CEREMONIAL START – Officials break ground for the 9-mile road to Katlian Bay project Tuesday afternoon. Pictured are, from left, D. Lance Mearig, DOT&PF Southcoast Region Director; Rachel Roy, Sitka Chamber of Commerce executive director; Perry Edwards, U.S. Forest Service Sitka  district ranger; Garry White, executive director of Sitka Economic Development Association; Sitka Sen. Bert Stedman; Ken Cameron, Shee Atika Inc. CEO; John MacKinnon, Alaska DOT commissioner; Mayor Gary Paxton; and Kerry Kuenzi, president of K&E Alaska Inc. (Sentinel Photo)

Dysfunction

For some time now we have observed with dismay, to put it politely, the dysfunction at the highest level of the Sitka City and Borough government.

The time is past to remain silent on the abuse of process that culminated Tuesday night with the decision of the Assembly majority to fire Keith Brady as city administrator.

The lack of respect toward the duties and responsibilities of a city administrator that were revealed in the comments of the four supporters of the dismissal resolution, let alone their criticism of Mr. Brady’s performance in office, were evidence that a toxic mix of individual agendas had reached critical mass.

The issues on which they disagreed with Brady seemed to indicate an unwillingness to seek collegial solutions, and at worst, their attempts to influence Brady to take actions not supported by the Assembly as a whole.

It is significant, and to his credit, that Brady said he would not fire any department head upon the demand of any Assembly member, or less than the demand by the Assembly as a whole. This is significant as an indication that one or a number of Assembly members has made such a demand.

The entire structure of the Sitka city government is now in disarray, and it is hard to imagine a way to get it back on course without even more disruption caused by elected officials seeking their own objectives and without concern for the welfare of the whole community.

 

We can only hope that a way forward can be found, and that citizens and elected officials alike refuse to place unreasonable demands on the administrator, whoever that person may be, and work together for the good of the city and all who live here.

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