Dear Mayor Anderson and Soldotna City Council Members,
We respectfully request that you vote no on appropriating any funds for exploring, researching and/or implementing any and all action towards annexation. The borough residents adamantly opposed annexation from 2005-2008. That sentiment has not changed, in fact it has only strengthened and united the overwhelming majority of borough residents. Each meeting that goes by without a definitive decision on whether to keep pushing this forward or to terminate all annexation attempts, causes everyone an enormous amount of fear, stress and anxiety.
These feelings propel us to take action. We have formed an association, Borough Residents Against Annexation that is 100 percent against any and all attempts towards annexation. Our membership has grown rapidly in a very short time. In addition, we have gathered over 1,000 signatures on petitions by volunteers who have gone door to door in their neighborhoods and we are gathering more each and every day.
The emotional costs suffered due to the 2005-2008 annexation attempts were long term and unforgiving. That toll will pale in comparison to this time around.
City Manager Dixson’s memo of April 6 titled “Annexation Public Input Process & Economic Study” states, “The appropriation will allow for the development of a public process to solicit public concerns and issues, to share information and to explore ideas about possible ways to resolve issues.”
Borough Residents Against Annexation has already done the legwork and can save the taxpayers the $150,000 proposed cost of this study. We have developed a public process, have solicited public concerns and have shared this information with you, all at no cost to the City. Since you have received this information over the course of the last several weeks, it appears that if you vote to go forward with the study, you have another agenda than the one stated in the memo.
We, as borough residents and residents of the City of Soldotna, like to think of each other as neighbors. When we treat each other as good neighbors, we thrive as a community. Soldotna is a great town with some great people and businesses in it. It has the ability and creativity to live within its boundaries and still be very sustainable. I encourage all of you to find a much better way to spend the $150,000 to enhance and further sustain the city instead of using it to begin a long war pitting borough residents against the city.
The mayor and two city council members were quoted in the last meeting saying that if they felt that borough residents stated they were not in favor of annexation, they, in good conscience, could not and would not support annexation. I feel that our group has brought forth sufficient evidence to help the rest of you make that same decision. If not, please advise us what additional information you may need to, once and for all, cease any attempts towards annexation.
We encourage borough residents to attend the next Soldotna City Council meeting to be held on May 13th, at 6 p.m. at the Soldotna City Hall, where the city will be taking public comments pertaining to annexation.
Brian Olson, President