Mayor Charlie Pierce speaks at a Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Mayor Charlie Pierce speaks at a Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Understanding the ballot: Proposition 1

Voters will decide on whether or not to adopt a manager form of government.

Voters will decide Oct. 1 if the borough should shift chief administrator duties from the mayor to a borough manager.

Proposition 1 asks voters if they support adopting a manager form of government. Under this form of government, a mayor would still be elected borough-wide, but the duties of that mayor would not include being the chief administrator of the borough.

According to the Division of Community and Regional Affairs records, 12 of the 19 boroughs in Alaska have a manager form of government, as do several cities within the borough.

If voters choose to adopt this form of government, the elected mayor would serve as the chair of the assembly, participate in assembly discussions, vote on assembly actions in the case of a tie and still hold veto power.

An ordinance authorizing a public vote on adopting a manager form of government was passed at the Aug. 6 Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting. Assembly members Hal Smalley and Kelly Cooper sponsored the ordinance.

When the assembly held a public hearing for the ordinance, the legislation was met with criticism from some community members.

Those who spoke in opposition expressed concern about the people of the borough being unable to vote a manager out.

A similar ordinance failed in 2010, assembly member Dale Bagley said at the August meeting, and he suspects this ordinance will again.

The ordinance reads: “Shall the Kenai Peninsula Borough adopt a manager plan of government, effective upon commencement of the term of office of the person elected to be the Borough Mayor in the regular or run-off election held in the 2020 election, where the chief administrative officer is a manager appointed by the assembly instead of the current form where the elected mayor runs the borough administration?”

A “yes” vote supports a manager form of government. A “no” vote opposes it.

If a majority of voters approve Proposition 1, then the assembly will adopt a manager plan within 60 days.

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