Wrangell Sentinel -

Editorial: Stough needs to be censured


The Thomas Bay Power Authority needs to censure its president, James Stough, for his action two weeks ago that ordered, via letter, the end of negotiations to allow the Southeast Alaska Power Agency to take over operations at the Tyee Lake Hydroelectric Project.

Stough took the action without the approval and in some cases without the knowledge of his fellow commission members.

It was an irresponsible move and he had no authority to carry it out without the joint approval of his fellow TBPA commissioners.

Again, without the support of fellow commissioners, Stough proposed that questions, apparently of his own making, be sent to the Wrangell city attorney for an opinion. Stough had no right to request such an opinion from the city attorney. Fortunately, the borough assembly nixed that attempt.

Furthermore, Stough seems to put his own spin on the negotiations effort when he said that Petersburg and Wrangell would need to shut down the commission in order for any negotiations to be legal. His suggestion that both Wrangell and Petersburg would have to move to diesel power when the commission was shut down, was over the top.

The City and Borough of Wrangell and the Petersburg Borough specifically authorized the beginning of negotiations with SEAPA. There was nothing ambiguous about the intent of both boroughs. Both agreed to pursue negotiations with SEAPA with the understanding that the TBPA would step aside when agreement was reached for SEAPA to take over the Tyee Lake operations.

Stough’s actions are an embarrassment for the TBPA, SEAPA and both borough assemblies in Petersburg and Wrangell.

We believe, along with many others, that the Thomas Bay Power Commission’s work can be accomplished more efficiently by SEAPA and we don’t want to see the negotiations put in jeopardy by the renegade actions of a single TBPA commissioner.

Stough is certainly entitled to express his individual opinions to the public, the TBPA or the Petersburg and Wrangell boroughs, but he cannot act on behalf of the authority without securing their approval.

Published: Monday, April 28, 2014.


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