Borough Assembly

District 3 Nikiski

Posted: Monday, September 24, 2007

Running officially unopposed for the District 3 Assembly seat has been a unique experience for me. Why this has happened; I can only speculate.

Some quarters are moving the message that there exists an entrenched, rubber stamping, undefeatable incumbency at the local level. I suspect their utter belief that the Term Limit Propositions (2&3) will be implemented as written is a factor, hence a ploy to attempt to validate their position pre-election.

Their assumptions need challenging as do their propositions. First, their desired goal to somehow drastically change the alleged Borg-like philosophy of the assembly to a body that: genuflects to their ideals of a financially decimated school district, a borough employee pay scale and (benefit package) commensurate to a Chinese workforce, and creation of a Kenai Peninsula Borough near tax free haven void of services are simply delusional.

The Assembly is and always will be of varied political persuasions. As a point of reference, historically you will find that those representatives from the incorporated areas are typically (not always) more liberal than their counterparts from the outlying areas. I believe this to be more of a reflection than mere coincidence.

Generally, the middle will be found on any given issue, oft times after excessive debate laced with individual political convictions.

The Assembly is decidedly deliberative and plodding on issues of most import. Do we want it differently? Delivery of services at the level desired by the Borough or individual communities (service areas) in the most cost effective affordable manner will always be the norm.

Though term limits may have an effect at the State and Federal level, I question their impact at the local level. I suspect the true agenda to be individually aimed and collectively punitive in purpose.

The linchpins of this agenda could have precluded me from making the foregoing statement by abandoning the retroactive clause. They chose not to, and in so doing have challenged a host of legal decisions, doctrines, and the fundamental right of all citizens to have their votes counted.

Essentially, voters in District 3 could see their votes over ruled and cast aside by other districts if the measure passes. Alaska courts consider retrospective laws as "generally unjust," as they accord neither "with sound legislation nor with the fundamental principles of the social compact." When the purpose of a law is punitive, there is an "absolute prohibition" against applying it retroactively.

Regardless of your inclination to support term limits, there is a deeper agenda here. It's about control. It's about the question of direct vs. representative democracy. Its about wresting what limited power is vested in our Assembly and shuffling it to the will of a faction. Vote prudently, I know I will.

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