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Ordinance ignores will of voters

Posted: January 2, 2012 - 9:20am

At the Jan. 3 borough assembly meeting they will vote whether to give $100,000 to the non-profit organization Kenai Watershed Forum. At issue is not the value of services provided, but whether voters and taxpayers support funding of non-profits.  There is also the question of whether the borough has the legal authority to spend this money for "economic development" purposes. 

Ballot Proposition 2on the October 4 ballot proposed to increase the borough sales tax cap to 3.1 percent, with 0.1 percent to be used for economic development purposes. This was rejected by a vote of 8349 NO to only 1903 YES. 

There are several fundamental issues in this ordinance that need to be carefully considered by all:

1. Voters do not support using tax dollars to fund non-profit agencies.

2. This off-budget spending will ultimately require a property tax increase. 

3. The legal justification for spending this money is purported to be "economic development," but the ordinance then goes on to exclude the requirements defined in that section of borough code.  If it is not in compliance with borough code then it is not "economic development." 

The voters spoke loud and clear... they do not want their taxes increased to fund non-profits.  The question now is will the assembly respect the wishes of borough voters? Contact the assembly today at

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shanaloshbaugh 01/03/12 - 10:53 am
Critics miss the big picture here

This ordinance is about enhancing salmon habitat, not about funding non-profits. If the borough contracted with a gravel company to get road fill, or with an accountant to get an audit, no one would question the decision. In this case, the Kenai Watershed Forum has certain technical expertise not available elsewhere that serves the public good. The fact that they are a non-profit is coincidental. The borough wants to get a job done, and the KWF is the local "business" that can do it. The borough wants to hire KWF to do a job, not donate to them as a worthy "charity." I'm confident that informed voters, given the full facts here, would not see any conflict between this ordinance and their tax-cap vote. Opposition to this ordinance is an example of "penny-wise, pound-foolish" thinking.

radiokenai 01/03/12 - 06:36 pm
Absolutely Approved!

In my opinion, based on the actions and successes of the Kenai Watershed Forum, I have absolutely no complaint for the them with 100k funding. In fact, it should be more!

With all the ridiculous spending that is wasted, for once, this is one that is money well spent!

KWF takes their job seriously, and does not play one bit of politics. I suppose that is why the author is so negative about it, since he is a politician.

CONGRATULATIONS!! KWF!! and keep up the good work for 2012!

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