Big expectations come with mayor's job

Congratulations, Mike Navarre -- you've won the job you were after.

But, we'd like to remind our new Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor of a few of our expectations as we transition to a new administration.

While it's true that running for office takes a lot of commitment, patience and bravery, being in office is a whole other ballpark. While your background as a former borough mayor and state legislator indicates you already know that to be true, we still think it's worth repeating -- to talk is one thing, but to do is another.

You ran on a platform of open, honest, responsible borough government, and that's just what we expect through the next three years.

Outgoing Mayor David Carey did a good job making himself available to the community at large and we'd like that to continue. From Seldovia to Hope, people have needs and expectations of their government and you may as well prepare yourself to be stretched thin.

Our borough is one of the state's most diverse -- both politically and geographically -- and we expect our mayor to lend an ear to all of our concerns and use our collective voice as a guide to help steer the borough in the right direction.

The Peninsula Clarion editorial board endorsed Navarre before the run-off election on the condition that he also keeps his promise of being an involved, hands-on mayor and staff manager. Our borough is basically a multi-million dollar corporation and giving anything less than one's best to the job would be a disservice to those of us who live here.

This borough is at a point where it hasn't been before. Our economy is as diverse and complex as ever and there are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to doing business on the Peninsula.

Mayor Navarre will have to make quite a few decisions that will impact the future of that economy and those who live here. We'd like him to remember we expect well thought through and carefully considered decisions over hasty ones.

We also expect our mayor to work well with the borough assembly and the staff already in place at the borough. We expect transparency, open lines of communication and accountability.

We also expect sound fiscal judgment and when it comes time for Mayor Navarre's first budget, we think a balanced approach is necessary. Spending down our fund balance can't continue indefinitely and with the unpopularity of raising taxes, that means the borough needs to find ways to do the people's business within the means the people allocate.

In short: Congratulations, Mayor Navarre. The next three years will be challenging, as you probably know. Now it's time to roll up your sleeves.

More

Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

Read more

Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

Read more

Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

Read more

Letters to the editor

Chuitna mine threatens Alaska way of life

Read more