Thursday, June 13, 2013

Former Redistricting Board Director Taylor Bickford Is NOT Coming Back To The Board

I posted on June 4 that the Board was going to rehire former Executive Director Taylor Bickford on a part time basis to help with the mapping.  When the Board went on hiatus after the Interim Plan was accepted last May, Taylor was hired as the Director of Alaska Operations with Strategies 360 - a PR firm whose Alaska office also includes former Alaska Public Radio reporter David Shurtleff and former state house member and gubernatorial candidate Ethan Berkowitz.

But Taylor wasn't here working on the mapping, so I contacted him to find out what the story was.  He told me that when he was first contacted by the Board to see if he could come back to assist, that he'd said he now has a full time job, that he could only do part time help, and that Strateiges 360 would have to be his first priority.  They hadn't yet signed off a final agreement and the possibility of conflicts of interest with clients became an issue that could become an issue for both himself and the board.  In the end, he told me, it didn't seem to be worth the potential problems for the small amount of time he'd be able to spend on Board work. 

So, Taylor is not coming back to the Board.  That's a loss for the Board.  Taylor has strong interpersonal skills and always seemed more sensitive to the needs for good communication with the public about what the Board was doing. 

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