It’s unlikely you’ll ever make it through a campaign season without hearing a political candidate invoke President Reagan, by asking voters if they believed they were better off today than they were ‘x’ number of years ago. Usually, it’s the challenger of an incumbent posing the question, attempting to capitalize on negative events that have occurred during the term of the incumbent. Let’s try something new; I’ll ask the question as an incumbent. Are you better off than you were three years ago?
Since I was elected in 2009, your City has accomplished some great things worth mentioning. The City re-opened the Kenai Community Library, following significant renovations and a doubling of its size (something that voters had supported on the ballot a couple of years prior). The City added emergency response personnel to better meet the demands of our growing city. We’ve seen new development in our City: ground was recently broken on a new assisted living facility on Forest Drive and the Dena’ina Wellness Center; the CINGSA natural gas storage facility was built and commenced operations; new wells were drilled to extract valuable natural resources and provide good jobs to our citizens; and we’ve seen new commercial developments as well (remember when people complained that there was nowhere to buy socks in Kenai?).
But why stop there? The City has been putting its best face forward as parks and green spaces have been renovated and re-landscaped, our children will be playing in updated and safer playgrounds, and our new comprehensive trail system will provide a healthy way to enjoy our city for both young and old alike.
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the improvement that I’m most proud of the City accomplishing during my tenure: our new water treatment facility that puts to bed the long-standing complaints about the color of our drinking water. By far, the new water we’re serving our residents is the most-mentioned topic I encounter as I talk to voters on their doorsteps.
By the way — and this is important — the City managed to accomplish all of the above while still lowering your property tax rates.
Getting back to the question, I would answer, yes, when it comes to your experience living in the City of Kenai, you are likely better off now than you were three years ago.
Can I take credit for these things that I mentioned? Certainly not. The credit is shared among our residents, the council and Mayor, and our city administration. But outside of people, the biggest amount of credit is owed to the power of collaboration, compromise, and a good old-fashioned desire to see our community continue to become a better place. These are the values I use to shape my decision-making process and I strive to make sure they’re used when policy is being made in Kenai. I believe these values, along with my desire to create bridges of communication, are what prompted the council to elect me as the city’s vice-mayor a year ago.
If afforded a second term on the Council, I will continue to provide leadership through listening. I will use my best judgment and as much input as possible to shape my decisions. I will always look for ways to bring out the best of diverging points of view while seeking out common ground. And most importantly, I will always be accountable to the citizens of Kenai.
If you have any questions about me or the City, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can be reached via email at email@example.com or on my cell phone: 398-8058.
I thank you for your support over the past three years, and I ask you for your support on October 2nd so that we may continue working together for three more.