There are approximately 10,000 senior citizens on the Kenai Peninsula and a majority are registered voters. We are a strong voter demographic. Let’s use our vote to insure that senior issues are addressed and that KPB politicians support them.
KPB residents and seniors have a full plate of political topics this election season. Primary races and propositions will be up first in August and then a full slate of candidates and issue votes to follow. Let’s take a quick look at some of those and how they affect the KPB senior voters.
The KPB Mayoral race is now shaping up. Tom Bearup is first to challenge Mayor Navarre, with several more preparing to announce. KPB seniors should pay particular attention to the position candidates take on senior issues. The official filing period is Aug. 1 thru 15, so we can expect little political fireworks until then. We can assume that the mayor will run on his record as mayor and Mr. Bearup and others will challenge that record and offer their own ideas.
The mayor’s campaign has been pretty quiet. Tom Bearup is traveling the Borough to garner name recognition and support. The race will certainly heat up soon and we will be there to press all candidates on senior issues.
Seniors will ask the mayor, Mr. Bearup and other mayoral and assembly candidates to make the following commitment :
“I will not support or vote for any reduction of KPB senior benefits or raise taxes on seniors, either by exemption reductions or tax increases.”
Yes or no? There is no middle ground. You either support seniors or not.
Candidates declining to commit to seniors and seniors-to-be, should not receive a senior vote. Actually, this is a simple and very straightforward statement of support for seniors and a simple and very straightforward response from seniors.
The KPB wants to have us vote yes or no on “vote by mail.”
Seniors are the group mostly likely to have difficulty getting to the polls, so we see this as a senior benefit.
To test “vote by mail,” the KPB should send all registered senior voters an absentee ballot with three choices:
1. Fill out and mail in;
2. Fill out and bring to a polling place; or
3. Discard and vote in person.
That would be a painless and easy way to see how “vote by mail” would be accepted.
We will have to wait to see the final versions of other items such as the “bed tax,” before comments and recommendations can be made.
May the political rhetoric begin, and may we hear more fact than fiction.