Trails important to quality of life; don't obliterate them

Posted: Monday, September 29, 2003

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley's new slogan is "Obliterate Existing Trails." This slogan obviously expresses Bagley's philosophy toward the quality of life in the borough.

This slogan first came to light at the Sept. 24 Cooper Landing Advisory Planning Commis-sion meeting to discuss a proposed subdivision plat. The plat was handed out at the meeting by borough staff. In the center of the plat were the words "Obliterate Existing Trails."

Cooper Landing is proud of the variety of its local trails, with some connecting to national trails. Trails are an integral part of the Cooper Landing Comprehensive Land Use Plan approved by the borough assembly.

One trail bordered lots in the proposed subdivision. Borough staff stated that Bagley wanted the trail obliterated because it would affect the view of the future property owners. What Bagley fails to understand is that the views in Cooper Landing are up to the mountains not down to the ground.

By obliterating the trail, Bagley added a total of five acres spread across nine proposed lots. Why? More money. Obliviously, Bagley believes that eliminating a quality of life attraction increases the value of property.

Many have had questions about the philosophy of a mayor with a real estate background. And the new "Obliterate Existing Trails" campaign begins to show clear, disturbing answers.

Phil Weber , Cooper Landing

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