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Term limit vote delayed

Posted: July 3, 2013 - 9:38pm

The Kenai Borough Assembly on Tuesday delayed action on two items in order to rethink their actions before going forward.

The assembly put off voting on an ordinance seeking to overturn term limits imposed by a citizen initiative and moved to reopen public comment on a resolution calling for a public advisory vote on continued borough financial support for public transportation.

Both will occur during the Aug. 6 regular assembly meeting. The items suffered from a lack of public attention during the June 18 meeting, most of which focused on the hundred people who testified on the anadromous streams ordinance.

Tuesday night following the final vote on the streams issue, District 9 Assemblyman Mako Haggerty called term limits an automated “reduction of choice.” He said it’s one that he does not support.

Soldotna resident Irv Carlisle summed up public opinion on the matter saying that the real issue behind the move to repeal term limits, after three consecutive public votes favoring them by a large margin, is the process in which the Assembly is going about it. As an assembly ordinance, the repeal would be done with nine elected votes trumping more than 14,000 citizen votes for term limits, he said.

“Put it to a vote (of the people),” said Carlisle who noted he had faith in the election process.

Nikiski resident Fred Braun said he was against long-term incumbency that becomes possible without term limits.

“The voters prefer limits which increase competition and decrease seniority and breaks ties to special interests.” Braun said. “(People) vote on principle rather than back scratching.”

Howard Merchant of Soldotna also believes that term limits keep fresh those serving at the will of the people by fostering competition for office without imbedded politicians.

“If you’re going to change it, it should be done by a vote of the people. Not a vote of the assembly,” Merchant said.

“The voters have spoken,” said Michele Hartline of Nikiski. “Regardless of which side you’re on on this issue, this is not the right process.”

Fred Sturman, a recent mayoral candidate and one of those behind the term limits initiatives in the last 15 years, encouraged the assembly to do as the people did when they brought term limits to the ballot. It’s the only way to justify it, he said.

“Put your 100 bucks up and get your 2,000 signatures and we’ll put it on the ballot,” he said.

District 2 Assemblyman and ordinance sponsor Hal Smalley criticized the testimony of those favoring term limits saying that no other office faces term limits like Borough Assembly.

“Don’t pick on one legislative body because you have issues with someone up here,” Smalley said before criticizing voter turnout during the last election in which term limits won. Smalley also noted that the margin by which term limits have won keeps shrinking each time it goes before the people.

Before the vote to postpone, one after another assembly member that personally opposes term limits said that they would not vote for the repeal.

“Voters asked for it,” said District 7 Assemblyman Brent Johnson.

“The voters should speak at the ballot box,” said District 8 Assemblyman Bill Smith, who also vowed to not vote for the repeal.

District 9 Assemblyman Mako Haggerty said he’s always been vocal about his opposition to limits. The public assumption is that members of the assembly are doing it for themselves and with the wrong intentions.

“I’m going to vote against,” Haggerty said. “The people voted, so it will stand.”

Noting his surprise that fellow assembly members were going to vote along with public opinion, District 1 assemblyman Kelly Wolf said, “I thought there were enough votes.”

Wolf and fellow assembly member Charlie Pierce, District 5, opposed repeal from its introduction in early June.

“I’d like to kill this rat,” Wolf said.

“I would like to vote on the original,” Pierce said.

Seeing the possible death of the term limits repeal if voted on Tuesday, its supporters moved to postpone action and floated an idea to amend the ordinance to three terms from two. The vote was 6-3, with Wolf, Pierce and District 3 assemblyman Ray Tauriainen voting against the delay.

Reach Greg Skinner at greg.skinner@peninsulaclarion.com.

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beaverlooper
2406
Points
beaverlooper 07/04/13 - 12:54 pm
2
0
Hal Smalley

Hal Smalley if making absolutely sure that I never vote for him in ANY office he ever runs for.

analaskancitizen
53
Points
analaskancitizen 07/04/13 - 06:21 pm
0
0
exactly B.L.

