Gov. Bill Walker announced Friday that he appointed Leslie Ridle to be commissioner of the Department of Administration. Ridle said her focus will be on the bottom line.
“Our priorities are to create as many efficiencies as we can for the state,” Ridle said. “We’ve been working really hard to provide service to the public and to our internal agencies, to save money and to reduce costs and do as much as we can to help with the state budget.”
The Department of Administration serves other state agencies, including overseeing labor relations. It also provides indigent defense and children’s legal advocacy.
Ridle has served as the acting commissioner for the past month, after serving as the deputy commissioner for more than two years.
The department will negotiate contracts with seven labor bargaining units in the coming year. Ridle didn’t say whether the administration will pursue pay freezes supported by some lawmakers.
“We’re just getting started on most of them this fall, so of course pay will be a topic of the negotiations,” she said. “I don’t know for sure what all will come up at this point. I can’t negotiate here on the radio with you, but everything’s on the table in the beginning, of course.”
Ridle is a Juneau resident. She has worked for Mark Begich when he was a U.S. senator and Anchorage mayor. And she was an eighth-grade social studies and English teacher in Eagle River.
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- British Columbia is taking steps to fully clean up the abandoned Tulsequah Chief Mine. The defunct Canadian mine upstream from the Taku River has been leaching acid for more than 60 years.
- An Anchorage Superior Court judge issued a final order on the lawsuit, which was filed in August by the ACLU of Alaska, the group Dunleavy for Alaska and Palmer resident Eric Siebels.
- The Urban Indian Health Institute conducted the report over the past year amid concern that Native American and Alaska Native women are vanishing in high numbers, despite a lack of government data to identify the full scope of the problem.