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Thread: Acting Commissioner (FYI)

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Default Acting Commissioner (FYI)

    Cora Campbell was appointed as Acting Commissioner of ADFG starting December 1st. What I didn’t provide and wasn’t aware of at the time I sent the announcement was the remainder of the message that Governor Parnell said about the Dept of ADFG. He is charging the interim leadership team at Fish and Game to explore ways to further coordinate and perhaps consolidate the separate divisions of commercial and sport fishing. He described the two divisions as dueling “kingdoms”. Below is a link to the video of the Governor making the announcement for the http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/multim...eo.html?vid=79 The section on Fish and Game starts at 10:00 and goes through 14:25 if you don’t want to listen to the whole video. If you would like to comment in support of Cora Campbell as Commissioner of ADFG or the changes the Governor suggested be made to ADFG please email comments to Chief of Staff Mike Nizich at mike.nizich@alaska.gov or through the Governor’s Web Portal at http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/contac...-governor.html - Recommend sending to Chief of Staff in this instance or both.

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    What to make of consolidating the sport fish and the com fish divisions? Does this mean the sport fish division doesn't need to resort to their strong arm policy concerning the junior com fish biologists? Now all they need to do is post a memo....

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    Anybody know anything about Campbell? What kind of management philosophy she has?
    Chuck

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    Look, I am sure Cora is a nice person. She is not Commissioner material and never should have been appointed. She is 29 years old, has an education degree from PLU, and has no resource or management training or background. Word around ADF&G is that this is another blow to the scientific and professional management staff at the Department. How does she relate or even understand the complex issues of fisheries management and research. She is to lead hundreds of professionals and has no experience to do so. None.

    This has been a trend in ADF&G with Palin and Parnell. Look at the staff at the leadership levels - Sue Asplund - no degree at all - a political appointment at first then moved into a protected position, Geron Bruce - a political appointment and then moved to a protected position, Dave Bedford - a lawyer by training but no resource training that I am aware of - Cora - an education degree and no resource training or background - a vacant Director of Commercial Fisheries position and C. Swanton the Sport Fish Director who does have resource training and experience. Is that what a billion dollar industry Board of Directors should look like - not in my opinion. On the game side Corey resume is not being made available to the public so am not sure of his training or background - some have said he has none.

    This pattern is on purpose as political appointments will not stand in the way of development as they do not have the scientific background to even defend a position. They also will try to stifle staff when a political objective conflicts with a resource objective - been there and seen that. A sad state of affairs.

    Relative to combination of divisions that is not a bad idea but it should not be sport vs commercial vs subsistence. It should be a Research Division and Management Division. That puts biologists doing what they do best and keeps the sport vs commercial allocation issues from seeping into the divisions to the degree it has today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Look, I am sure Cora is a nice person. She is not Commissioner material and never should have been appointed. She is 29 years old, has an education degree from PLU, and has no resource or management training or background. Word around ADF&G is that this is another blow to the scientific and professional management staff at the Department. How does she relate or even understand the complex issues of fisheries management and research. She is to lead hundreds of professionals and has no experience to do so. None.

    This has been a trend in ADF&G with Palin and Parnell. Look at the staff at the leadership levels - Sue Asplund - no degree at all - a political appointment at first then moved into a protected position, Geron Bruce - a political appointment and then moved to a protected position, Dave Bedford - a lawyer by training but no resource training that I am aware of - Cora - an education degree and no resource training or background - a vacant Director of Commercial Fisheries position and C. Swanton the Sport Fish Director who does have resource training and experience. Is that what a billion dollar industry Board of Directors should look like - not in my opinion. On the game side Corey resume is not being made available to the public so am not sure of his training or background - some have said he has none.

    This pattern is on purpose as political appointments will not stand in the way of development as they do not have the scientific background to even defend a position. They also will try to stifle staff when a political objective conflicts with a resource objective - been there and seen that. A sad state of affairs.