You should be able to vote for or against any candidate that is of age and qualified to run. We all should have that opportunity. So don't take away your choices or mine.

robert white
378
Points
robert white 07/05/13 - 02:36 am
1
0
term limits

The problem with term limits is that you never get fresh ideas, just the same old Harry Reid stuck in the 18th century.

beaverlooper
2406
Points
beaverlooper 07/05/13 - 01:55 pm
3
0
The problem with the lack of term limits

The problem with being without term limits is the power of the incumbent .That's why there are term limits for president. Don Young,Ted Stevens , and Lisa Murkowski. All appointed to their first terms and they've got/had lifetime jobs basically.Of all of the people who've held office in the US Senate and House since statehood (53 years)only 2 have been voted out of office and one of those had been convicted of a felony right before the election. .Once a person get's into THE CLUB it takes a stick of dynamite to blast them out of there. The Borough is just a scaled down version. Besides they can run again, they just have to take a little breather is all.

santini
81
Points
santini 07/06/13 - 02:34 pm
2
0
Term Limits

The notion that term limits prevent voters to choose whomever they want in a given office is a valid one. The reality is that once officials get into office they then have the power of incumbency and indifference by voters to stay there as long as they like. This can create a mindset by the incumbent that they have free rein to do whatever they wish and are not accountable. I would rather have someone decide to run who will adhere to the 3-Bs: Be Brief, Be Brilliant and Be Gone. However, I do agree this issue should go to the people for a vote and live with the results.

Fuzzy
8
Points
Fuzzy 07/07/13 - 12:02 pm
1
0
Mako is a HYPOCRITE!!

This is the platform he ran on. He stated that governemt was of the people, by the people and for the people. And he believes in smaller government; but he's fundamentally against term limits? So he's for professional politicians that manipulate public perception to further thier own career and interests? I'm very disappointed and upset. Click on this link if you want to check the facts:

http://homernews.com/stories/093009/elections_mh_001.shtm

Quote:

Mako Haggerty candidate for borough assembly

I grew up believing we are a government "of the people, by the people, for the people," and I am running for public office because I have watched those ideals erode over time on the Kenai Peninsula and in Alaska.
As Alaskans, we're rightly independent, and skeptical of big government. I am also a firm believer in local control. As a result, our borough government should adhere to limited core functions, such as schools and education, roads and solid waste. This focused and limited government is all the more necessary in the face of budget shortfalls that threaten taxpayers with a growing burden.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/07/13 - 11:09 pm
1
0
Less than 5% Vote

7/7/13 I am a Registered Voter & I vote at the Soldotna Sports Center. The Worst Possible Voting Dist in the entire State. During the last August Primary Election ONLY 5% of the Registered Voters made the time to Vote. There were no waiting lines, the weather was great, plenty of vehicle parking, the whole process took less than 10 minutes to complete. What possible reason could there be for NOT Voting ? Polls are Open for over 12 hrs ?
It's a sincere Mystery to me as to WHY a American will NOT Vote ? I don't understand it ?

SPW "Airborne"

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 07/08/13 - 01:06 pm
3
0
A fraction of that 5%

And only a fration of that 5% were informed of the issues and/or candidates. It's a sincere mystery to me, how we can live in the information age and remain so ignorant!

Curio
18
Points
Curio 07/08/13 - 01:30 pm
0
0
No. That fraction of 5%

No. That fraction of 5% thought they were informed. But they actually absorbed too much propaganda from right-or-left-leaning media, advertising or rumor.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 07/08/13 - 04:25 pm
3
0
So Curio...

What you are stating is; no voters, including yourself, are able to research the facts and un-spin the political spin?

cheapersmokes
778
Points
cheapersmokes 07/16/13 - 07:52 am
0
0
Term Limits?

