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Head of Alaska ferry system steps down

Shortly after Gov. Sean Parnell decided to scale back the Alaska-class ferry project in favor of smaller vessels, the head of the state’s ferry has elected to resign.

Capt. Mike Neussl will leave his position as Deputy Commissioner for Marine Operations on Jan. 11 after two years on the job.  He told the Alaska Public Radio Network that his resignation isn’t due to the governor’s edict.

“I wouldn’t characterize it that way,” Neussl told APRN.  “It’s a mutual agreement between myself and the commissioner, and that’s how it’s going forward.”

Parnell appointed Neussl’s boss, Department of Transportation Commissioner Pat Kemp, to his job on Dec. 22 following a stint as interim commissioner.

“It’s been a very interesting experience dealing with all the communities, and actually seeing and realizing how important the ferry system is to the communities we serve,” Neussl said.