Thompson touts balanced, fiscally conservative position

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Wednesday, October 1, 2014 11:21pm
  • News

Candidate for the Kenai seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Jake Thompson is running to provide a balanced and fiscally conservative voice to the assembly.

Thompson, program director for the KSRM Radio Group, has publicly been a part of the discussion on local politics for years on his radio shows The Tall, Dark and Handsome Show and Sound-off with Jake Thompson. He is looking to put is well-rounded knowledge on the issues to use.

The borough needs to spend more time on spending responsibly, he said. The assembly should be focused on not overturning the public in every issue.

“I spend three hours a day talking with the public about politics,” Thompson said. Listening to the people is the first step in being able to create policy and make decisions that are on par with the their wants and needs, he said.

Thompson is a life-long resident of Alaska. He is raising his two children with wife Rhonda Thompson on the Kenai Peninsula.

With the possibility of a major boom with the Alaska LNG Project on the way, Thompson said it is a chance to build better infrastructure, but not to do so on a spending spree.

The 2015 fiscal year expenditures exceed the amount of projected revenue the borough will be taking in, Thompson said. He said he doesn’t encourage the concept of an organization spending more than it is making.

“Expenditures exceed projected revenues by $2,021,869, According to the FY15 adopted budget for the Kenai Peninsula Borough,” Thompson said.

Thompson said he wants to facilitate accountability and make sure there isn’t any waste. The borough handles a few issues in a way that doesn’t coincide with public opinion, including that of property owners he said.

“If elected, I want to repeal the anadromous stream ordinance,” Thompson said. “I think that is a better approach than an all out assault on property owners.”

Thompson said he has spoken to people who were afraid to mow their lawn without a permit. If people do destroy the stream, there should be a penalty in place, he said. They should have to make the repairs and pay a fine. That should be enough of a deterrent, he said.

The borough should focus on roads, waste and education, Thompson said. It should not be funding non-departmentals. The private sector should be assisting others in the private sector, he said.

“It is other people’s money,” Thompson said. “Revenue comes from property tax, from property owners. When you are using other people’s money you should be 100 percent accountable.”

Further into his term if elected, Thompson said he intends to put time into voting on issues. He wants to receive more public input, but at the same time he doesn’t want to promote tyranny of the masses.

Thompson said the advisory votes the assembly has put before the public are a crutch for some members of office. He said when they act as a safety blanket that is a problem.

“I think there is a place for advisory vote,” Thompson said. “It can come to the rights of the individuals versus the rights of the masses.”

Thompson said he knows he will be dealing with other issues outside his direct interests. He said on the issue of the Central Peninsula Hospital declining to enter a transfer agreement with the Surgery Center of Kenai the current situation is resulting in less local competition and consequently lowered health care quality for residents.

The borough’s idea of how to run the hospital is stifling private enterprise, Thompson said. The borough should be looking for ways to lower health care costs. Competition results in a better product and lower prices.

“I was born here and my kids were born here,” Thompson said. “I want to keep conversation going. The reality is it is being run as a for-profit hospital.”

Thompson agrees with the assembly not funding the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District to the cap. The district’s focus should be on hiring and paying for better teachers, which ultimately benefits the community as a whole.

“If you had good teachers in a garage, the students would do well,” Thompson said. “Each dollar spent must be leveraged into the maximum benefit.”

Thompson said he wants his children to have an education that makes them competitive. A quality education leads to a reduction in social and economic problems, lower crime rates and an overall more viable community.


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