Knopp: Getting back on track

Candidate Views, Assembly District 1

Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Vision for the Kenai Peninsula

My vision for the Kenai Peninsula is one in which when visitors come to visit they would be envious of the people who live here. They would hate to have to go home and can’t wait to return. It would be a place where recreational opportunities abound and residents have a variety of places to choose from for family outings and a little quality family time without having to deal with the summer crowds.

It would be a place where our kids could get a good education, have the option of university or vocational training after high school and have employment opportunities right here at home. A place where teachers could teach without barriers or having to worry about buying supplies for the classroom out of personal funds or receiving pink slips at the end of the school year.

It would also be a place where seniors wouldn’t have to worry about paying their tax bills and all residents would not have to listen to the gloom and doom of borough finances day in and day out.

Making the vision a reality

Let’s get this budget issue under control. A good start to this is by voting no on prop 2 on October 3rd.

Then, let’s focus on some sort of revenue enhancements to offset the cost of running the borough government. Cost of operating government will always increase with time, without revenue enhancements the only way to fund this is with new taxes.

(For the record, I generally do not support new taxes. I find a small increase now seems to be necessary to get us back on track and will help keep the school district funded appropriately).

I would then focus my attention on planning, land use issues: do we want our residential, recreational, commercial, retail, industrial areas defined or intertwined?

We need to diversify our economy — we are currently too dependent on oil and gas and tourism. We need to identify, define and discuss problems, concerns and incentives for tourism, manufacturing, oil and gas, vocational training. How do we attract new businesses and which ones are good for the peninsula?

The peninsula is in a state of slow steady growth. It has been for years and will continue to be. One cannot just sit back and let it happen without guiding it in the right direction.

Questions I wish voters were asking and my answers

I would hope that the residents would ask me questions every day and also share their thoughts and ideas. I don’t know all the questions and I will know even fewer answers.

It is this type of interaction that is needed to keep us thinking and asking questions. Helping to steer a local government is not done by a few elected people with their own personal agendas. It needs to be done with input from all the citizens. It is the only way that elected officials know they are serving the wishes of the people who put them in that position to do exactly that. ( I will need people to be informed and involved).

Why people should vote for me

I hope people would vote for me because I am a solid thinker. I have a rational mind which is needed on the Assembly as the decisions that are made affect everyone in the Borough. I do have experience managing a large budget and several years of listening to employee concerns. I have no problem in putting aside my own views if the indications are that the majority of constituents disagree with my position.

I want to thank you for considering me for the Borough Assembly District 1 seat. I would encourage you to contact me at 283-9494 or on my cell 252-4457 so you can get to know your candidate. It has been the cornerstone of our entire campaign that people get to know who will be representing them and not just be voting for a name. I would really appreciate your support on October 3rd. Please get out and vote.

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