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.