By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

McDonald: council has been 'derelict' in its duties

 

October 12, 2017 | View PDF



Tim McDonald’s bid to shake up the Seward City Council by running for mayor came up short, but the retires commercial fisherman sent shockwaves through the crowd on Monday when he accused the council of failing to protect the interests of the city’s residents.

“You’ve been derelict in your duties,” said McDonald, adding that the council was managing the city’s budget without regard to the average resident. “You have a large budget for the 2,300 people who live here and you need to look at how it isn’t working for everyone.”

A native of Seward, McDonald said the council’s recent actions – such as giving long-term leases and sinking large amounts into harbor projects – has meant financial hardships for residents.

“You’ve done a great job working for the big businesses,” he said, “but for the 2,300 that live here year-round, that hasn’t always been the case.”

McDonald said the council needed to address residents’ concerns related to rising electrical costs and what he called the unequal representation of the council, as well as take a more realistic look at the budget. He said the city’s current $1.4 million budget for the Seward Parks and Recreation Department equated to about $600 from every resident’s pocket.

Seward Assistant City Manager Ron Long corrected McDonald’s assertion that the Parks and Recreation Department budget was in error, noting the department’s budget is based on a mathematical formula that is tied to a bed tax.

McDonald said the city should address what he considers its tax and unequal representation issues by looking into annexing properties to at least Mile 8. That move, he said, would bring more people under the city’s umbrella, and create a more balanced base.

 

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