Sturman wants to control spending, turn to private sector

Posted: Monday, September 27, 2004

Residence: 136 Riverview, Soldotna

Mail address: P.O. Box 513, Soldotna, AK 99669

Phone: 252-0100

Age: 66

Years in Alaska: 39

Family: Married, two children

Occupation: Self-employed

Education: High school

Previous elected office: N/A

Organizations: Elks Lodge Soldotna, Alaska Voters Organization

1. Why do you want to be on the assembly?

Because spending is getting out of hand. Labor costs are going up too fast. As an example, in the current contract, the assessor's pay goes up $25,348 between 2002 and 2007. (According to the borough Office of Human Resources, increases are tied to the Anchorage Consumer Price index, and future annual increases over the course of the current contract that ends June 30, 2007, cannot be known. However, between July 1, 2002, and July 1, 2004, the assessor's pay rose $4,626.)

2. What do you see as the three most important issues facing the assembly and the borough?

Spending is the biggest. Another is that there are way too many ordinances, rules and regulations. There are too many employees, one for every 240 people.

3. What place should the borough's fund balance play in borough finances? Is it too large? Too small?

It is still way too big, but we shouldn't be spending it just to get it down. The assembly should say the mill rate will be X amount and tell the borough how much it has to spend. The way it is now, the borough employees say, "This is what we want to spend, now give us the money." The mill rate should be set before the budget is even written.

4. What should the borough be doing to attract business and industry to the area and create jobs that it isn't already doing?

The borough shouldn't do anything. That is for private sector businesses only. The borough should have a low sales tax and low property taxes. That will attract business.

5. What should the borough be doing to protect the environment that it isn't already doing?

Nothing more than it is already doing. There are enough rules and regulations now. In my opinion, the bark beetle problem is there because of the environmentalists. In 1970s, there was a move to cut trees and spray with DDT up near Cooper Landing. Environmentalists sued and hollered, so the bark beetle spread.

6. What is your position on Proposition 1, which would increase the residential real property tax exemption?

I don't see that it will do anything while the borough is spending like it is spending. It's only about $70 a house. If the borough turns around and taxes someone else to pay my part of the bill, I don't see any advantage.

7. Why do you support or oppose Proposition 5 regarding expansion of the fire service area into the Funny River area?

I don't have any say one way or another. It's up to folks in the area. Whatever those people want to do is fine with me.

8. What are three ways you differ from your opponent?

I am a true conservative. I don't know Mike (Swan). I do know Pete (Sprague). He tried to cut the budget a little bit, but in my opinion, he hasn't worked hard enough at it. We have no choice. We must cut the budget considerably or we'll be taxed really bad in the future.

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