July 12, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 28

Letters to the editor

Thanks for the new sidewalks

To the Editor:

I want to thank the young men who built the sidewalk on the ANB Hall blocks. They did a beautiful job and in such a short period of time, and deserve recognition for the good job they did. Thanks guys.

Merry Armin

Dog Variety Show a success

To the Editor:

A big thank you to the folks who walked dogs in the parade with our banner and entered them in the Dog Variety Show afterward. The costumes were adorable. Thanks to our intrepid panel of judges, Sean, Jacob, Mary and Sarah, who agreed to take on the task of choosing winners for all 16 categories in the show from a host of great contestants. And to our equally intrepid emcee, Wendell Gilbert – thank you, Wendell. And special thanks to Diamante Gift Shoppe, Papa Bear’s Pizza, Lee’s Clothing, Jackie O Styles, Waterways Veterinary Clinic, and Petersburg Rexall Drug, our generous supporters who supplied the prizes. Our hats are off to you all.

Merrily Jones

PHA Board

Dissolving City will result in larger government

To the Editor:

Petersburg’s City Government is made up of good people.  The overwhelming majority of them have good hearts, they mean well, and they are trying their best to shoulder their responsibilities and meet their commitments.  That is part of what is wrong.

When was the last time you heard a public official or a government employee say they were not needed, they were making too much money, or they could do their job with fewer resources?  My guess is that you have never heard that happen.  But that is what should happen.  At least once in a while.

 Our form of government is a compact between us, as citizens, and them, as officials with powers and authority we granted them.  The problem is that this power and authority is never reviewed, it just keeps being passed down from administration to administration.  The natural result is that government loses its sense of humility at being trusted with power and develops an attitude of entitlement to that power and authority.

Since these are good people with good hearts they can see improvements they could make or additional services they could deliver.  So they ask for a little more money, a bit more authority, and just a few additional resources.  Maybe, just another body to help out.

Just as capital creep is slowly moving our Capital to Anchorage, government is slowly creeping its way to being bigger, more powerful, and intrusive.  “Hey, if you aren’t doing something wrong, why should you care that we are aiming a camera at you?”  “All we need is one more police officer and an additional part time librarian.”  “Let’s force everyone to buy health insurance, it is for their own good.”

It does not take any special insight to see that dissolving the City of Petersburg to form a borough will result in larger government, more employees, more restrictions, more taxes, less freedoms, and a dilution of Petersburg’s identity.  As Nancy Reagan said, “Just Say No”.

George Cole

Keene Channel

Wanted to be part of team

To the Editor:

To the citizens of Petersburg: Due to impending changes in the command structure of the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD) I have chosen to resign. I read my letter of resignation to the members of PVFD and thanked them for their time and efforts training and responding with me for the past 17 years.

I am fundamentally opposed to the ordinance presented to the City Council which is effectively a demotion of the PVFD Chief. The volunteers voted in our Chief as we have the chiefs before him and we vote each year on our confidence in the Chief to carry out his duties and lead the department. It was my decision alone to leave the Department. It has been implied that Chief Cook has urged members to quit PVFD. In fact, Chief Cook has asked members not to quit PVFD and work to hold the Department together. Anyone saying that he is urging members to quit is a bold-faced liar.

This is a matter of principle for me and I have made my own choice. I was shocked and angered by the public character assassination of the Fire Chief and PVFD in general by the City Police Chief. Compounding my anger is that neither the City Manager nor City Council members acted as though there was anything wrong with this outburst by the Police Chief. This tells me that the City Manager and council have very little or no respect for the volunteers who donate their time and efforts to help the citizens of Petersburg and the surrounding area in times of need. Perhaps this was because Chief Agner claimed that he made these comments as a private citizen. It’s hard to buy into that when it is the Chief of Police commenting at a public meeting on duty for the City and in uniform.

I can honestly say that I am writing this letter as a private citizen as I have resigned my position in the Fire Department. Perhaps if Chief Agner wants to be a private citizen he can resign or be removed by the City Manager or City Council. In his rant Chief Agner has stated that people who quit the Department will not be remembered. That’s just fine with me. I didn’t join the department and start the Search and Rescue team so I can be remembered as a hero. Anyone who does is sadly misguided. All I ever wanted to do is to be part of a team that helps out people in distress for the better of the community.

Call me a quitter if you like. I know in my heart what kind of person I am. I can state that I am a staunch supporter of PVFD as I have actually functioned on behalf of PVFD for the past 17 years. Chief Agner stated that he has always been a staunch supporter of PVFD and will withdraw his support if we don’t “get our house in order”. I have never seen any evidence of his support and none of the other members I’ve asked had either. It’s hard to withdraw support that doesn’t exist.

Doug Jenny

Our recovery has been remarkable

To the Editor:

Pam and I would like to a extend our sincerest thanks to the many people here in Petersburg who prayed for us after our accident in Oregon. Our recovery has been remarkable. Words cannot express how much you all have meant to us. We thank God for His Word and faithfulness and His unconditional love for us. (I'm sure He finds me quite a challenge). Thank you.

Jerry Collison

PS. To all you bikers out there, watch out for those guardrails; they have a way of reaching out and grabbin ya. Stay between the lines, the lines are our friends.

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