Dunleavy appoints labor commissioner, seeks widespread resignations
Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy on Friday has added to his cabinet by tapping a less familiar name than those already appointed.
Dunleavy has asked every exempt or partially exempt state employee to submit a resignation letter and reapply for their positions.
Incoming governors routinely ask for high-placed officials, such as commissioners and other cabinet members, to resign. But Dunleavy is casting a wider net.
"it's just an opportunity to give everybody an opportunity to be part of the conversation, whether they want to remain with the administration or not," Dunleavy said in an interview. "Folks will submit letters to our transition team and we'll have as many conversations as we can."
Dunleavy's Chief of Staff Tuckerman Babcock said it's not a house cleaning exercise.
"Certainly wholesale replacement of employees is not the objective, the goal or even the thought," said Babcock said. "We are going to have to be a team here. There is a lot on the table.
"[Dunleavy] has pledged to constrain this budget that is realistic about revenues coming in and money available. There may be some substantial changes in the organization of the state and there may be people who don’t want to be part of that."
Babcock said he didn't know how many people received letters, adding it wasn't sent by the transition team. He also added not all resignations get accepted.
"It wasn't targeted, so I didn't really care how many were on the list," he said. "I just wanted everyone who is subject to an at-will status with the governor to buy in at least enough to say yes I'd like to stay working and I'd like to stay with the Dunleavy administration."
Dunleavy also made his second commissioner appointment Friday night while attending the Alaska Farm Bureau's annual banquet. He named Tamika Ledbetter to be his Department of Labor and Workforce Development commissioner.
She is already the department's regional manager for the Anchorage/Mat-Su Economic Region.
"When the governor said that Alaska is open for business, that real resonated with me," she said. "As I lead the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, what I want people to know is we are going to do everything we can that generates income for the residents of this state."
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