State 'property disposal directive' could hide all sorts of mischief

The Dunleavy administration wants to sell state assets for short-term and long-term gains.

What he calls a “property disposal directive” is one of those things that the governor should be discussing with Alaskans to get a broader point of view.

On Feb. 12, he sent a memo to all commissioners saying he wants to “investigate options available for reducing the state’s assets by identifying properties that could be sold, or sold and then leased by the state, in order to realize short-and long-term savings.”

There’s no word if the state seal will be up for sale, the Alaska Railroad or the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. Any number of state-owned enterprises and facilities could be sold, but this is not simply a financial question or one that should be made on the narrow ideological grounds featured in this administration.

The idea of selling assets and then leasing them back is a dubious proposal and it’s hard to see how that would benefit Alaska in the long run. It could be a way to push more costs onto future generations.

Short-term benefits are not that important, though temporary budget director Donna Arduin, a possible architect of the “Alaska for sale” plan, may see it that way.

Arduin’s office is to provide a report to Dunleavy by the end of June.

Dermot Cole6 Comments