Cohesive trail system a worthy goal

Posted: Thursday, September 30, 2010

My name is Terry Bookey and I work as a Firefighter and Paramedic with Central Emergency Services. Born and raised in Kenai, it is now where I have chosen to raise my own family. My wife, Jessica, and I have three children ages 17, 9, and 7. After some time in Washington for college I realized that Kenai is where I wanted to remain permanently.

I am a long-time patron of city services; starting with the playgrounds and sports fields I used as a child, enjoying a wide variety of programs at the Recreation Center as I moved through adolescence, finding a new appreciation for the beauty of our parks and trails as I entered adulthood, and introducing my children to the library and playgrounds I loved as a child as I settled into parenthood. In addition to my knowledge and use of city services I spent nearly 10 years as a full time employee of the City of Kenai. I started in 1996 as the Parks and Grounds Keeper for the Parks and Recreation Department. In 2002 I transferred to the Kenai Fire Department where I worked as a Firefighter and EMT until 2006. It was during my time working for the City of Kenai that not only was my interest in running for City Council sown, but also when I fully realized the pride I held for my home town. I saw this pride reflected in, among other things, the delight experienced by the visitors to our parks, and in the joy of the children that toured the fire station.

As I canvassed the neighborhoods of Kenai for this campaign I have been asked several times by good-natured residents if I knew what I was I getting into by running for office. While there may be surprises in store, I am confident in saying that I do have a good idea of the demands of this privilege. I know, for example, that my family and I will be giving up at least 2 nights a month together, and that I will putting myself in a position of receiving the criticisms and judgments of others. These are understandable and manageable concerns when I consider the positive aspects of taking part in City leadership. The unique opportunity to hear from a cross section of residents on the direction of the city, engaging folks in conversation who I wouldn't normally see in my day-to-day routine, and absorbing their ideas and opinions, is one that I will not take for granted. Equally important, as a faithful voter, is the chance to participate in another aspect of one of the greatest rights we have as citizens: the ability to select the people who represent us.

With the recent addition of retail businesses locating in the City, residents have experienced a decrease in property taxes with no accompanied decrease is services, a luxury not afforded to too many other cities. If elected as your Councilperson I will work to continue this pattern; working with city administration to attract year-round business and industry that brings sustainable jobs to our citizens. I will make honoring the significance of historical Kenai a priority. Through collaboration with other leaders I will work towards a goal set forth in the 2003 City of Kenai Comprehensive plan: development of a municipal trail system. This should be accomplished first by identifying and marking trails already in existence followed by the development of new trails with the ultimate goal of a cohesive, connected trail system. I will promote responsible government spending seeing that government dollars are spent only after thoughtful and thorough consideration. But most importantly I pledge to listen to our citizens ensuring an open and collaborative government where decisions are made as partners, not adversaries.

I am asking for your support and your vote on Tuesday October 5th, it will be a pleasure and an honor to serve you, the citizens of Kenai.

I encourage anyone with questions or comments to contact me anytime and I look forward to hearing from the citizens of Kenai. Please visit my website at or call me at 394-8040 for more information.

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