Mike McArthur recently attended the annual meeting of the National Council of County Association Executives at Girdwood, Alaska. While there the group traveled to Whittier, Alaska. To get to Whittier by land you must travel through a 2.5 mile one way tunnel which operates on an alternating direction schedule. Three days after the visit the tunnel was closed due to a rock fall (story) trapping visitors in Whittier. Most of the 200 residents of Whittier live in one building (photo attached) where the city’s services also are located.

At Girdwood the Execs heard from Alaska Governor Bill Walker (I) (a Lewis and Clark College graduate), Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and the director of Alaska’s transportation department, Marc Luiken. Alaska has many unique challenges due to it’s sheer size and climate. Currently they are facing an 80 percent reduction in revenues due to the low price of oil.

Contributed by: Mike McArthur | AOC Executive Director