Kenai mayor apparently has forgotten how he got elected

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I recently returned from out of state to face Clarion headlines, "Council wants commissioner booted"!

First, I am not aware of the entire Kenai Recreation Center controversy which involved the Kenai mayor, the Boys and Girls Club and the Parks and Recreation Commission. Embarrassingly, I do not claim to be an expert on the matter, and I am perhaps even a bit ill-informed, knowing only what I read in the paper. Also, I regret not having had any idea who the commissioner was nor was I ever aware of who actually served on the commission.

However, after reading the Sunday headlines, I got an infected feeling in my stomach, leaving me with the impression that if you are a commissioner, you better be a spineless, weak, kiss-butt, undetermined, fragile, irresolute, sapless, yes man who is not entitled to express his opinion or a firm commitment!

Dissension, defiance and sometimes even mutiny is about the only tool available in this modern-day political arena and here we see an excellent example of how "power" and the so called small-town "powerful authority figures" throw their weight around.

Since when does being diametrically opposed to the philosophy of any civic group suggest resignation?

Who will keep those so-called silver-tongued, elegant, rhetoric leaders in check? You know, those that have the ability to wisely quote just about everything such as Section 2-4, Council Powers; Section 4-6, Removal, etc. of Officers and Employees; and finally Section 4-8.

Who will keep them in check if not the dissenting Hultbergs and others?

It is my opinion and the opinion of many of your silent readers that Mr. Hultberg should have every right to be divisive over the issue. He shouldn't have to comply with the request of the council, and why shouldn't he fan the flames of rhetoric and choose not to serve the will of the very council which appointed him when it goes against his concluded evaluation?

Here is a man who has always wanted to serve the will of the people, not the will of a few council members and the all-omnipotent, attacking mayor. I would feel a lot better if the mayor also had said something positive about Mr. Hultberg, at least complimenting his many years of dedicated service.

Is that not what we have seen happen time and time again from our so-called distinguished, omnipotent powerheads: "Do it the way I say or else!" It truly nauseates me to see Mr. Hultberg's name in print on the front page insinuating that all he gets for years of donated civic service is a slap in the face.

Have we forgotten his faithful 25-year service to this recreational cause? Shame on he who painted this negative picture. Hultberg chose to press upon the community his opinion and I commend him for standing up for what he believes in.

I am appalled to imagine that only a small few and the mayor of a city have the only right to express an opinion. We have seen that happen so many times on so many issues in the past. "Commissioner, roll over and play dead." Not this time, folks!

Congratulations, Mr. Hultberg, whoever you are. We need more people like you to help protect the silent majority and keep a watchful eye on those who forget who they are and who put them in their present position.

Spencer DeVito


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