I have read and listened with interest about concerns regarding Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner-designee Jason Brune. While I can understand the opposition of my fellow conservationists, I submit that his background in regulated industries is perhaps not a negative attribute.
Indeed, others with industry backgrounds have led the agency in the past, and done so honorably. Two that quickly spring to mind are Gene Burden, back in the 1990s, and the recently-departed Larry Hartig. Both men were intelligent, qualified commissioners who respected the professionalism of agency staff, and neither would have a snowball’s hope in Hades of getting hired at the Alaska Center. While I don’t claim to know him well, Mr. Brune appears to be cut from the same cloth.
Given some other questionable appointments made by this administration, I think we would be well-served to support Mr. Brune’s appointment and hold him to the standards established by his predecessors. Where he meets those standards he should be commended; where he falls short he should be held to account.
It’s looking like a long four years for Alaskans who care about anything beyond this year’s Permanent Fund dividend; let’s think twice before chasing off one of the few capable hands on the ship of state.
- Patrick Flynn
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