Transition committee for Walker included Valdez leaders
Conference in Anchorage brought Alaskans together to advise new governor
A number of community leaders from Valdez were asked to serve on governor-elect Bill Walker's transition committee that met for a large conference in Anchorage last weekend.
"It was a really good experience," Bill Comer, Valdez police chief, said in an interview Monday. "I was really honored to be part of that."
Comer was asked to sit on the Public Safety committee alongside well-known Alaskans with long associations in law enforcement such as Walt Monegan, the former head of state's Dept. of Public Safety.
Colleen Stephens of Stan Stephens Cruises sat on the economic development committee. John Hozey, city manager for the City of Valdez, was on the fiscal policy committee and Dr. John Cullen was on the healthcare committee.
Photo courtesy Walker campaign
Governor-elect Bill Walker, left, and running mate Byron Mallott, right, during last week's transition committee conference in Anchorage.
According the Walkers spokeswoman, Grace Jang, the committees and transition conference were put together to help the new administration's transition which will begin when Walker and running mate Byron Mallott, lt. governor elect, take the oath of office Monday, December 1.
"The transition team was comprised of 246 Alaskans from 43 different Alaskan communities," she said in a prepared statement last week. "Among the participants were educators, Alaska Native leaders, doctors, mayors, fishermen, scientists, business owners, natural resource specialists, former commissioners and economic analysts."
Walker, who grew up in Valdez after his family moved to the area after the 1964 earthquake, later became mayor and then its municipal attorney, was a favorite in Valdez during the elections.
"It's never really sunk in I'm going to be governor until now," Walker told conference attendees Sunday. "Thank you. You have made me governor. You have worked hard and come together this weekend and fulfilled our dream of what this would be about."