Sign placement a poke in the eye

Posted: Monday, September 27, 2010

I acknowledge the right of a landowner to put up a sign supporting the candidate or cause of their choosing. However, I sometimes question the wisdom and motivation of doing so. Case in point here is the large "Porter for Mayor" sign on Dr. Todd Wortham's future office site across from Kenai High.

That lot was at the center of a bruising year-long battle between the MAPS neighborhood and the City of Kenai. It was a battle which MAPS won, but at a large financial and emotional cost to many residents and friends of the neighborhood. Victory does not automatically heal all wounds; so when that sign went up on that spot, it felt like a poke in the eye to many of us.

I question the wisdom of the "I'll be a good neighbor" dentist in allowing the sign. He got his permit to build last spring, with the support of the neighborhood. The same permit we had encouraged him to get all along. Why the lot is still empty, I don't know.

I question the motivation of Mayor Porter in placing the sign in that particular location. Her's is one of the names most associated with the City's rezoning effort which was opposed by nearly 100 percent of the MAPS residents and 57 percent of city-wide voters. She was one of the four council votes to spend 15,000 taxpayer dollars to influence the vote (Ord. 2423-2009 4th Whereas). She calls it money for "educating" the voters.

I do not question the Mayor's devotion to Kenai or the good that she has accomplished during her two terms. However, that devotion does not automatically give her the right to push her agenda(s) at the exclusion of other points of view. I have supported her in the past, but will be voting for a new style of leadership this time around.

Mark Schrag, Kenai

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