Habitat ordinance task force moving forward

We found reason for optimism earlier this week when it was reported that the borough’s Anadromous Fish Habitat Protection Task Force was able to stay focused on its task.

 

The task force was established by Borough Mayor Mike Navarre to examine and make recommendations to improve an ordinance extending habitat protection measures to bodies of water important to salmon throughout the borough. Similar habitat protection measures already are in place along the Kenai River.

The crux of the issue is striking a reasonable balance between protection of a common resource and the rights of private property owners.

Over the past several months, the task force has been examining the ordinance. During its meeting Monday, in addition to hearing some proposals to amend the ordinance, the task force was also set to hear a motion restricting the role of the task force’s facilitator, Paul Ostrander, the borough mayor’s chief of staff. The motion was a response to what were called biased comments made by Ostrander during a previous meeting, and the influence of the borough administration on the task force.

The motion was withdrawn, however, when other task force members showed little interest in discussing it.

While there are a number of valid concerns with the habitat protection ordinance — any time a task force is formed, it generally indicates a problem with the political or regulatory process — we are glad to see that the task force was able to stay focused on the ordinance and things it can do to improve it, rather than getting dragged down debating the make-up of the task force itself. Concerns about the body are now noted, and certainly the public can take them into consideration moving forward.

But the important development is that the task force is indeed moving forward with the job it was asked to do. We’re hopeful that the task force’s recommendations will be of value to the borough — private residents and public officials alike.

More

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:10

Op-ed: The McConnell nonrescue

It was the end of 2012. The country was courting fiscal and political disaster. The Obama-administration Democrats were at an impasse with the adamant GOP... Read more

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:10

Op-ed: Porking out with your money

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to eliminate governmental waste and fraud, just released its “2017 Congressional Pig Book,” an annual... Read more

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:10

Editorial: Who pays for services?

We all expect a certain level of service from government — good schools, well maintained roads, fully staffed first responder agencies, for example — but... Read more

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:09

Op-ed: The looming Republican disgrace

The ascension of Donald Trump was supposed to change everything in the GOP. As it happens, perhaps one very important thing hasn’t: The Republicans may... Read more