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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