Two Parnell Appointees Rejected by Legislature

By Dave Donaldson

Legislators today rejected two of Governor Parnell’s appointments to governmental services while approving seventy two others – named to fill vacancies on Boards and Commissions as well as top-level cabinet jobs. 

Among those receiving legislative approval were Daniel Sullivan as Attorney General,  Thomas Katkus to head the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs,  and Larry Hartig – the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation – as the designee to fill the Lieutenant Governor’s office if a vacancy should occur.

The most opposition arose over the appointment of the Executive Director of the Pregnancy Resource Center in Fairbanks to fill a position on the Board of Nursing.    Statutes require that the position be filled by an individual with recent work experience as a nurse.   By a vote of thirty-four to twenty four,   Nancy Bienvenue was rejected – with most of the debate centering on whether she met the statutory requirements for the job.

Opponents pointed out that, although Bienvenue was trained as a nurse, she has not worked as one since 1993.  Statutes clearly require she would have needed to work for four years prior to meeting the qualifications.

Wrangell Republican Peggy Wilson – herself a nurse – agreed with the opposition

From what I understand she doesn’t supervise nurses,  she supervises counselors.   From what I’ve heard and what I understand, she is a very, very wonderful person.  She’s done all kinds of things for the community, and the people there respect her very much.   So, I’m not saying anything against that,  I respect what she does in the job she does now,  I think that is very admirable, but I really don’t think she is qualified.  And because of that I’ll be casting a No vote.

The other appointee rejected by the Joint Session came as no surprise as Allen Barrette, of Fairbanks, was removed from the Board of Game.


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