Letter: Hutchings has vision for Kenai Peninsula

Hutchings has vision for Kenai Peninsula

I attended Linda Hutchings meet-and-greet last week and I was very impressed.

She believes in tax fairness — she understands that our borough spends a lot of money to provide the infrastructure needed to support the onslaught of tourists who descend on the Kenai during the summer and she favors taxes that focus on our visitors, and that’s only fair to those of us who don’t depend on tourism for our livelihoods.

She also supports the existing borough ordinances that help protect our salmon-bearing waters, though she believes that property-owners deserve an opportunity to file appeals when it makes sense and when it won’t compromise salmon habitat.

One of Linda’s supporters asked her whether or not she favors Proposition 1 and Linda explained that she has many misgivings about marijuana use but she posed this question, “Do you really want to force this industry back underground? Don’t you want it regulated and taxed?”

I explained that the oil industry in Cook Inlet is on life support and that over time, oilfield jobs will continue to decline. I shared my vision of developing new industries centered around harnessing the vast supply of dependable, cheap tidal power in Cook Inlet. Not only could we build tidal powered turbines to generate the electricity we need, but we could also sell these turbines throughout the Pacific Rim — the logistics are perfect. We have the engineers, technicians, welders, fabricators and other skilled workers we’d need in these industries. And wouldn’t you like to see your HEA bill cut in half? If we could generate electricity at a wholesale cost of two cents per kilowatt, this might be a possibility.

Inexpensive electricity could help us expand agriculture and perhaps manufacturing activities. It would also help small business people. Linda seemed very interested in this concept.

Linda has given a lot to our community through her service on boards and commissions and she is a successful business woman. She knows how to dissect a budget and look for synergies and weed out waste.

I encourage you to consider voting for Linda — I think she’ll govern in a non-partisan manner for the benefit of all our friends and neighbors here on the peninsula.

Eric Treider