Update Monday in REVIEW

Tonight June 5, 2017,  between 5 pm and 7 pm we were updated about the  tax increases by the KPB that will be discussed and voted upon tomorrow evening.  The tax increases, without reducing the costs of operation for the borough, are expected to be implemented in the upcoming budget.    We talked about the increase in property tax,  as well the increase in months of sales tax collection.  We also discussed the status of the service area along the Sterling Highway.  Also discussed was the candidates we will see on the ballot in October for Assembly seats.

As a group the conscientious is these is no basis for tax increases.  The .5 mill rate increase on property tax and the increase of months sales are collected are just an effort to maintain the current level of expenses without any effort to reduce those expenses.  The group of us that met tonight are generally opposed to tax increases without serious consideration of reduction in expenses.  Although we understand that much of the operating expenses are driven by long term public employee union contracts both KPB employees and KPBSD employers, without considerable research there is no clarity as to what can actually be reduced. The three main budget drivers are the KPBSD and KPB employee contracts as well as the increase in cost of doing business generally.

It was mentioned tonight that the general public will have opportunity to question the borough administration about these increases tomorrow night at the KPB Assembly meeting as well as, June 14 at the Kenai/Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center there on the Spur Highway.  An RSVP would be good as there is limited space, so get on board early to ask the questions you have.

Considerable thought was put into discussion about candidates for KPB assembly seats we will see on the October ballot.  There is need to find a candidate to run from the Sterling area.  There are candidates or incumbents for most of the other seats but not for the Sterling seat. If you think of anyone, please encourage them to become involved

 

05/15/17 Update Monday

05/16/17 Tonight’s KPB Assembly agenda discussion included:

1 – property assessment dollar amounts.

2 – an increase in the mill rate of the taxes on those properties;

3 – swapping with a local property owner of parcels of land benefiting both parties;

4 – the construction of a school at Kachmack-Selo and how that would work considering the number of students in the school, the condition of the current school and the current ownership situation;

5 – how to pay for a corridor service area along the Sterling Highway to the Seward  turn off.

The property assessments by KPB has increased the value of property here in the KPB by approximately $425M.

One of the items on the KPB agenda tomorrow night will a request for funds to hire legal staff to assist the KPB assessing department to defend the above mentioned increased assessment.

The possible increase of KPB property taxes by half a mill on those recently assessed properties will certainly generate a lot of money to the KPB. More than likely the sell for the increase in the mill levy in these properties will be the threat of reduced funds from the State of Alaska. It will likely also be outlined by the borough mayor how important it is to be prepared for the shortfall that is sure to come.

At the last KPB assembly meeting, an amendment was made to the budget of the KPB school district. This amendment would reduce the amount of funds from KPB asssembly for the school by amount $1M. This reduction was in light of the consideration that the State of Alaska and the KPB have not finalized their own budgets. Every year it is expected that the State and the KPB will have the details available for finalizing their budgets before the schools brings this budget for funding approval.

 The land swap benefitted the KPB by providing land access to the property and the other party access to the beach.  A equitable swap and to the benefit of both parties.

The construction of a school at Kachemack-Self was discussed for the editification of a guest to our group.  As Wayne Ogle will be traveling to the area on Thursday, we will have more of an idea on that situation at the June 5 meeting.

Stan Welles provided his recently developed idea on paying for the service area corridor along the Sterling Highway.  Stan explained the amount of money expected to be needed for the service area is almost exactly the same as the funds for KPTMC, a non government agency funded by the borough.  Since the funding of NGO is a continual bond of contention, it was considered a valid suggestion. The funding for this project, this service area, is expected to be moved around from Federal PELT (payment in lieu of taxes) funds.  This project has become an issue from the health case task force and is pending until the state legislature finalizes authority to do this.

 

November 13 — 5 days post 2016 election — designoneblog

Tuesday, November 8, I could only think about how happy I was. I could not believe what had happened or how happy I was that it had happened. As you can only guess it was the final numbers, states, votes of the 2016 presidential election that was the source of my elation. I was alone when my daughter […]

via November 13 — 5 days post 2016 election — designoneblog

November 13 — 5 days post 2016 election

Tuesday, November 8, I could only think about how happy I was.  I could not believe what had happened or how happy I was that it had happened.   As you can only guess it was the final numbers, states, votes of the 2016 presidential election that was the source of my elation.  I was alone when  my daughter in Anchorage who was following along with me as each Florida county reported in said, “aw gee, I wish there was a election return party I could go to”.  About that time, I got a text from the District Chairman that read “Are you coming over?”.  I texted back, “Am on my way will be there shortly”. — And I was there to celebrate with other joyous Republicans in the after math of almost the greatest happening since the election of Ronald Regan.

When I awoke on Wednesday November 9,  my first thought was to recall how I had felt first thing every morning since this day in 2008.  That morning I could not believe who or what had been elected as president.  And every day since has been the same way.  I relied daily on Matt Drudge to reveal  what kind of dog pile had been dropped by the White House from a group of academicians with no consideration for other parts of the world, least of all for the many Americans living outside the beltway, or even whether there were Americans living outside the beltway

This past week has further clarified that election in 2008.  All of those days since 2008, I felt all those thing we are hearing from college students and protesters, but I never took signs to the street demanding the electoral college concept be ended or beat up on people who voted for the winner.  There were many people around me who could not believe this individual had been elected.  Again, there were no protests or supporters beaten around where I live.  But I will admit that I was derogatory toward the person elected in 2008, and I refused to acknowledge him as my president. My refusal to recognize him as president was based solely on my determination of his shortcomings.  Those shortcomings had nothing to do with the color or his skin.

