The Governor’s office didn’t announce the appointment, nor was the vacancy advertised. Smith’s name only surfaced after it was transmitted on February 3 to the state Senate for consideration.
Two state commissioners are making big money even though they don’t have much work left to do. That’s the story recently reported by Nathaniel Herz with the Alaska Dispatch News, who investigated the state’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commiss
Gov. Bill Walker put a hold on an administrative order he issued in February, saying he needed more stakeholder feedback.
The governor’s office said the reorganization will save the state more than $1.3 million a year.
Critics have complained the organization spends more than is necessary, and has been slow to perform its work in recent years. The audit notes that there are about 28 applications for fishing permits that have been ongoing for more than 10 years, and not yet resolved.
Anchorage Rep. Charisse Millett says she’s not out to destroy the agency.
“The department believes that we could make this work without service degradation to commercial fishermen,” says ADF&G’s Kevin Brooks.
Bruce Twomley says the work the commission does is complicated and specialized.
HB112 comes after a Department of Fish and Game report questions the efficiency and organizational structure of the CFEC.