ferry service are struggling with the cut backs in the Alaska Marine Highway System as proposed by our Governor. The reduced service could cause quite a shift in our communities with increases in the cost of living and reductions in the ability to maintain, not to mention expand, current levels of, well, everything.
Some of it smacks of an administration that is unaware or uncaring of the needs of the smaller communities or some it smacks of the chickens coming to roost. With the legislative personalities and rail-belt power-base still holding sway, cost of fuel and labor, I am not saying that a democratic governor wouldn’t have been facing similarly hard decisions. I am fairly certain that a democratic administration would be more likely to support the continuation of the historic levels of service to communities. (Rightly or wrongly, Gov. Knowles expanded service to communities back when the state was in a rough patch financially.)
Zero taxes, reduction in the size of government, and privatizing government services has been the mantra repeated over and over and voted for by the majority of Alaskans for the past 25+ years. All my Republican friends who are now crowing about reduction in this government services strike me as a little hypocritical.