Alaskans need a voice in coastal zone management. However, the current Coastal Management Program (Ballot Measure 2) is a bad idea.
This proposal would give regulatory authority to a 13-member board appointed by the governor (Sec. 46.41.060). It would also give the superior courts of the state jurisdiction to enforce regulations (Sec. 46.41.090(b)) approved by the non-elected board.
Of the 13 board members, four will be commissioners. As all governors appoint commissioners of a similar political persuasion, a new regulation supported by the governor would surely have those four votes guaranteed. He would then need the support of a mere three of the nine public board members (also appointed by the governor) to effectively bypass the Legislature and pass a new regulation into law.
Simply put, to give regulatory authority to anyone whose name will never appear on a ballot is a bad idea.
-- John L. Hemmelgarn