Each passing week since November 9, 2008, there have been actions on the part of the elite Washington establishment that have been devised solely toward the destruction of this country, and with each week the destructive nature of the “change of 2008” has become more and more evident.  The change I wanted to see, if it was going to happen, was not racist, xenophobic, or anything else; it truly was a change to the restoration of traditional family value and patriotic values of our founding fathers.

So I was surprised and disappointed to hear and see acted out the accusations of these current protestors and college students.  They talk of feelings of abandonment, homelessness and fear;  and at the same time they are unilaterally accepting of dishonesty, corruption and continual deceit by the candidate representing  the democratic party.

October 28, 2016 – the end of a “fun filled” week at the City of Kenai

This week, October 25,  the Kenai City Council interviewed the two finalists for the City Manager position.  I sat through 1.75 hours of questioning of the first applicant and skipped the second applicant.  I was convinced that the one questioned first, while I was there, was the person that would be offered the position and I learned later in the day that was indeed the case. So we will see how the City Council works out the “city residence” requirement of the City Charter with the prospective city manager.

Today, noon, about 10 minutes ago was the deadline for applications for two commissioner vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Commission.  There were three vacancies with two commissioners being elected to the city council and the death of a third one.  Former Mayor Pat Porter tried to get two of the openings covered at the October 11 meeting until the clerk reminded her of a need for public notice for the filling the vacancies and neither of the commissioners elected to the City Council submitted resignations which would allow appointment of new people without public notice, I guess.

In any case we have a good list (to make a few) of applicants to the Planning and Zoning Commission with the following name, myself included:

  • Robert McIntosh – Previous Candidate for City Council;
  • Gary Greenberg – Harbor Commissioner of Rare Attendance;
  • Victoria Askin – Harbor Commissioner;

Today also at noon was the deadline for additions to the agenda of the November 7 Harbor Commission.    Having been on the Harbor Commission for almost a year now and can recall several meeting canceled for lack of agenda items, my interest in being proactive was peaked by this “add to the agenda” request from the “ex officio” of the Harbor Commission, the Harbor Master/Public Works director.

The same proactive interest flared up last month and I made a request for someone to come to the Harbor Commission and bring the commission up to date on the Kenai Bluff Erosion project.  Both an informal session with the City Manager and the presentation to the Harbor Commission on October 10 was enlightening, including questions for the public to keep on track with this very critical project.  Was impressed to hear the prospective City Manager say this was a critical project in his thinking as well.

For those following on Bluff Erosion in the City of Kenai, here are the critical steps to be watching for:

  • purchase of the parcels of land near the bluff critical to the project work;
  • the election of Peter Micciche to the Chair of the Finance Committee in the State Legislature; and/or
  • purchase of necessary rock from a close location to keep the cost of transport down.

Back to the current “add to the agenda” request, and remembering the City Code reads that the Harbor Commission will prepare a master plan for the Harbor; a little research indicated the City Planner might be the one to enlighten the Commission on what is a Master Plan and what might it include for the City of Kenai Harbor, so there I am making calls and sending emails, thank you very much!!

Will have more when I see the agenda for the November 7 meeting.  So there you have the week of October 24 in the City of Kenai from this prospective.  There is likely more, much more happening in the city, but it will require just a bit more leg work, earlier in the week.

So long for this week!  Happy Sugar Day and do not forget to vote early (and often??)

How do I mark the ballot on October 4?

One week from voting on the Kenai City and Kenai Peninsula borough ballots and it is time to find the voter booklet that came in the mail and become informed about how to mark the ballot.  This afternoon the five candidates for Kenai City Council participated in a KSRM Candidate Forum.  The topics of the discussion  included:

  • airport land sales;
  • future economic development;
  • the comprehensive plan;
  • bluff rehabilitation;
  • Any upcoming marijuana votes.

The discussion made apparent that if the voters want to see changes on the City Council and the administration will be necessary to vote for candidates that are not a continuation of the current administration.  Two of the candidates on the ballot are Planning Commission members.  It was obvious the planning commission members believe the small business community is being served as best as possible by the city administration with knowledge and skilled staff personnel. When ask about the one thing that could make a difference in economic development, there was no offer of seeking resident input from the planning commission candidates or increasing the level of discussion with business owners.

In addition to needing council members that will seek to make changes in the city interaction with the residents, council members that have a moral compass (Jason Floyd and myself) and are willing to vote that way will also be a critical addition.  As I mentioned in my closing remarks, I will vote according to the law, but not opposite Gods  leading.  Therefore, Jason and myself on the ballot on October 4  will provide more of what you are seeking in a mew city council .

It has been offered that a survey would be useful to find out more specifically what causes the breakdown in communication between the small business community and the city administration.  Perhaps a new mayor and new city manager, completely changing the chemistry of the city of Kenai, will be the difference that is needed.

On the  ballot where  the  voters select new council members, a new mayor will be selected.  In this scenario of developing communication with the residents of the city, a mayor practiced in integrating the interests of the residents, beyond just listening to what is being said, will be an advantage.  Various sources reveal that this is more than likely the current Vice Mayor.  I know that sounds like keeping the current administration, but the Vice Mayor has been transparent in his approach to bring issues to the council.

Well, there you have the skinny on marking the ballot for the Kenai City Council positions. Let me get back to you on the Kenai Peninsula Ballot.