I feel that if they are not smart enough to appropriate enough of the taxpayers funds in one term then they sure don't deserve another one. Never vote for any incumbent....make them live in the world they helped create!

radiokenai
560
Points
radiokenai 07/16/13 - 01:49 pm
0
0
To Beaverlooper...
Unpublished

I am amazed that Hal was even re-elected to any office of any sort, remember he was the one who voted to TAKE the PFD!

My how people forget so easily, hence a President who continues his policies of disgrace and deception.

Wow.

BigRedDog
654
Points
BigRedDog 07/18/13 - 07:58 am
0
0
Earn IT!

For 23 years my uncle and two buddies rotated jobs as required bye a local term limit ordinance. The three rotated jobs as either Sheriff, Under Sheriff, or Chief of Police. These were all elected positions in Kingfisher,Oklahoma. The sheriff ran the county jail, the U/S ran the County Deputies, and the C/P the City Police.This weeded out those who couldn't handle the load of performance of Duty as well as commanding public respect and approval. The only way you could stay was to show you could get her done, earn it!
There is a huge number of folks locally that can handle large workloads and I'm sure more of them would avail themselves to public service, if they didn't realize they would be facing an entrenched voting block at every turn. The voter apathy that exists in our local poles gives real POWER to those that really VOTE. Why don't you register and use that power is the question to many whiners? If you can carry the load get her done! But nobody should win office because of apathetic voters empowering a 20% group of active voters focused on supporting incumbents or anyone else.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/19/13 - 07:39 am
0
0
9 vs 14,000

7/19/13 Keep It Simple The Vote of 9 elected officials vs the Vote of 14,000 Registered Peninsula Voters.
Not once, not twice but 3 times the Peninsula Residents have voted FOR TERM LIMITS. What is so difficult to understand ?
The Majority of Votes Wins, We are a Democracy, Majority Rules. SPW "Airborne"

Suss
3096
Points
Suss 07/19/13 - 10:26 am
0
0
Vesting Bonus

All elected Boro and City officials and spouses are eligible for AlaskaCare medical insurance while in office and then it becomes premium FREE for life with retirement after 5 years service, how do you vest with term limits of 3 years? Now what would you want for you and your family?

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/19/13 - 01:05 pm
0
0
Vested after 5 years of Service

7/19/13 Suss- To be Honest here. I have a problem with members of the School Board & Boro Assembly receiveing the same Retirement Benefits as a Full Time Employee.
These elected officials are only required to attend & participate in Monthly meetings perhaps 2 days per month.Legistlators 90 day Sessions then some work at home.

While the full time employee has much much more demanded of them in order to recieve PERS Retirement.A lifetime of employment, 40 work hours per week.

On the other hand, Who could possibly endure those Bore You to Tears BORING Meetings each & every month ?

Vested means that after 5 full years of Service a Employee will then receive upon Retirement both the Employee Contributions & the company's contributions to the PERS System. Beginning the 1st day of the 6th year of employment 5 complete years. Thanks for Listening SPW

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/19/13 - 01:13 pm
0
0
None of It is Free

7/19/13 Just have to comment again. NONE repeat NONE of the Public Employees Retirement PERS is Free !

Employees have money deducted from each & every PayCheck for a LifeTime before they receive a single dime of retirement benefits. Same for Alaska Care , it is NOT Free money is deducted each & every PayCheck for a LifeTime of Service without receiveing one dime of benefits before Retirement age.

That is NOT a Entitlement, that is EARNED Retirement Income. Just the word entitlement makes my blood boil .
Thanks for Listening SPW

Suss
3096
Points
Suss 07/19/13 - 07:03 pm
0
0
SPW

City Council members are also given the same healthcare retirement benefits as a fulltime worker without having to contend with compulsory attendance. Too many council members get excused frequently from attending meetings and as long as a quorum is met, who cares? They do not meet all that often and when they do they may not have a total 80 hours of council meeting time in a year. It is a great incentive to run for office for anyone that wants to serve and get his or her and family's health care covered by the taxpayer.

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