District 7, Brent Johnson: Assembly can find smarter ways to cut

Posted: Sunday, October 03, 2010

Occupation: Commercial Fisherman

Previous political experience: KPB Planning Commission 1996-2010.

1. Would you have voted to introduce the CPGH Inc. letter of intent ordinance? Why or why not?

Not with my current knowledge. Had I been on the Assembly and sat in on their meetings with the CPGH, I might know something grandiose. As it is, I wonder how they got so far off track as to spend $500,000 of your money for a purpose that appears contrary to the residents of the central peninsula.

2. Should a borough manager be hired? Why or why not?

Not now. Hiring someone trained for the job has merit, but the authority of such a manager needs to be defined. The ballot gives the KPB one year to define and hire a manager. Let's do this the other way. Let's carefully describe the power of a proposed manager, and then vote on whether we want one.

3. Should property tax rates be lowered, raised or remain the same?

Property taxes and the sales tax should balance the budget and maintain a reserve. If coffers are headed for "the red," and the budget can't be cut, we should raise taxes.

4. How do you feel about the prepared food sales tax exemption?

I'm against it. Since I voted against the non-prepared food sales tax exemption, I can hardly be in favor of expanding it. The modified sales tax has led to lost services, which many people don't like. Let's find smarter ways to cut the budget. For instance, if we fixed the school roofs proposed by proposition 1 with cash instead of bonds, we could save about $350,000.

5. What's the value of local government?

Oh boy! A philosophical question. Local government wallows in value. We manage schools, levy taxes, protect rivers, maintain roads, process trash and promote liberties while defending all citizens from injustice. And work to contribute gainfully to the State of Alaska and to the United States.

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