The Kenai City Council will meet today to decide what to do about the estimated $335,000 deficit the city is faced with in its proposed 2002-03 fiscal year budget. Several Kenai residents shared their views Tuesday on what the council should do.
Cristy Breazeale, Kenai resident for four years: "I'm opposed to deficit spending. The money has got to come from someplace. I'd rather pay it in property tax than in sales tax. I think the state has been truly irresponsible. I'm not going to type the city as that, they're not up to the same shenanigans as the state.
Justin Adolf, Kenai resident for 27 years: "Taxes are how government pays for itself, taxes are a fact of life. No one is going to like it, but I didn't hear any other solutions for the budget problem. If we don't pay for it now, it's just going to get worse."
George Tweedy, Kenai resident for 42 years: "I think the city needs to raise the mill rate. That way more people in the city would be paying for (the budget). We ran in the red 30 years ago and it took 10 to 15 years to get out of it. I don't see any use in going back in the red."
Menchie Sibayan, Kenai resident for 11 years: "I'm opposed to raising the mill rate. There's way too many taxes already. The city should carefully consider which programs needs more support."
Tami Vincent, Kenai resident for 27 years: "I really don't think they need to raise any more property taxes. I think they take enough money from us. They tax our money when we make it, they tax our money when we buy things with it, they tax our money when we own land with it. I think there's enough money floating around in the city council (to cut). I'm not seeing many benefits out of all the money we're paying."
Tanya Garrett, Kenai resident for 18 years: "I think the whole idea of society is to be involved. If you really have an opinion, you should be at the council meeting to help decide. I'm not very big into the political scene here, I'd have to spend time researching it. ... You're going to have to pay for (the budget) somehow. If you cut services, people really frown on that.
Tory Sandoz, Kenai resident for eight years: "There's always seems room somewhere to cut the budget. Running at a deficit is not a good idea -- it's expensive (and) it just causes more problems. I think the less government, the more freedom people have. Every time the city has some kind of project they say, 'Let's do a survey for this or investigation into that.' I think that a lot of those things could be cut. The community can provide for those things vs. having the government monitor these things and tax the people."
Paulette Souza, Kenai resident for 19 years: "I think the city employees should take a pay cut. I think we pay enough as it is, really."
Manuel Prentice, Kenai resident for 27 years: "Why have we been spending money on all these perks? Then (the community) has to pay for subsidizing it. Like the visitor's center, we're in the hole on it. (There should be) no more of that kind of spending. ... Nobody can spend more than they earn. You don't have to be a politician or brain surgeon to figure that out. Do some budget cuts, streamline our spending, then, if necessary, raise taxes."
Joseph Mulholland, Kenai resident for nine years: "I think our police and fire service is pretty top-notch. If (cuts) are going to hurt the people who will need the services the most, I'm not for that."
Harry Bodey, Kenai resident for three years: "There's a lot of wasted money around. (The city) keeps putting on new programs and new programs and expects the people to pay for them. They get money for these things then the people have to maintain them. I think they should review everything (in the budget). They have to say, 'Why did we get in this situation?' If I were in business, I wouldn't be bailed out by the people, I would bail myself out."
Shea Cunningham, Kenai resident for one year: "You have to conserve, not spend as much during the year. If they would cut back on the budget it would benefit everyone. The more conservative you are (in spending) the better it is for everyone. (Then) if you have to raise taxes, so be it."
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