Reader misses Alaska, thanks to assembly action

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2008

My wife, and especially my two adult daughters, wish to thank the borough assembly for helping-forcing me to decide that my wife and I had to leave Alaska after 26.5 years.

I took two severe falls on the ice in February 2007. My doctor told me one more fall might be the one that puts me in nursing home for the remainder of my life or kills me, and I aggravated old back injuries and caused new ones.

The injuries have made distance walking difficult for me one of my favorite activities.

I had hoped to live out my life in Alaska and be buried here, but to be safe I would need to be gone during the worst of the winter to avoid another fall on the ice.

Thanks to the pig-headed assembly primarily at the urging of Gary Superman, Deb Germano and Margaret Gilman the assembly passed their "stick it to the seniors, no more tax break" ordinance. Staying in Alaska and leaving for the winter was not an option. I would need to be gone for more than 90 days. It is no consolation to me that the borough administration now agrees with me that enforcing the noxious ordinance is nearly impossible.

I testified at every borough meeting when the ordinance was considered that enforcement was impossible without setting neighbor against senior among other noxious enforcement methods.

Instead of their stupid unenforceable residency requirement, I testified that a cap of $400,000 would solve the perceived problem of high-end homes getting a free ride, and enforcement would be simple. A one-time computer program change is all that's necessary.

One assembly member actually considered implementing one of my more off-the-wall enforcement jokes: require seniors who wanted the tax break to sign in at the borough clerk's office in person every 90 days.

Be careful what you offer in jest. They may not see the joke.

For low-income seniors on fixed incomes, the tax break would have made it possible to pay the expense of leaving for the winter. "No" said the dynamic trio. Unfair to other taxpayers! The borough needed the money. It did not bother two of the trio that they were on the school board and never ever tried to get cost under control to benefit the taxpayers. Whatever the school administration proposed, they rubber stamped.

Hypocrisy anyone?

Seniors are a green industry that did not need a lot of resources. Too old to have children in school. Most were covered by one form of medical insurance or another we paid for hospital services. We paid our sales taxes. We are no Agrium.

Yes, we will die off eventually, but another crop will age in our place But when you're pig-headed and resentful of seniors ... .

I miss Alaska. I really don't like it here, but my wife does because it is close to family.

I follow what happens in Alaska through the news. It is not the same as being there.

William Phillips

Camby, Ind.

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