Moss: Growing population means more land-use conflicts

Posted: Friday, September 27, 2002

Incumbent Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Chris Moss of Homer is running unopposed for re-election to the new assembly District 8 seat.

The 48-year-old commercial fisher and kennel operator has served on the assembly since 1999. He is a member of the North Pacific Fisheries Association, United Fishermen of Alaska and Kach-emak Bay Family Planning.

Asked what the borough might do to lure new business here that it isn't already doing, Moss said it is a tough question to answer.

"The borough already has a diverse economy that is less susceptible to downturns" than single-industry economies, he said.

He favors supporting existing businesses as much as trying to entice others here. He said one way to help all business would be to make sure borough regulations are easy to understand and administer.

He would prefer the use of tax deferments for new businesses rather than outright tax breaks. Once businesses are on their feet, deferred taxes should be paid.

"It is important that everyone pay his or her fair share," he said.

Moss said he believes the borough and the assembly have been responsive to the public, but it sometimes is hard for people bringing issues before the body if there may be counter opinions.

"It's a matter of balance," he said. "It is important that we hear from more people, that we get a lot of input so we can produce the best ordinances we can."

Should the state propose a statewide sales tax, the borough should vigorously oppose it, even if an income tax is the alternative, Moss said.

While it is true a sales tax captures revenue from tourists, an income tax would tax Outside workers. A sales tax atop those of the borough and cities would be hard on peninsula businesses, he said.

Moss said he thinks the assembly has shown responsiveness to the public's roads needs by funding roads at a higher level. With help from the state, more borough roads could be brought up to standards, he said.

"On education funding, we are maxed out," meaning local funding can't be raised easily, he said. "We need more state help."

He said the borough couldn't escape its responsibility to meet the growing solid waste demands.

Moss said one of his biggest concerns is facing the problems associated with a growing population, which brings with it a growing number of land-use conflicts.

"We must balance uses of borough land," he said. "It is time for more land-use planning. I hate the 'Z' word. Everyone does."

The borough is growing and zoning may be an unavoidable growing pain, he said, adding he's not afraid to look at the word.

Moss was born in Seward. He has lived in Alaska all his life. He is married, and he and his wife, Patricia, have one child.

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