Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Everyone in school district should be working toward same goal

A comment on school contract negotiations: It is apparent from the number of write-in votes generated against me for issuing a response to the nonconfidence vote against Dr. Peterson that tension is high and that settling the school contracts needs to be done soon.

I was pleased that a quality candidate like Mrs. Wassilie was chosen, but disappointed that she was pulled into a political dispute. Apparently the term "nonprofessional" in the response was offensive. It was never intended to imply that the employees were not professional in their jobs, only that in my opinion this vote was in poor taste. I apologize if it was taken otherwise.

There is anger over Mr. Putney's negotiating tactics. While he was hired to do the human resources job, not for negotiations, he did have experience in that area. We as a board did concur with him being our negotiator. Obviously we, like the employees, felt his tactics were unacceptable for the Kenai, and he was replaced as spokesman.

An apology for his behavior was issued by Dr. Peterson to the union leaders in May of this year. Apparently that has not been disseminated, so I will again publicly apologize for the problems he created in negotiations.

In my opinion, it is madness to have such dissension between the board (who are mostly teachers or families of teachers), the administrators (who are former teachers) and the current teachers and support employees.

We should all be working for the same goal.

I am hopefully and actually optimistic that a resolution will be reached in mediation. I am concerned that it will take much longer to restore a sense of trust and to soothe the anger and animosity that some have expressed.

Nels Anderson

Kenai Peninsula Borough school board


Sponsor of attack ad must think people in Nikiski are idiots

This letter is in response to the recent two-page attack ad by Kenai residents against Jerry Ward.

All it consists of are old charges dug up from past campaigns in an attempt to personally slander Mr. Ward right before an election. Some of these charges are over a decade old. Since the people of Nikiski have repeatedly re-elected Mr. Ward since these charges have come up, Ron Johnson must consider us idiots to believe such tactics will work now. It was Mr. Johnson who brought up the residency question before the last primary when his business partner, Joe Arness, was running against Ward, and told us that he was only doing it as a concerned citizen.

Mr. Johnson, I might have been born at night, but it wasn't last night.

Bill Irwin


Political sour grapes fuel attack ad against Jerry Ward

Advertisement: Two-page salvo in the Peninsula Clarion on Oct. 11.

Ronald J. Johnson's business partner and close friend, Joe Arness, lost his bid to unseat Sen. Jerry Ward in the Aug. 27 primary election:

Jerry Ward: 55 percent

Joe Arness: 40 percent

Raymond P. VinZant: 5 percent

Ronald J. Johnson, lost his bid for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 1 seat on Oct. 1 to John C. Davis:

John C. Davis: 65 percent

Ronald J. Johnson: 34 percent

Write-in Votes: 1 percent

On Oct. 8, the permanent fund dividends were out to families opting for direct deposit. Subsequently, on Oct. 11, Jim Heim a news reporter for a local radio station attempted to have Mr. Johnson disclose the membership of "Kenai Peninsula Citizens for Honest Government" and their contribution list. Mr. Johnson as chairman of the group considered both the membership and the source of the contributions privileged information.

Looks to us like Mr. Johnson utilized over $3,000 in direct deposit of family permanent fund dividends to fuel the two-page salvo advertisement in the Peninsula Clarion because he is unwilling to disclose the source funding and membership.

Two recent political election losses on Aug. 27 and Oct. 1 represent the political sour grape plasma fueling the two-page salvo advertisement in the Peninsula Clarion in our opinion.

Bill and Samon Arnold


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