To the editor: So now, as part of his mean budget game-playing, the governor has decided to put back some of the funds he guillotined. We hope those who receive needed funding do not bow down and grovel in thanks for something that was due them in the first place. This teasing and playing the role of the benevolent king is sickening.
We do agree the university system needed a financial shake-up, and the original $135 million got those leaders’ attention. However, will cuts be made in the top-heavy administration? The job losses we have seen have hit critical researchers and in-the-trenches employees. In the case of researchers, they survive primarily on grants, many with matching federal dollars that go away if state funding is not there. It seems that some of the six UAF vice chancellors and/or associate vice chancellor positions could be eliminated or combined. The university system itself has six vice presidents. Maybe these positions provide checks-and-balances oversight on spending, but why then is the system in need of a major overhaul?
Dunleavy says he never wanted to cause “angst” with his budget vetoes. Well, you can bet the young university researcher has experienced angst, having to leave the state and find a new job after hers was eliminated. The director of the Fairbanks Rescue Mission is experiencing extreme anxiety trying to decide whom among the mission residents he can feed and who will be turned away. The many nonprofit arts boards of directors are experiencing dread as they try to figure out how to survive with critical Alaska State Council on the Arts funding torn away. Individuals needing important dental care are feeling “angst” because they have to do without. The director of “The Door” is experiencing deep heartache in choosing what homeless youth (ages 12 to 18) to turn away each night. And remember, this is just the first year of a two-year budget crisis the governor has created.
Get behind those legislators who are attempting to push forward a reasonable budget and Alaska Permanent Fund payment. And prepare to sign the next recall petition.