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Navarre eyes state budgets, plans more trips to Juneau

Posted: March 7, 2012 - 9:47am

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre traveled to Juneau last week to meet with legislators and other state officials as part of ongoing lobbying efforts aimed at watching the state capital and operating budget processes.

Navarre said he is particularly concerned about making sure legislators from the Kenai Peninsula and other areas are aware of the borough's needs and capital requests. The borough doesn't hire its own state lobbyist -- unlike other larger municipalities -- and Navarre said he would continue to be active in the state processes and discussions.

"I can play that role as mayor and not have to hire a lobbyist," he said.
On March 1 and 2, Navarre met with local legislators and their staffs in Juneau, including members of Gov. Sean Parnell's administration, to discuss the borough's capital budget requests and to get a feel for possible education funding.

The borough submitted its state capital requests in a two-tier form requesting high priority consideration on $10 million for a gas pipeline extension from Anchor Point to Homer, $5.1 million for school athletic facilities upgrades, $2 million for hazardous tree removal, $2.6 million for a school district-wide security camera system. In its second tier it has requested $4.5 million for HVAC system replacements and $1.5 million for a central peninsula landfill maintenance building.

"Those are all in the mill," Navarre said. "So I was mostly touching base with them and finding out what additional information they needed as back up. There are two parts to it -- one, it has to get in the capital budget, and the second part is making sure there is ample back up and justification so when its gets to the governor's office they can support it."

Navarre said the gas line to Homer is a "big project" for southern Peninsula residents and was a topic of discussion among lawmakers and staff in Juneau.

"I guess I am optimistic we will see that in the budget and we are talking about ways that we get support for a tariff so part of it will be paid for by the folks in Homer," he said, adding the borough is also gathering information on cost savings the line would provide to state and borough-owned facilities.

"Only a portion of it would be a tariff," he said. "What they are looking at is just trying to make sure that there is going to be significant benefit from a gas line and that they should be able to provide some of the cost of it and that is what they are looking at a tariff for and then the rest would be through a capital grant. That's what we hope happens."

Navarre is also keeping an eye on the state's funding of education as that level has an impact on a number of other budgets.

"Figuring out what the state is going to do helps us determine and gives our school board and school district administration a heads up to what our level of funding will be," he said.

More funding from the state might mean less funding needed at the borough level as the school district's costs continue to rise due to inflation and other factors, but Navarre said he didn't receive any indication of where or how state funding formulas might change in the new budgets.

"I'm sure they will increase it some, but that is all being negotiated right now," he said. "It is kind of a wait-and-see deal."

Navarre plans on returning to Juneau in April to make sure the borough's interests are heard, in addition to staying in "constant contact" from home, he said.

"As things start going together lots of questions pop up about, 'What's important about this?' Or 'What other back-up do you have for this?'" he said. "If you are there you can answer those questions directly and probably can help influence whether they can stay in or fall out of the various budgets."

Brian Smith can be reached at

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kksalm 03/07/12 - 11:10 pm
$2 million for hazardous tree removal?

$2.6 million for a district wide camera security system?
He's going instead of a lobbyist.
It's made for TV. You can't make this stuff up.

spwright 03/08/12 - 10:22 am
New Invention called a Computer 3/8/121

3/8/12 To ALL Gov. Officials
There is this new Invention called a Computer & that computer has the Capability to provide :


You no longer have to Pack a Bag, Get a Ride to the Airport, Wade thru the Security Procedures, Wait some more, FINALLY board the Aircraft. Loooong Flight to Juneau, wait for your Baggage, Wait for Your Cab or Van, register at your Hotel Room then Pay Thru Your Nose for some very expensive Food in the Hotel Dining Rm then walk to the Capital Bldg & wait in line some more Just to have a face to face conversation with Our Local Representatives in Juneau.

ALL of this now can be done Right HERE On the Kenai & Ya never have to leave or fly anywhere.
Think of the Time & Hassles & $Money$ You will SAVE by
TeleConferencing instead of Flying to Juneau.

If It's Good enough for Our State Judges & Trial System then
It's good enough for everyone else also.Including Our Mayor

SPW "Airborne"

TiredOfPoliticians 03/08/12 - 01:07 pm
Wrong way to spend taxpayers money

I completely agree with the above comments. I know for a fact that when the Mayor and his staff go to Juneau, they barely get even 10 minutes, if they're lucky, with legislators and more times than not, the Mayor meets with staff and not the legislators at all.

I completely agree that teleconferencing is the most economical way and it's just as effective, if not more than meeting face to face.

corinnep 03/08/12 - 07:04 pm

I disagree. Nothing beats face to face contact between a legislator and a person lobbying, and I know for a fact that the Borough Mayor can get more than 10 minutes with our legislators. I've been in Juneau lobbying on my own dime and I got a 1/2 hour with each legislator I wanted to see.

Jerry 03/08/12 - 10:46 pm
KEY WORDS from navarre are "I

KEY WORDS from navarre are "I CAN PLAY that role as lobbyist and not mayor."
No i did not make a mistake in the way i typed it, as thats what navarre is, a lobbyist.
If only we could work it out so he stays in Juneau & play, what a wonderful life we could live on the Kenai.

spwright Remember when they made fun of Fred Sturman and said he doesn't know how to use a computer?
It seems that the Smart One, (according to the FAR LEFT liberals) doesn't either, go figure.

WWFD, is the question & it goes with you should have done this, UYH SYB VFF

This is some knee slapping funny stuff that makes a grown man want to cry out of disbelief.

KMarx 03/08/12 - 07:16 pm
As a former legislator Mayor

As a former legislator Mayor Navarre is going to have access to elected officials and administrators that other Mayors and lobbyists simply will not have. By wearing two hats he's saving the Borough a fair amount of money that other Boroughs pay to lobbyists.

kksalm 03/08/12 - 10:11 pm
Navarre's already been there.

"On March 1 and 2, Navarre met with local legislators and their staffs in Juneau, including members of Gov. Sean Parnell's administration"
He just needs to pick up the phone.
The seurity cameras are easy, social services have been diverted in the name of homeland security. $2.6 million to capture the image seems normal in this economy.
The $2 million for hazardous tree removal might be a hard sell. I hope it has nothing to do with the airport trees. I was just at the watering hole at the airport admiring the mountains in the distance. What hazardous trees could our distinguished mayor be concernered about? There has to be plenty at a price of two million bucks.
I wonder if the contract has already been handed out?
Have a nice day

Jerry 03/10/12 - 03:25 pm
What i find interesting &

What i find interesting & funny about navarre's claims that HE HAS TO BE THERE, or nothing will get done, makes me wonder about simple facts that we Kenai Peninsula residents have several elected representatives already in Juneau.

Representatives, ALL of which are supposed to be working for the Kenai Peninsula residents with out navarre or lobbists pressure.

I think its all about navarre pilling up air miles & being gone from his elected job as mayor.

If navarre wants to be in Juneau that much, lets kick him out & get Fred in there, i'm sure Fred can hire some one smart enough to get conferance calls to Juneau, daily if needed.

Ya should have listened to Fred.
Use your head, Save your bread, Vote for Fred, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, we wanted smart guy navarre.
Some times you get what you really don't understand or really want, then what?

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