Borough reviews term-limit ballot issue signatures

If OK'd, residents will vote on term limits for assembly, school board

Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2007

Calling it the most challenging petition the group has ever attempted, the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers submitted petition signatures to the borough clerk Wednesday seeking a ballot measure this fall that would limit assembly and school board officials to two terms.

Borough Clerk Sherri Biggs has until Aug. 4 to verify that the collected signatures are registered voters in the borough. Some 1,503 valid signatures are needed to put the measure on the fall municipal ballot.

"This petition drive has been one of the most challenging we have ever done," said Vicki Pate, a petition sponsor. "We had an extremely short window of time to collect the signatures required on each petition so that they would be placed on this October's ballot."

According to Ninilchik resident Ruby Kime, the initiative's prime sponsor, some 3,906 signatures were collected during what she called "a busy, but well orchestrated 16-day window." She said there should be enough signatures to allow for some rejections and still have enough to send the initiative to the voters.

Not everything connected with the signature drive was challenging, one sponsor said.

"In some ways, this was one of the easiest petitions we have ever collected signatures for," said Petria Falkenberg, of Kenai. "Most people were very supportive of term limits. It was not uncommon for people to come looking for us wanting to sign the petitions."

Ed Martin, of Cooper Landing, also a petition sponsor, noted that term limits had been law after 1992 and 1993, but subsequent action by the assembly repealed them in 1999 before anyone had actually been limited out by the ordinance.

"Recent events have shown us that new faces and ideas are needed at all levels of government," said Fred Sturman, a petition sponsor. "Maybe we should look at term limits at the state Legislature next."

Hal Spence can be reached at hspence@ptialaska.net.



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