I am back!! Cannot believe my errant ways! In any case I am back, with a renewed commitment to make this a regular meeting with you.
To get things kicked off, January has had a wonderful start. Just a couple of highlights and then to dive into the meat of the issues;
On January 5, the Monday Update met at Paradisos in Kenai, AK, and had a great meeting discussing issues coming up during 2015, to name a few:
- marijuana, soon to have government regulations for citizen to obey;
- Alaska state budget and the new Governor Walker’s campaign promise to cut the budget by 16%;
- property rights, possible partial repeal of government control of lake and streamside property;
- sales tax, government tactics to continue to charge sales tax on food year around;
- re – election of speaker John Bohner, Tuesday vote by US House of Representative to re-election RINO Boehner;
- KPB assembly people terming out of office, the ongoing effort to have input into the temperament of the KPB assembly.
Many very good topics and many inspired and involved people took part in the discussion.
Joining us was Alaska State House of Representative Speaker Mike Chennault, who was able to give a little insight into some of the above listed topic. It appears a considerable amount of time may be spent by the State Legislature on sifting out the regulations that will government to newly sprouted marijuana industry. We discussed recent legislative efforts in other states around this subject and how that experience will factor into decisions to be made the Alaska State legislature. Perhaps by the middle of February, Alaskans will see results of marijuana legislation, as well as a projected budget by the new governor.
There is expectation that a cut of the budget by 16% will be difficult to accomplish, but Governor Walker is fresh to us from the private sector and undoubtedly has numerous ideas and idea people on how that will get done. This will be interesting to watch, considering the wonderful “at the pump” price of gas we have all enjoyed, actually accomplishing his campaign promise may be more difficult than he imagined.
The group discussion moved on to property rights and the continuing interest in scaling back government’s grab of streamside property. When streamside property right were last considered and enacted into law many different considerations were part of it. Now following the KPB Assembly election in October, 2014, there is likely renewed in the protection of property rights along the streams. This will undoubtedly be an interesting discussion that will evolve over the upcoming month. How that express go: “developing”, perhaps not trending, but at least developing.
The discussion then took up the issue of sales tax on food and the government entitled that can charge sales tax and whether it is done on a season basis. The difference between a General Law city (currently Soldotna) and a Home Rule city (Kenai, Homer and Seward) is a very interesting discussion for those interested local government and who gets to created the law that rule YOU and how that authority is allocated to those governing bodies. This is sort of “into the weeds”, so we can come back to that before the Soldotna special election on February 3, 2014.
Depending on how much awareness is out there on the issue of the US House of Representative, Tuesday, January 6, Speaker John Boehner, thought by many to be of RINO (Republican in Name Only), was up for re-election to the position of Speaker of the House. Well, with the push of many of the country’s conservative voters and interested conservative activists, there were 25 Republican votes again John Boehner and in favor or other career politicians considered to be more conservative and in tune with the will of “we the people”. For those interested the sole representative of the State of Alaska, was in California on a family emergency mission stemming from the death of his 84-year-old brother. So, it follows he was not present to vote for or again John Boehner; however, not sure it matter as our sole representation no longer has much influence or sway in political consideration since ethics issues have relieved him of most of his committee responsibilities.
Moving out some into 2015, now is the time to consider who the people might be to run for KPB assembly in October 2015. There are three geographical areas of the peninsula that will be on the ballot and those are:
- Anchor Point area on the road right before Homer, currently represented by Make Haggerty;
- Kalifornsky Beach area, currently represented by Kelly Wolf;
- Seward area, currently represented by Sue McClure.
I believe that two of these are actually terming out, that would be Anchor Point and Seward; the last, Kalifornsky Beach is standing for re-election. Looking at the past objective of changing the temperament of the KPB assembly to a more conservative thinking group, the next step is to find people of a conservative, (less government, less taxes, less intrusion into private lives) mind-set who are willing to run for election to the KPB Assembly and vote for those principles. It is important to remember that all politics are local; and there have already been votes taken since a push was started to bring more conservative thinking back to the Kenai Peninsula Assembly hat have considerable impact on the lives of each individual. So please talk with friends and acquaintances from the South Peninsula and Seward to find those people to run.