Walker announces transition chairs

Gov.-elect Bill Walker announced his picks for transition chairs for the 17 topics that will be discussed this weekend at the transition conference. More than 250 Alaskans have been invited to be an official part of the conference, which is open to the public and starts on Friday night at 7 p.m. with opening remarks by Walker and Lt. Gov-elect Byron Mallott at the UAA Alaska Airlines Center. See details below. Here’s the list of transition chairs:

  • Administration – Joey Merrick
  • Arctic Policy and Climate Change – Craig Fleener
  • Consumer Energy – Jack Hebert
  • Corrections – Carmen Gutierrez
  • Economic Development – Jim Dodson
  • Education – Mary Pete & Bob Williams
  • Fiscal Policy – Brian Rogers
  • Fisheries – Norm Van Vactor
  • Health Care – Jeff Cook & Valerie Davidson
  • Infrastructure – Shirley Marquardt
  • Intergovernmental Relations – Liz Medicine Crow
  • Natural Resources — Nils Andreassen
  • Oil & Gas – Robin Brena
  • Public Safety – April Ferguson
  • Rural Guard – Emil Notti
  • Subsistence – John “Sky” Starkey

Here’s the schedule:



19 thoughts on “Walker announces transition chairs

  1. Rv

    Now the governor
    Needs to push
    The city of kenai to pay for the profits of fish
    2percent to inhansence the fishery
    Every one needs to pay for the resource
    Kenai no different

  2. Republican Fiscal Conservative

    Well, Friday has come and gone at the great transition 2014 opening symposium. What a fricking waste of energy, time and money. Anyone unaware of what $75 oil means to the state budget that is predicated on $105 oil, shouldn’t be there. To me, what a waste. If this is news to Walker, God help us all. If this is mews to his people, God help us more. Cutting the budget is essential. Making meaningful cuts, no matter kow small, matters. Eliminating the waste of travel is a p to start. The idea of this meeting is nothing more than a six-figure pr effort to promote the Walker. Mallott ticket. As stupod as this is, maybe we should have elected Keithley.

  3. Amanda Post author

    @Tom. I think the Dispatch reported that it’ll cost around $150,000. Transitions meetings are common, but opening them up to the public isn’t, and this has probably gotten more press because of that.

  4. Tom Bodett

    Amanda, any idea who is paying for this and how much it costs? Perhaps I haven’t been paying attention, but I do not recall ever seeing this type of thing in previous transitions. Is this common?

  5. Andy Matoon Scott

    Wow…a huge comet has come streaming into the Alaska apolitical world, spinning us into a completely new orbit. Some of these appointments are downright scary: re-cycled sycophants, in-laws and lawyers.

    Oil and gas should be a huge concern, as it seems an anti-industry lawyer will be in charge. Given Walker’s desire for a joint venture relationship with private industry, the chief Oil/Gas dude is a strange choice. Brena has been a consistent anti-oil litigator, perpetually biting the hand that feeds us all.

    If Walker truly wants a gas line, I would think he would have appointed someone who is somewhat palpable to the folks who have the money and competency to build it. All this bombastic rhetoric
    from the new executive will eventually die down as the legislature tackles the craziness. I hope that populism and union hacks don’t sway things the wrong way, their tendency towards venality and
    the my-way-or-the -highway mantra is not engendering a warm fuzzy. I just see fuzzy.

  6. Sandy D

    Once again Walker the film flam man’s words conflict with his actions. He claims he will work with industry, then appoints the most prolific anti-industry litigator in Alaska history to head up his oil and gas transition effort.

    We’re all screwed. It’s official.

  7. Anonymous

    And you’ll have a governor responsible for $2 billion+ deficits. It’s all about the price of oil. At least under Governor Parnell, Alaska has seen an increase of investment on the North Slope, which has employed many Alaskan workers.

  8. Shame on you

    Where have you been living in a cave? What do you think Parnell was doing with $2 billion deficits? saving the economy? I don’t understand the logic behind most of these comments. You lost a governor who was a liability for the state, you now have a governor who might do some good. Stop whining that you lost a loser and a spender for crying out loud, and move forward.

  9. Brena is a menace

    Robin Brena is a total jackass. He is a pathological liar – one of the most unethical attorneys around.

  10. Charlton Heston is My President

    Could that be the same Robin Brena that was one of the leading contributors to the ‘Vote Yes! Repeal the Giveaway’ campaign? Priceless!

    I’m just surprised he didn’t appoint Schaeffer Cox to head up Public Safety. Like Brena, he too would have offered an un-biased and balanced perspective.

  11. Sports Fisherman

    You would think that the new administration wouldn’t be so heavy handed in their transition chairs. Very disappointed to learn that the new administration has decided coming out of the box to side with the commercial fishing interests over sports fisheries. No balance. For those interested, Van Vactor is also very anti-development and part of the anti-Pebble coalition. Close friend of Halford.

  12. D. Grimes

    I’m sure its comforrting for the oil and gas industry to know that an attorney who sues them regularly is chairing their transition task force. To be fair, the mining industry is probably feeling equally comforted knowing that Rep Les Gara’s staffer’s husband is chairing the Natural Resources transition team. GGod bless Alaska’s economy because it is about to get screwed.

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