Hundreds respond to Gov-Elect Murkowski's Town Meetings

Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2002

It was reported by an Anchorage TV station that 50 some people showed up at Governor-elect Murkowski's Town Meeting in Anchorage, but almost four times that number turned out last week at the organizational Town Meeting held at the Kenai Senior Center.

The meeting was the first step in identifying issues important to local residents and preparing detailed recommendations for the Murkowski transition team. The issues were divided into six categories, natural resources, human resources, public safety, transportation, revenue, and education.

Local community members with experience in each of the six areas were appointed to serve on the committees and take public comment and suggestions. The committees began their work by responding to a list of questions submitted by the new administration's transitional team. Each committee planned subsequent public meetings to finalize a written report to be submitted to the Governor following his December 2nd inauguration. Committees were also able to compare and comment on the work of other regional teams throughout the State.



Joe Arness, Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board member, served on the education issues committee, "We're trying to get across to the new Governor some of the problems we have in the district relative to how the State does business relative to the education standpoint," said Arness.

According to Arness a local priority is for the Governor to take a look at the funding formula and add some logic and fairness to the formula that would reflect the realities in the state, "That would have an enormous impact through out the state, and certainly to our district. I'm very proud of our community and have been truly impressed by the turnout of people and quality of effort that is going into this process. I hope the Governor will take heed to what is being said here, because that will really encourage people to continue to participate and help to make our state a better place," said Arness.

The education committee focused primarily on K-12 while having consensus on investment in higher education, but not at the expense of K-12 education.

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