Letters to the Editor

Letter: Political theater

I have lived in Anchorage for more than 50 years. I am a former Assembly member, having served from 1993-1999, and have had a good relationship with all mayors dating back to Mayor George Sullivan (mayor from 1967-1981). I can’t recall any of those mayors opting to staff up the snow removal fleet to respond to record snowfalls. They maintained a fleet to deal with average snow or maybe a little more.

It would be imprudent to increase the equipment and personnel by approximately 20% to deal with record snow when that equipment and operators would not be needed 90% of the time but would be paid 100% of the time.

Based on the above, it would seem the letters to the editor, and now TV ads, are coming from two sources. First, people who are mad their street isn’t plowed and need someone to blame. Second, people who are using that anger for political theater. If they can focus the anger on the mayor and governor, they will gain a political advantage in the next election. Who is paying for the political ads on TV and the signs around town blaming the mayor for snow removal delays? It is not the people who were snowed in for a few days; it is political operatives who want an advantage in the elections this spring.

Nobody wants the streets to not be plowed — even Dave Bronson — but we don’t want our tax dollars wasted either. I think the current mayor, just like all the former mayors, has done a good job of balancing between risk of a record snowfall and overstaffing our snow removal fleet.

Politics is a very ugly process, and this blame game on snow removal is a good example of that. We shouldn’t let this political theater influence us.

— Bob Bell


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