‘TAKE IT BACK,’ THEY SAY
A group of Democratic lawmakers and lawmakers-elect has sent a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy, asking him to rescind his letter that was sent to over 800 at-will State employees asking for their resignation.
Gov. Bill Walker has also objected to the letter sent to the exempt and partially exempt employees.
In their letter, the lawmakers said that asking employees to state their expressed “positive desire” to serve in the Dunleavy Administration is ill-considered, “and we call on you to reverse course on it immediately.”
The four-page letter is linked here:
“We certainly recognize your right to seek the resignations of those state employees whose positions are more policy-oriented in nature—department commissioners, directors, executive staff, and the like. However, your resignation demand goes far beyond that. The state employees whose resignations you have demanded are professionals with specialized education, training, and skill sets—and years of experience.”
The letter was signed by Sens. Bill Wielechowski, Donny Olson, and Tom Begich, and Reps. Matt Claman, David Guttenberg, Chris Tuck, Les Gara, Scott Kawasaki, and Sens.-elect Jesse Kiehl and Elvi Gray-Jackson.
Notably, several Democratic lawmakers did not sign the letter, and two who did are leaving office in January — Reps. Les Gara and David Guttenberg.
The Democrats signing the letter did not offer what number of resignations they would find acceptable, or which specific positions or employees they sought to protect from having to send in a letter that states they want to continue to work for the new administration.
The transition team had decided that rather than pick and choose, it was more fair to send the letter to all who are in the category of at-will employees.
Earlier this month, the lead psychiatrist at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute wrote publicly that he would not respond to the Dunleavy request and that he would not resign. Anthony Blanford penned a letter to the Anchorage Daily News outlining his position on the matter.
Dunleavy won with 53 percent of the statewide vote, winning more votes than the other three candidates combined (Mark Begich, Billy Toien, and Gov. Bill Walker, who received just 2 percent).