Thank you for providing the opportunity for me to serve as your assemblyman from 1976-1982, as your state senator from 1982-1992, and again as your assemblyman from 1998-2004. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue working for you on the assembly.
As 35-year residents of Kasilof, my wife, Joyce, and I have been privileged to raise our nine children on the Kenai Peninsula.
We have had the opportunity to succeed in our own small businesses, from the Golden Nugget Bakery of yesteryear to the present ownership of Alaska Wholesale Distributors Inc. and Memorable Moments in Kasilof. The operation of these small businesses has provided me with insight into the needs for stable economic development in an orderly and quality-of-life enhancing manner.
I believe the most important issue for a candidate is that they be open to listening and hearing what their constituents are saying. My record has shown I am such a representative. I have always been only a phone call away at 262-9269 or open to a personal visit.
Some current issues before the assembly:
a. Experience does count! While the finances of the borough remain in good condition, it is tempting to fund every request that comes before the assembly. During the 1980s the state Legislature fell victim to the same temptation. Now it is difficult to withdraw that support from the projects as state revenues fall. I do not want the borough to leave the same legacy to future citizens.
b. Frequently, we hear about citizens giving up on voting or testifying before the assembly. We need to encourage them back into the process. When they vote, we need to honor that vote. A current example is the homeowners' exemption. If the electorate vote to increase the exemption from $10,000 to $20,000, I will work to assure that the full $20,000 is implemented. Secondly, while there has been improvement in the afternoon meetings in that the assembly does not traditionally meet as a full body, I would like to see all the assembly work done in the evening. This would assure that working people could not only attend the meetings, but also enable them to serve on the assembly.
c. I would like to see more affordable land made available, enabling our young people an opportunity to put down roots and putting that land on the tax rolls.
d. Protection of the senior citizen property tax exemption is important. These citizens have already lost their longevity bonus; they do not also need to lose this tax exemption.
e. Economic development continues to be on the front burner. We need to:
a. Establish what kind and how much economic growth is compatible with the lifestyle many have moved here to enjoy.
b. Keep a low and consistent tax base that will entice businesses looking for stability.
c. Provide a strong education system that will provide educated citizens to provide a strong work force.
d. Assist our established businesses to remain viable; a good example is the fish-branding project.
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