Propositions face Kenai, Soldotna voters

Posted: Friday, October 03, 2008

The central Kenai Peninsula cities of Soldotna and Kenai each have one proposition going before their local voters in Tuesday's Regular Municipal Election.

Soldotna voters are being asked if they want a municipal cemetery built on city property next to the Mooring by the River Subdivision in the vicinity of the west end of Redoubt Avenue and Riverwatch Drive.

Kenai is asking voters if they would be in favor of exempting municipal officers and candidates for municipal office from state financial disclosure requirements, and instead requiring the officials to comply with disclosure mandates of the Kenai Municipal Code.

Last year, a Soldotna Memorial Park Task Force recommended the cemetery be built on a tract of land in the Crystalline Subdivision, which came to be known as the Redoubt property.

After hearing from a number of Mooring by the River property owners opposed to having the cemetery next to their high-end neighborhood, the city council voted instead to put the cemetery on city-owned land on the outskirts of town near the east end of the Soldotna Municipal Airport.

A group of people favoring the Redoubt site, including some members of the task force, petitioned to have the location put to a vote of Soldotna residents.

The ballot proposition seeks approval of Initiative Resolution 2008-01, recommending to the city council that the cemetery be located in the Crystalline Subdivision, pending a full site evaluation, and that the evaluation begin immediately.

The vote would be advisory only. The city council would not be bound by the voters' wishes.

In Kenai, civic leaders would like voter approval to have municipal officers and candidates for city office be exempt from complying with financial disclosure requirements passed by the Alaska Legislature this year.

The state requires city officers to report the amount of income over $1,000, as well as income of family members, and the source of the income. Current city law requires the sources of income to be reported, but not the amount of income over $1,000.

The municipal code mandates filing a report of financial and business interests of the city officers as well as of their spouses, dependent children and non-dependent children residing with them.

City disclosure reports are available to the public upon request to the city clerk. The state intends to put the financial information on its Internet site.

State law allows individual cities to be exempt if a majority of voters approve the exemption.

According to the Alaska Public Offices Commission, about one-half of Alaska's 200 communities have voted to be exempt from the state disclosure requirements.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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