New Members Appointed to Ferry Board


Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska

Governor Sarah Palin has named two new members of the citizens’ panel that works with the state ferry system. The group has also elected a new chairman.

Juneau’s Patrick Owen and Fairbanks’ Seth Church were named to the Marine Transportation Advisory Board this week. The 11-member panel advises the state on Marine Highway issues.

Owen is a retired ferry worker who has served as Petersburg’s terminal operator and as an able-bodied seaman. He is a marine machinist who also worked in construction and commercial fishing. He takes a seat reserved for a current or retired ferry worker.

Church is vice president of a general contracting firm that builds housing. He also served on the state’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. He takes one of two seats reserved for residents of communities not directly served by the ferry system.

Newly-elected board chairman Mike Korsmo says Church will be the first Fairbanks resident on the panel.

MTAB 1 15 seconds: He’s a young businessman … new ideas and stuff to the board.

Owen replaces William Hopkins of Ketchikan and Church replaces William Beck of Anchorage. Outgoing M-TAB Chairwoman Cathie Roemmich says neither sought another term.

Board members elected Skagway’s Korsmo as their new chairman during a Wednesday (June 24th) meeting in Ketchikan. He expects the board to continue its current direction.

MTAB 2 19 seconds: Keeping the marine highway … pushed through last year.

Another priority is to seek funding for new vessels being designed under the Alaska-Class-Ferry label.

Korsmo takes over as chairman in September. The tugboat captain is in a seat designated for a retired marine engineer or captain not affiliated with the ferry system. He’s also board president of the Southeast Conference, an organization of regional business and government leaders.


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