Plenty of places to look if borough needs more money

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2005

Folks, the next Borough Assembly meeting is the 19th of April in Soldotna at which assemblyman Sprague's ordinance to lower the exemption to $300,000 for senior citizens will come up. The ordinance introduced by Mayor Bagley would, as it stands now, lower the exemption to $200,000 and would include disabled vets as well as senior citizens.

Here are some examples of borough spending that I think are not mandated by state law (amounts to the best of my ability looking through the budget):

Two economic development deparments (yes, two): $550,000;

New communication building: $1,000,000;

Six assemblymen and clerk on junket to Washington, D.C.: $15,000;

Lobbyist in Washington, D.C.: $55,000;

Arctic Winter Games: $500,000;

Tourism promotion: $172,500;

Kenai Peninsula College: $503,600;

Kenai schools (over state requirement): $1,463,300;

Car allowances for assembly, clerk and deputy clerk:$85,000;

CARTS (Taxi service): $50,000;

Coastal zone management: $45,000;

Emergency management: $820,750;

Tax exemption on firemen's homes: ?;

Salmon branding: $122,000;

Assembly junkets to Juneau, etc.:?;

Full medical, dental insurance plus retirement with full benefits for assembly: $589,000;

Kenai River Center: $77,000.

The foregoing are just some of the Borough Assembly expenditures, and I like many of these programs, but if the borough really needs more money for their operation, shouldn't they try to make some cuts before taxing senior citizens and disabled vets?

I suggest contacting assembly members and coming to the April 19 meeting in Soldotna (the next meeting after that is May 3 in Seward).

Stan Thompson, Kenai

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