Pat Porter has an optimistic outlook for the city of Kenai and wants to help make her view for the city's future a reality by being re-elected to the city council.
"From here on out I think the outlook is positive for Kenai," she said.
Porter has been a council member for the last four years and is running for re-election to one of the two, three-year seats up for grabs in the election.
"I've always been involved in the community and want to continue to be as long as I make this my home," she said.
Porter, 58, has been a resident of Kenai for 34 years. She and her husband, Larry, raised two kids here. She has been the director of the Kenai Senior Citizens Center and the chair of the local Girl Scouts organization, and currently substitute teaches at Kenai Central High School, is the president of the Kenai Peninsula United Way's board of directors, is involved in local beautification projects and volunteers for the senior center.
These experiences have given her management abilities, budget knowledge and personal relations skills that she would bring to the council if re-elected. She also brings ethics, dedication, honesty, openness and approachability to the position, she said
Porter said of the issues that are important to her, economic development in the city is high on her list. Along those lines, she is interested in bringing a more stable retail base into the community, as well as promoting local industries.
"We need to assist with the stabilization and expansion of gas, oil, fishing and tourism industries," she said.
"That's what keeps our community going so we can have all the retail things we need."
Other issues of interest to her are getting the Kenai Coastal Trail and bluff stabilization project competed, improvements to city parks, having an updated library, getting the Kenai Recreation Center back open and business development at the Kenai Municipal Airport.
Though the city was hit with hard financial times last fiscal year, with the closing of Big Kmart, lowered interest rates, rising insurance costs and state funding cuts, among other things, Porter said she thinks things are looking up for the city.
"The city's finances are actually in really good shape," she said. "I think the council worked hard to keep them that way. The council in the past was conservative in the way they spent taxpayers' money."
If re-elected, she does not favor further increasing taxes and hopes that some of the cuts to the budget that were made while she was on council may be reversed.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to add back the services that have been decreased, like library hours and dust control, that actually affect citizens," Porter said.
Since Porter believes in a balanced budget, she said other administrative cuts, like in the city's travel budget, should stay cut. In general when faced with tight financial times, the council should always been looking for ways to trim the budget that won't directly affect residents, she said.
"I think we should work toward giving our community the quality of life level the residents in Kenai deserve, with an updated library, good streets, safety and parks and rec programs."
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