Boyle: Room for development, but keep city's future in mind

City of Kenai

Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Name: Mike Boyle

Age: 54

Occupation: Teacher

Family: Mick, Mackenzie, Bryce and Gabe

Education: M. Ed Cambridge College, B.S. St. Cloud State University

Organizations and special interests: Moose, Elks

Previously held elected office: Kenai City Council

1. How much more commercial development should Kenai encourage? Is it wiser to lease city property to retailers or should the land be sold?

The city of Kenai certainly has room for development. However, I feel it is important that as we look at development within the city we keep a picture of the future in mind. Development within the city should be based on a plan that gives consideration to what we want Kenai to look like ten, twenty and even fifty years from now.

I believe that the needs of Kenai citizens are best served when commercial city owned land is leased. Long-term leases generate a steady income for present and future citizens yet allows for businesses to take possession of the land for decades as necessary to accommodate their business. Leases also allow for the city to maintain the best interests of the citizens in the management of its most important asset, in perpetuity.

2. What kind of development should be done on the bluff in conjunction with the planned bluff erosion abatement project?

With the possible exception of a Coastal Trail, which could possibly be integrated into the project, I do not see the bluff erosion abatement project as one that would be done in conjunction with the development of this area.

3. What can Kenai do to get the Kenai River off the impaired water body list? Is enough being done already?

Ultimately it must take the actions of other state and federal organizations to establish regulations and standards for the use of the river. This issue is on the forefront now because not enough has been done to acknowledge and address the problem.

I think the role the city should have is to put pressure on the organizations to work together in the interest of solving the problems that exist with the river. A plan must be developed that will serve all user groups of the river with fairness. It will never be a more important time than now to make wise decisions regarding the Kenai River. The Kenai River is for all people to enjoy and should be for years to come.

4. How can the city better manage the dipnet fishery?

From my perspective, the city has done a fine job in managing the dipnet fishery in spite of the ever-changing conditions. Problems that inconvenience neighbors and users such as smoke and noise on the neighborhood beaches and traffic at the boat ramp should be addressed. This should result in the employment of temporary help at the dock and on the beaches in the form of traffic direction and code enforcement.

Better management of the dipnet fishery will come with the experience and the adjustment of the system in place as the need for which things need improvement becomes clear.

5. Will televising council meetings improve communications between the city and its residents?

I believe that the city should use any means of keeping the public informed that is available. I think that televising meetings as well as making them available on the Internet, both delayed and live and even radio broadcasting is a positive step in the direction of citizen involvement. It is government's responsibility to keep the citizen informed as much as it is the responsibility of the citizen to be informed.

I have heard said that citizens do not care about what goes on at the meetings of the Council, thus broadcasting council meetings is a waste of resources. I do not believe this. I think people care about city business as much as many of the things that make up our busy daily lives. Why would anyone not want to broadcast the city's meeting by any means available?

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