Southcentral mayors should do more to attract state capital

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2004

Mayor Bruce Botelho of Juneau is apparently doing a better job of promoting his city than the mayors of Anchorage, the Mat-Su valley, Fairbanks or even the Kenai Peninsula, in that he is moving heaven and earth to anchor the Legislature in Juneau.

Mayor Mark Begich of Anchorage wants a convention center in Anchorage. If he proposed a multistory building with the lower floors designed for conventions and the upper floors for the Legislature, he could sell the concept to the voters, who have to approve his project.

Mayor Dianne Kelle of Wasilla could find a large parcel of ground with access to utilities that the borough could contribute to the building the legislative hall. This is also true of Fairbanks Mayor Thompson and the Kenai mayors Hornaday, Porter and Carey, who could put together an attractive project to house the Legislature in a location accessible by road to the people of Alaska, and at a lower lifetime cost than putting it in Juneau.

Alaska architects engineers and developers can compete head-on with their counterparts in Seattle or Washington, D.C. The people of Alaska should select where the Legislature would be located and at what cost. Better yet, the design and project monies would stay in Alaska.

Question: Why aren't the above noted mayors trying to secure this prize for their towns?

Phil Gray, Wasilla

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