Story last updated at 12/24/2008 - 10:51 am
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin signed an order Dec. 18 formally establishing a Rural Subcabinet.
The Rural Subcabinet will focus its initial efforts on rural migration patterns and the cost of energy in rural Alaska. The subcabinet also will study the state of the economy, education, law enforcement and infrastructure in outlying regions, and then will make proposals aimed at creating well-paying jobs, stronger schools, safer communities and better public works facilities.
"Some level of migration occurs naturally as certain individuals decide to leave rural Alaska for job and educational opportunities that may not exist in their small communities," Palin said. "I want the Rural Subcabinet to look for ways to make certain migration is a result of personal decisions, not despair or a lack of choice resulting from economic pressures or other factors."
Commerce Commissioner Emil Notti noted that while recent school enrollment statistics did not show dramatic shifts overall, the Rural Subcabinet should continue to review the issue of relocation patterns.
The Rural Subcabinet is chaired by Attorney General Talis Colberg. Additional members are Commerce Commissioner Emil Notti, Labor Commissioner Click Bishop, Military and Veterans Affairs Commissioner Gen. Craig Campbell, Environmental Conservation Commissioner Larry Hartig, Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux, Public Safety Commissioner Joe Masters, and John Katz, director of the Office of the Governor in Washington, D.C.