Reader weighs power of mayor, assembly

Posted: Friday, July 03, 2009

I would like to take a moment to weigh in on the issue of having a strong, elected Borough Mayor that is hired by the voters, or a manager that is appointed by the Borough Assembly.

As a former Soldotna City Mayor, I had the opportunity of serving my community as a strong mayor prior to the city changing to a strong manager form of government.

I am a firm believer in the fact that you should keep your elected officials as close to the voters as possible. I am also one that believes that the voters can and will remove anyone from office should there be a need to do so.

Although there have been many Borough Mayors over the years the community as a whole has made the decisions as to who was going to serve them by simply placing their vote at election time. Some of those that have served have been Democrats and some of them have been Republicans but all of them were elected by the voters in the Borough.

It is my belief that should the voters truly want to change the way that business is being done at the Borough they have a vehicle to do just that by obtaining enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot.

It is my belief that although I might not have agreed with some of the former Borough Mayors, I do feel that they did the job that they believed they were elected to do. I believe that they served in an honorable fashion serving the voters of the Borough.

In many elections the voters voice their concerns by removing an elected Mayor from office. That would not happen if the Borough Assembly were to have the power to appoint a Borough Manager. It would be their appointment as well as their decision as to who that person would be, not that of the voter.

In closing I would like say that I strongly support the current method of running the Borough with a strong Mayor form of government since I can also work hard to remove him or her should they not meet the standards that I would want in an elected official.

Keep the voters in the process! Don't allow a handful of people to be able to control both the executive and legislative branches of government.

Alaska is unique in the fact that we can have the opportunity to vote for a strong Mayor that will lead our communities through some very difficult times ahead.

Tom Bearup

Former Soldotna Mayor

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