Murphy: Experience will be a benefit on Assembly

Posted: Sunday, October 03, 2010

This Tuesday, you will have the opportunity to vote for a new representative to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. Because of term limits, the assembly is losing three members with a combined wealth of institutional knowledge. This loss makes it even more important to elect leaders with experience, with knowledge of how the system works and with personal and professional contacts locally and statewide. I believe I am that candidate.

I have nearly 25 years experience as the chief legislative appointee of two local governments, serving for 16 years as the City Clerk in Seward and 8 years as the Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk. For the past 15 years, I have coordinated and provided training to newly elected officials on behalf of the Alaska Municipal League. Although I retired from my borough position in 2005, I have continued to work with City Councils and Assemblies around the state providing effective meetings and Open Meetings Act training to elected and appointed officials. For the past 2-1/2 years I have served on the Borough Planning Commission representing the City of Soldotna.

In addition to my record of public service, I have extensive experience in the private sector, acting as business manager for my husband's construction company since we moved to Soldotna 13 years ago. This has given me a real understanding of the challenges facing small business owners in our community.

Small businesses are the backbone of any community, and it is important that local government do everything it can to make the business environment one that will foster growth and a stable economy. The central peninsula has what most people look for when deciding to relocate: A pristine environment, great schools, excellent medical facilities, a myriad of recreational outlets, and low taxes. The one thing we need to address is access to a reliable source of energy to meet the needs of business and industry. Although the borough can't do this alone, we should be working with the state and other local governments to foster not only continued exploration for gas and oil, but development of renewal energy sources including wind, solar and tidal generation. In addition, we should be providing support to the Economic Development District so that it can do the job it was created to do.

My opponent has said that he will bring a fresh perspective to the assembly and that he "thinks outside the box." Having experience does not preclude one from having fresh, new ideas. And, before one can "think outside the box," it is necessary to define that box, and that does take experience.

My promise to you is to listen to both sides of each issue, to do my homework, to ask the tough questions, and to always vote with the best interests of the borough in mind.

Please exercise your right to vote on October 5th.

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