Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made eight appointments to five boards on May 27, 2009: Alaska Public Offices Commission, Fishermen’s Fund Advisory and Appeals Council, Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority, and State Officers Compensation Commission (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶1)
Alaska Public Offices Commission
The five-member commission administers laws upholding the public’s right to know the financial affairs of state and municipal public officials and candidates, and of lobbyists and their employers. It adopts regulations, issues advisory opinions, recommends changes in state law, administers penalties for failure to comply with reporting requirements and adjudicates complaints, and can recommend removal of candidates from the ballot or office (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶3).
Each of the state’s currently top-two political parties is allocated two seats on the commission, and for each vacancy must offer four candidates from which the governor must appoint one. The fifth commissioner is nominated by majority vote of the other four commissioners and appointed by the governor, and is not required to represent any particular political party (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶4).
Governor Palin appointed Kathleen J. King to the Alaska Public Offices Commission (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶2).
Kathleen J. King’s Biography
King, of Anchorage, has been a senior technical writer for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation since 2007. She was a writer and analyst for the state court system from 2004-2007, and was an advanced paralegal for the state Department of Law from 1988 to 2004. She received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Texas, Arlington in 1980, and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2009 (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶5).
She was nominated by the commission and appointed by the governor (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶6).
Fishermen’s Fund Advisory and Appeals Council
The six-member council consults with the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development regarding appeals filed concerning the care of Alaska licensed commercial fishermen who have been injured while fishing in Alaska. The council also oversees the administration of the Fishermen’s Fund, which uses a portion of commercial fishing licenses and permit fees to fund medical care and benefits for injured commercial fishermen (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶8).
Governor Palin reappointed Larry Bartman to the Fishermen’s Fund Advisory and Appeals Council (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶7).
Larry Bartman’s Biography
Bartman, of Manokotak, is a technology liaison with the Southwest Region School District in Dillingham and since 1978 has been a commercial driftnet and setnet fisherman in Bristol Bay. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and worked as a middle school math and science teacher in New Stuyahok, Mentasta Lake and Point Hope (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶9).
He was reappointed to a seat representing District 4, covering the waters west of the Alaska Peninsula to Cape Newenham, including Bristol Bay (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶10).
Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education
The council is the interdepartmental planning and coordinating agency of the state Department of Health and Social Services and other departments offering services or special education to disabled Alaskans. It also operates as the state disability/special education planning council under federal law, and works with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority on the state’s integrated program for the mentally disabled. At least 60 percent of the members must be people with disabilities, or parents of people with disabilities (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶12).
Governor Palin reappointed Marlene “Anna” Attla, Milton “Smitty” Cheemuk, Kathleen L. Fitzgerald and Lelia “Lucy” Odden to the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶11).
Marlene “Anna” Attla’s Biography
Attla, of Anchorage, has experience as an educator and counselor of Alaskans with disabilities who also have problems with substance abuse. A certified traditional alcohol counselor, she has worked at a group home as a peer counselor, and as a volunteer for the Arc of Anchorage. Her community service includes membership on the boards of People First of Anchorage Alaska, which provides peer support and advocacy; the Special Education Service Agency, which helps school districts teach students with disabilities; Assets, Inc., an employment assistance program; and the Alaska Mental Health Trust. Attla has received awards for her work in community alcohol education (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶13).
She has served on the council since 2002, and was reappointed to a seat representing people with disabilities (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶14).
Milton “Smitty” Cheemuk’s Biography
Cheemuk, of St. Michael, has worked at St. Michael’s school as community education coordinator, and for the Native Village of St. Michael through the AmeriCorps Services program. He served two years as vice mayor of St. Michael, served as a member of a Bering Straits regional coastal policy council, and is a board member for the Special Education Service Agency. He graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School in 1984 and attended Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶15).
Cheemuk has served on the council since 2005, and was reappointed to a seat representing people with disabilities (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶16).
Kathleen L. Fitzgerald’s Biography
Fitzgerald, of Anchorage, has worked at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Center for Human Development since 1995 in programs aimed at empowering Alaskans with disabilities. She has coordinated the Partners in Policymaking program since 2006, helping train disabled Alaskans for leadership and advocacy. She was a program development specialist from 2003-06, and coordinator of the Family Resource Project from 1995 to 2003. Fitzgerald has chaired the Governor’s Council’s Autism Ad Hoc Committee since 2003; served the Arc of Anchorage as board member, president or other capacity from 1989 to 2007; was Key Coalition of Alaska’s president from 1996 to 2002; been on the Stone Soup Group steering committee since 1992; and held various positions with the Alaska chapter of the Autism Society of America since 1990 (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶17).
She is the mother of an adult child with autism. Fitzgerald has been on the council since 1993, and was reappointed to a seat representing university-affiliated programs for those with disabilities (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶18).
Lelia “Lucy” Odden’s Biography
Odden, of Anchorage, has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1980, and previously worked for the University of Alaska Anchorage’s admissions office. Her community service includes work as a board member for the Arc of Anchorage, the Special Olympics, and Assets, Inc. She has also been a member and president of People First’s board of directors, and has been active in the Key Campaign, lobbying state legislators on behalf of programs for those with disabilities. Odden graduated from Bartlett High School in 1982 (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶19).
She has been on the council since 2005, and was reappointed to a seat representing people with disabilities (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶20).
Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority
The authority, led by a five-member board of directors, was created by the Alaska State Legislature in 2003 to facilitate construction of a bridge across Knik Arm connecting the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶22).
Governor Palin appointed Janet A. Kincaid to the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶21).
Janet A. Kincaid’s Biography
Kincaid, of Palmer, is a business owner and public official who has lived in the Matanuska-Susitna area since 1961. Kincaid served on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Commission from 1992-94, and on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly from 1992-98, including service as deputy borough mayor from 1996-98. She then served on the borough’s Platting Board from 2000-07. Kincaid was elected to the Matanuska Electric Association board of directors in 2008. She is a longtime member, and two-term past president of the Palmer Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors, and is a member of advisory boards for The Salvation Army in the Mat-Su Borough and Anchorage (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶23).
She was appointed to a public seat on the authority board representing residents of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶24).
State Officers Compensation Commission
The five-member commission created by the Alaska State Legislature in 2008 is charged with making adjustments in the pay, benefits and allowances of top state officials, including legislators, commissioners, the governor and the lieutenant governor (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶26).
Governor Palin reappointed Mike Miller to the State Officers Compensation Commission (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶25).
Mike Miller’s Biography
Miller, of North Pole, is owner of the Santa Claus House store in North Pole. Miller served as commissioner of the Department of Administration from 2002-04, and represented the North Pole area in the Alaska State Legislature from 1983-2001, including five terms in the House, and one term in the Senate which included two years as Senate President. He belongs to the North Pole Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business. A lifelong Alaskan, Miller graduated from Monroe High School in Fairbanks, attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks and served in the Alaska Air National Guard (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶27).
He was reappointed with the concurrence of Senator Gary Stevens, the president of the Alaska State Senate (Eight Appointments, 2009, Â¶28).
Governor Palin has made 57 appointments and re-appointments this year, including two judicial appointments and one state senate appointment. In the 148 days that have passed this year, she has averaged one appointment every two and one half days. All of Governor Palin’s appointees have served well. Only a seasoned executive could make quality hiring decisions at the frequency she does.
Governor makes board appointments. (2009, May 27). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved May 28, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1868