    Relative to combination of divisions that is not a bad idea but it should not be sport vs commercial vs subsistence. It should be a Research Division and Management Division. That puts biologists doing what they do best and keeps the sport vs commercial allocation issues from seeping into the divisions to the degree it has today.
    Hmm, Provocative........
    I'm gonna let this linger and get fully absorbed

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    What to make of consolidating the sport fish and the com fish divisions? Does this mean the sport fish division doesn't need to resort to their strong arm policy concerning the junior com fish biologists? Now all they need to do is post a memo....
    If this is similar to some past discussions that have taken place, the idea revolves around still having two fisheries divisions...but one would be for research and one for management. I don't know if any kind of discussion paper was ever created for such a concept.

    To think that the conflict between sport and com fish can be fixed by some kind of administrative juggling is crazy, IMO. It's more of an issue of the right personnel in the various leadership positions.

    What I'm afraid of is that this would be a budget cutting measure couched as conflict resolution.

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    MRFISH-- you are correct. Putting Sport Fish and Comm Fish into one Division would allow the cutting of the budget. One Director instead of two, one regional supervisor instead of two, ....... you get the idea. That just puts more work on staff and less time to get into complex issues. Also, having a single director or regional supervisor does nothing to reduce conflict. It just means one person gets all the junk thrown at them.

    The reason I propose a management and research division split is that it keeps research out of the political football of allocation to a large degree - not totally. It also allows for long term research to be conducted. I also like the idea of focusing personnel on species within the division - this allow research biologist who study sockeye salmon to work together across regional lines which does not happen today.

    Management is really people management for the most part. Having Area Management biologist try to be scientist in some areas just does not work. I cannot tell you how many times I heard Area Management biologist misspeak on study results or overstate the value of a program. They have a different environ to work in and thus they need their own goals and objectives.

    While research is separate on paper in a division the truth is that the regional supervisor is the final authority on projects and budgets. Most regional supervisors do not have a research orientation so money is not allocated to long term goals. Just look at the lack of data on the basic life history of salmon in UCI, especially coho and chinook salmon on the sport fish side and chum and pink on the comm fish side. However, millions of dollars have been spent on allocation questions and management programs that fail for the most part.

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    My gosh - I actually find myself for the most part agreeing with Nerka-will wonders never cease?

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    Cora is the person for the job. The entire mess will take someone disassociated with the past shenanigans, to take a fresh look at just what has taken place, that quite obviously did not work. She will make a fine Manager and do away with much of the deadwood, that have been lurking in the shadows. They know this...they fear her. I wish her well.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    I wish her well.
    We all wish her well res, quit acting all noble its unbecoming of you

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    Will she look good in a red teddy?
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
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    It would appear the only users skeptical of Cora is the subsistence folks and the libs ...http://www.adn.com/2010/11/30/158095...uestioned.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    It would appear the only users skeptical of Cora is the subsistence folks and the libs ...http://www.adn.com/2010/11/30/158095...uestioned.html
    No, fullbush, I personally have heard from many others who have their concerns. Actually, Eddie Grasser was quoted in one of the articles. He hardly fits either of those categories.

    I think a bunch of people are reluctant to air their concerns because if they speak against Cora (or even in support of someone else) -- and Cora's name doesn't go forward -- it's assumed that she'll go back to her job as the Gov's fish advisor. Do you want the Gov's fish person pissed at you?

    I know Cora a bit and don't know if she's the type to hold a grudge or not...and as I said in the other thread, I haven't made my mind up about her yet. I'd prefer to see the full slate of applicants (there's still a week to apply).


    My biggest concern right now is not with Cora but that the Governor, by so adamantly backing Cora, is cropping the pool of applicants. There are certainly other well qualified people inside and outside the Department...but heck, why even bother with applying if the deck "appears" to be stacked already.

    I've gone through two commissioner selection processes from the inside, and I'll tell you that a small applicant pool doesn't serve anyone well.

    Art.

