Service board issue needs serious consideration

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Kenai Borough Assembly has set aside a decision for later reconsideration on whether the Mayor should appoint Service Area Board members. Excellent decision!

The Assembly needs to really consider whether there is any merit in allowing the Mayor to select and approve groomed and politically aligned people to fill vacancies on Service Area Boards.

The current process is as follows: out-of-cycle vacancies (that is, between elections) are filled by each of the boards wherein the vacancy occurred. The elected members of each SAB interview and vote on candidates who will best harmonize with the purpose of the board. This arrangement has worked well in the past and is the best defense against a Mayor who makes the decision of whether a certain individual passes his/her muster.

To the Assembly: Continue as a before. Allow the sitting SAB members to select those who will fill vacancies as they occur. SAB members are volunteers, unpaid and independent of member of the "system."

I already smell the stench of crony-ism in and around the Assembly and the Mayor's office. The last thing we need is for a singular individual to appoint selected people to fill vacancies.

Norm Olson


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