The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

KPB mayoral candidate statements

 

Mike Navarre

Carrol Martin

My main concerns for the entire Kenai Peninsula are increasing our own food production and reducing fire danger and damage.

Reducing wild fire danger and damage and increasing food production can happen at the same time. Everyone knows how lucky it was that our recent major fire burned many acres out Funny River Road with little property damage. Only the old timers remember the wild fires that jumped the Kenai River and burned through Kalifornsky Beach Road. Ciechanski Road, East and West Poppy, Gaswell and Echo Lake Roads over fifty years ago. The Forestry experts say the fuel bio mass is now back up to a critical level. Also, most people do not know that this area was set aside for veteran's preference homesteads at the end of World War II. It was determined at that time to be the best available number one agricultural soil in Alaska. In fact, National Geographic Magazine reports that recent satellite mapping identifies the western Kenai Peninsula as the largest undeveloped number one soil in the world. Soils like this grow dense forests and then burn again and again. This is an asset that needs to be producing food rather than fires. Land in agricultural production is a good fire break. We can identify parcels that would connect current existing green areas and grant tax breaks and fund low interest loans.

Increasing food production will become critical with the next earthquake and tsunami. I was in Alaska on Good Friday fifty years ago. At that time Alaska was producing eighty percent of our food supply. Now, we are producing only three percent and our population has doubled. Another change is our stores do not have warehouses. Groceries go from the freight containers to the store shelves at night. This means we have approximately a seven day supply on hand. Currently, our emergency supplies are in Portland. After the "64 Quake" it took months to repair airports, docks, highways and the railroad.

We have a very complete "AG in the Classroom" curriculum available to our schools. The National Guard, Soil Conservation Service, Cooperative Extension Service and other qualified volunteers are willing to teach it but our school district does not use it. It is being used successfully in Anchorage, the Mat-Su District and in Fairbanks. We should be doing this on the Kenai with a green house by every elementary school in the district. Since 1976 almost every preschool and elementary school child has visited our Diamond M Ranch and currently farm tours are offered to any group who asks. Every summer hundreds of tourists take advantage of this activity. It is amazing to learn what the average person does NOT know about food production.

Our property tax reduction structure for agricultural lands is not working and needs revising. Greenbelts cause higher property values and a better quality of life. Firebreaks and agriculture go hand in hand and share costs. Sooner or later Kenai, Soldotna and the K Beach area need to cooperate in coordinating greenbelts, firebreaks, and parks and recreation areas.

We have all the ingredients for plant nutrients to make very productive soil. All fish waste should be composted with chips and grass clippings rather than pumping it out into Cook Inlet which is not environmentally sound. We have an agricultural lime mine at Cooper Landing and we are burying all the municipal waste whereas Fairbanks and other parts of the state and even the world use it for hay, grain and revegetation.Thank you, Carrol Martin, Kenai Peninsula Borough candidate for Mayor

Mike Navarre

I have been honored to serve as Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor for the last three years. I have received a great deal of support and encouragement since I announced my plans to seek reelection and greatly appreciate all of the support - thank you.

These past three years as mayor have gone by quickly and, for the most part, very smoothly. I've approached the job and responsibilities as I outlined during the 2011 campaign with strong administrative oversight, responsible budget and financial management, and an open door policy.

I've built a strong administrative team to help manage the challenges and issues that have come up and we've been responsive and attentive to concerns expressed from residents throughout the Kenai Peninsula. In addition to the normal responsibilities of administering local government and the budget, we've also tackled other issues of importance, including pursuing completion of our municipal land entitlement, advancing efforts on the North Road extension, improving our health care infrastructure, managing many capital projects, and maintaining and improving our school facilities. We've also successfully dealt with numerous natural disasters, such as flooding, snow storms, wind storms and most recently the Funny River fire.

My administration has also initiated efficiency efforts in every department and service area, challenging all employees to look for ways to save taxpayer dollars while delivering government services, and we're seeing significant results and savings!