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    Putting a 32 year old person into a management position that collectively has a budget over 100 million is just crazy. She only has a 4 year degree with no management experience to speak of. Eddie Grasser is right, we need someone with a whole lot more experience than just with an Education degree. I believe she has worked at Peter Pan Seafoods and was raised in Petersburg commercial fishing. That, does not make a commish, IMO. Besides advising the Governor, I don't see a lot of management experience. I'm hoping for a more viable candidate.Hey, Swanton or Vania, throw your hats into the ring!!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    It would appear the only users skeptical of Cora is the subsistence folks and the libs ...http://www.adn.com/2010/11/30/158095...uestioned.html
    You got that RIGHT. No matter what others might say or try to spin it. The only ones within the Dept that oppose her appointment, are those with the most to fear. Several of them are quaking in their cubicles, as I type this. They are muttering to one another....in hushed tones. In the past, they were quite vocal....hmmmmm..No doubt about it, she is already shaking things up....and hopefully she gets the opportunity to turn things inside out.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    30 year old people can barely run their own life, let alone anything else, Don't know her, not right for the job on age alone.

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    I don't care how old a person is. If she can get comm fish to start working with sportfish, and those two to start talking with the feds, then we might actually have something.

    For example, one agency saying yellow eye rockfish are in trouble in my area, and cutting back sportfishermen in the name of conserving... meanwhile another agency opening up the same area to comm fishing and letting them pull out like 40 metric tons of the fish.

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    If Akres supports her we should all be afraid - very afraid.

    The reality is that the Gov does not want a strong ADF&G. He is very pro-development and his resources concerns are not high. He has demonstrated this time and again on endangered species, habitat issues within DEC and ADF&G, personnel selections in a number of Departments, and now with this action. He picks a pretty strong DNR Commissioner and then selects a weak Commissioner for ADF&G. I can see Cora sitting across the table from the DNR Commissioner and Gov who wants to open Pebble Mine and her being unable to articulate a resource position because she has no training or experience. This is not about Cora per se - this is about the future of resources in the State of Alaska and a Gov who wants a weak ADF&G. That is the battle that should be waged here.

    Mr. Fish is correct that by doing this the Gov is trying to eliminate well qualified candidates from applying. That makes his game plan easier to implement. If a National search for a Commissioner was undertaken there would be a number of well qualified, experienced candidates - the Gov does not want that at all. I think all users should unite to fight this appointment. Unfortunately, some commercial fishing organizations like UFA want to play politics and would rather see a political system than a strong resource advocate in the ADF&G.

    Relative to professionals in ADF&G - Akres is full of it again. They are protected positions and nothing can change that. If they decide not to support Cora because she has no trust or understanding of the staff she will have a hard time. People forget that in the summer biologists within the Department work long hard hours because they have a resource orientation. If Cora compromises that she is in trouble. This is a bad situation and has been getting worse since Murkowski was Gov. He started the process of making ADF&G weak by moving habitat division, Palin followed by appointment of unqualified staff, and now Parnell is taking it to a new level.

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    I see the acting Commissioner made appointments today - Kelly Hepler as Asst. Commissioner and Craig Fleener as Dep. Commissioner.

    I must say that this is exactly what people feared. Kelly has little respect within ADF&G staff in Cook Inlet - both sport and commercial fisheries. He is a political animal and during his time as Director of Sport Fish Division with ADF&G pissed off his staff more than the Comm Fish staff. He also has little scientific background - a B.S degree with few gray publications and nothing new or innovative. He also has a ton of baggage with the user groups and no trust with a number of them. So in my mind it makes my case that the Gov does not want a strong ADF&G and that Cora does not know the playing field with this appointment.

    I do not know Craig but his academic background is very weak from the news release -

    So the path to a weak ADF&G continues and less science in the process and more politics.

    Before anyone jumps on me I have personal knowledge of what I am saying and can back up this up very easily.

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    I won't challenge your take on Kelly H. I'll certainly agree that he can be a political animal (who in the leadership isn't?) and in the past I've butted heads with him a time or two, but I like his energy and passion. I don't agree with him on everything, but I also don't have a problem with him coming back into the fold.

    Craig Fleener is a good guy. Give him a chance, get to know him.

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