District 33: Experience counts

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2002

Mel Krogseng, House District 33 Republican

Why every Alaskan should take the time to become informed:

Primary election day, Aug. 27, voters will decide who will be the best person to represent them in the state House and Senate. My name is Mel Krogseng. I have a very unique and diverse background which, I believe, makes me the best candidate to represent the people of House District 33 (Kenai, Soldotna, Ridgeway, Kasilof and points in between).

I have been a resident of Alaska for over 30 years. I am a registered nurse, former Air Force flight nurse and former real estate broker and developer. I have served on many community boards, including Alaskans Care POW/MIA, Blood Bank of Alaska, Mental Health Board, Alaska Sportfishing Association and I have been involved with many programs affecting the Kenai River for the past several years. Since 1984, I have owned and operated a summer tourism business on the Kenai River, and I meet a payroll every year. I know and understand the importance of jobs and a healthy economy.

I have also worked for the Legislature as a committee aide for the Senate Regulation Review Committee and finance aide and chief of staff for the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Additionally, I worked in the executive branch of government as director administrative services for the Department of Corrections overseeing the department budget. Subse-quently, I was appointed deputy commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services over clinical programs. I know how the system works, and I know there are ways to cut the budget without impacting necessary services to the people.

Here on the Kenai as well as around the state, we must work to develop our bountiful natural resources (timber, oil, fisheries, gas, coal and other mineral deposits along with our tourism industry).

This development will in turn produce new jobs. We must work toward establishing value-added products rather than shipping our raw materials to other areas. We must promote a friendly business climate; one with a stable tax policy, a reliable source of energy and a good transportation infrastructure. A climate that will encourage new business to settle here in Alaska and, more particularly, here on the Kenai.

This will establish more jobs. Jobs that pay year-round salaries that will sustain a family in a reasonable quality of life. We must continue our efforts to open ANWR, and we must continue the push to build the gas pipeline. These projects will be good, not only for Alaska, but for the nation.

I give you my solemn pledge that, when elected, I will not vote to impose a state personal income tax nor will I agree to have your dividend used to pay for government. I heard your voice loud and clear two years ago. I believe that the money you earn should stay in your pocket.

I will work hard and I will make certain that your voice is heard on issues that are important to this community. Aug. 27, please ask for the Republican ballot and cast your vote for Mel Krogseng.

Hal Smalley, House District 33 Democrat

With redistricting, Kenai and Soldotna have again been reunited, along with K-Beach and portions of Ridgeway and the Sterling Highway.

While our two cities are unique, our district has many common interests and challenges, such as the health of the Kenai River, interests in transportation, public safety, quality schools and programs and creating safe healthy communities in which to live and raise our families. As dollars get scarcer, working together can have great benefits for both cities and the surrounding areas that make up District 33.

As your representative, I will be truly committed to legislation which adequately funds education from kindergarten through university; develops a long-range fiscal plan that controls spending, closes the deficit, looks for efficiencies in state government, implements new revenue programs, and keeps our Alaska economy healthy; promotes jobs with livable wages and benefits; and legislation that promotes continued development of our natural resources with emphasis on value added, while protecting our unique environment.

Our state needs to work to develop a natural gas pipeline. Additional revenues from mining, timber, fishing and tourism will help to diversify our economy and help the state budget break away from dependence on oil and gas.

My record clearly demonstrates my ability to work for my constituents providing leadership and a strong voice for the concerns of our district and state.

Working with other elected officials, I have accomplished major improvements of local public services without increasing taxpayers' mill rate; leveraged state and federal dollars to increase local city water and sewer projects, as well as completed many local paving projects; consistently responded to individual constituent concerns in a thorough and timely manner; worked for the development the Regional Fire Training Center (PRISM), which has trained over 4,500 local, regional and international firefighters in up-to-date techniques; voted to add $250 million to the permanent fund principal; and worked with BP to establish the pilot Gas-to-Liquid Facility in Nikiski.

I have brought, and will continue to bring, a reasonable, balanced approach to state government. I believe that my previous experience serving on the city council and serving in the state Legislature make me the best-qualified candidate. My strength as a candidate also comes from having a wide spectrum of support that crosses political lines.

My wife, Susan, and I have lived in the area since 1974, and we have a vested interest in what happens in and to our surrounding communities. As I visit with you during my door-to-door campaign, I would be happy to discuss my race and any issues important to you.

My vision is for an Alaska with a sound financial future. Our families should have jobs, quality education and safe and healthy communities in which to live.

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