My goals and priorities will not change significantly over the next three years. Here are the areas where I will focus the most attention:

• Education is our most important responsibility. Providing a good education for our children equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to seize opportunities and achieve success throughout their lives.

• Maintaining and improving our Borough-owned roads are, and will remain, priorities. Roads are a critical part of our infrastructure and directly impact our residents.

• Health care costs are constantly increasing and have many direct and indirect impacts to residents. The cost of health care has direct impacts to personal and family budgets. Indirect impacts include access to health care and the increasing expense in both public and private sector budgets, which can lead to a loss of jobs, an increase in taxes... or both.

• The LNG and Gas Line project will significantly impact the Kenai Peninsula Borough and residents. It will be important to identify and plan for those impacts, as well as the economic opportunities and challenges that will accompany such a large project.

I encourage you to examine my record as Mayor from 1996-99 and over the last three years. My record reflects conservative and responsible budget management, strong administrative oversight, an open door policy and a good working relationship with the Borough Assembly and borough residents.

I have the experience, energy and commitment to tackle the issues and challenges the Kenai Peninsula Borough will face over the next several years and will dedicate myself, as Mayor, to responsible management of our borough government.

The Kenai Peninsula is a great place to live, work and to raise our families. However, we continue to face economic, education, public safety, and solid waste management issues, multiple issues with our hospitaTom Bearupls and health care, as well as the continued need to improve and maintain roads.

With your help and a responsible approach, together we'll keep the Kenai Peninsula Borough great.

Thank you for reading this article. I would appreciate your vote on October 7th.

Tom Bearup

My name is Tom Bearup, candidate for Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor. My positions and opinions are based on Optimism, Respect and Accountability for and to the residents of the Kenai Peninsula.

I have had experiences throughout my life, in business, government and as former Mayor of the City of Soldotna that put me in the unique position of being able to relate to the needs of Kenai Peninsula residents of all backgrounds and I want to be your next Borough mayor.

The borough is poised for a very Optimistic future. The oil and gas, fishing, tourism and health care industries are the mainstays of the borough economy. It is time to entice new industry to the KPB to foster additional growth. The Kenai Peninsula Borough has the available infrastructure to attract technology, software development and clean manufacturing business to our "Alaskan Riviera".

To achieve these Optimistic goals we need to be Respectful of all residents, their points of view and differing opinions on issues affecting our community.

Our Senior citizens need to be Respected for their contributions to our borough and no longer the target of attempted tax increases. We must stop accusing Seniors for excess use of borough services and budget shortfalls, as happened in the recent attempt to eliminate the residential property exemption to Seniors. Senior citizens are a major driving economic force in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, according to the state of Alaska. An Alaska Commission on Aging report shows that Senior Citizens contribute approximately $2.62 billion dollars annually to the Alaskan economy. The Kenai Peninsula Borough must understand and respect their contribution.

Respect and protection of individual rights and property rights must be a basic tenet of borough government. I pledge to protect those rights and review ordinances such as the "anadromous stream ordinance" to assure that the rights of property owners are respected and restored.

Accountability to the residents of the Kenai Peninsula will be of paramount importance to my administration, not just at election time, but every day. It is the responsibility of all borough employees to be responsive and accountable to the people we serve, the residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Fiscal responsibility by vigilant attention to borough finances is critical. I will monitor all borough expenditures to assure that no more money is spent than revenues received. The borough has a sound and reasonable income and tax base, there is no reason to overspend. Accountability to the public is not a political word, it is mandatory.

Tom Bearup

I will enhance the borough presence in communities like Seward. Seward has a borough office that is under utilized. Frequent visits by borough managers or directors will be made to the offices and they be available to interact with residents directly. Inclusion of all borough communities will be the norm, not the exception. I will propose two Assembly meetings per year in Seward. This will bring the borough assembly to the residents.

The office of Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor is the representative of all borough residents and I will honor that trust when elected mayor.

Thank you and I ask for your vote for borough mayor on October 7.

 

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