News from Patrick Flynn

Port committee update, seventh and final (sort of) edition

I was out and about last weekend, particularly on Sunday, enjoying our fantastic spring weather.  Gazing out at Knik Arm I happened to note, for at least the second time this year, a TOTE vessel loitering mid-channel during a low tide, which harkens back to the Assembly’s establishment of the port committee.  That’s as good a reason as any for another update.

On Friday, May 6, at 11 am the final port committee meeting will take place.  Fans of our work need not fear – rising in its place is the Enterprise Oversight committee, which will keep an eye on the port and the other four enterprise activities belonging to the Municipality – Solid Waste Services, Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility, Municipal Light & Power and Merrill Field.  Judging from my experience over the past few years they will all benefit from added attention.

Turning back to Friday’s meeting, our primary focus will be a report from the recently formed project oversight committee, which is comprised of municipal officials, MARAD personnel and port management (there may be others, and we’ll learn about that, too).  In addition to this being the last meeting of the port committee, it will also be the last meeting on the topic that I chair, at least for now.  My professional obligations are such that I’ve asked to hand over the gavel and I’m pleased that my friend and colleague, Jennifer Johnston, will step in as chair of the new enterprise oversight committee.  I’ll continue as a member and look forward to continued scrutiny of these essential functions.

In short, the port committee has done what it was intended to do; highlight the importance of the port and bring focus to the on-going project concerns.  That work isn’t done, but we’re certainly ready to expand the scope and continue efforts to ensure all municipal activities are performed as efficiently and effectively as possible.



This contribution was made on Tuesday, 03. May 2011 at 04:02 and was published under the category Port committee. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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  1. Hopefully you (and your erstwhile colleagues) will be ready to expand the scope of the investigations and project oversight…… NOT expand the scope of the Port Expansion!
    The Port certainly needs to have some oversight to make sure that: the design is seismically secure (some critics describe a zipper effect if one sheet pile fails), properly installed (too many of the existing sheet piles have already been damaged by faulty installation), and most importantly, how can we make sure we are building what we NEED, not some fanciful pipe dream of “if we build it, they will come”. The present plan is not justified by reasonable extrapolation of existing tonnage going across the docks. The acres of pipe laydown area at the north end, set aside for stockpiling pipe for the gas pipeline is a prime example of overbuilding stuff that we won’t need.
    The existing shippers actual needs must be incorporated into plans on how to get the port expansion back on a fiscally prudent scope of work.
    This project screams for an audit.
    Hope that the change to an “Enterprise Oversight Committee” does not mean that the much needed Assembly Supervision of the Port Expansion is not diluted. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I fear that the Sullivan administration is trying to do.

    Comment: Bob – 03. May 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  2. Oops, Hope that it is NOT diluted, not not diluted.
    You know what I meant.

    Comment: Bob – 03. May 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  3. Pat,

    I’ll bet you will be glad to get an arm’s length away from this puppy. Let’s face it the whole thing is way above the pay grade of the Assembly. I mean really, did the Assembly have any meaningful input into anything? Heck it took 6 months for you to get even the most basic rudimentary information about schedule and budget. All the real decisions are being made elsewhere and there is nothing in it for you. I hate to be the one to break it to you but you have no control at all.

    In regards to the previous comments about “seismically secure”, “properly installed”, “build what we need”, “fiscally prudent”, well blah blah blah blah blah. How many times do we get to spend this kind of money? It is up to what $1.2 billion now? I sat we should get on with spending this while we still can.

    Keep up the good work,

    Rudy Lachinski

    Comment: Rudy Lachinski – 04. May 2011 @ 11:16 pm

  4. Kindly remember that the Municipality OWNS the port and is ultimately liable.

    Comment: friend43 – 05. May 2011 @ 4:56 pm

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