Christine Hutchison: Kenai needs to be responsive to residents

  • By Christine Hutchison
  • Wednesday, September 28, 2016 4:39pm
  • Opinion

As a Candidate for a Kenai City Council position, I believe it is important for each of us to be involved somehow in our government to keep ourselves and the people around us informed. Thereby, those people might be inspired to become equally informed and involved themselves.

Involvement in the government in Washington seems impossible, but since all government is local: City Councils; Commissions and Service Area Boards are a good place to start.

There are several issues in the City of Kenai that might bear a better understanding:

1) The policy of sale vs. lease for sale of airport property;

2) Ways to promote growth of our business community; and

3) Park with theatre construction and an eroding bluff nearby.

As President Ronald Regan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

With these things in mind, many years ago Wayne Ogle and I sought to help people become informed enough to understand how things worked with local government. As Wayne resides in Nikiski; myself in Kenai and first critical issue was on the borough level, we started with the KPB assembly agenda and a grassroots effort to understand, inform others and participate in local government.

With a bachelor’s degree in education, it came naturally for me to encourage people to become informed about government; however, the difficulty in getting Kenai people inspired enough to become involved confused me. Since the signature gathering for the City Council candidate position, the reluctance of Kenai people to become involved in local government has become more understandable. After talking to many people both to gather signatures and “on the door step” conversations, I believe many local people are convinced city government is not responsive to the residents. There are several areas where this could be an issue: lack of business friendliness; location of marijuana retail space in residential areas; and staging of funding for capital projects.

It is my opinion that by having people on the city council not associated with the current administration, as well as different experiences and skill sets, responsiveness to Kenai residents will have some success.

I would appreciate your vote on October 4 and the opportunity to discuss with each of you how the City of Kenai can better serve you.

More in Opinion

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: The foolish men claiming self-defense

It’s not just misguided teenagers carrying guns who find themselves in trouble with the law.

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: State defends its right to cut nonexistent taxes

This from a state that has no property tax on homes or businesses, only on the oil industry.

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines

The COVID vaccines remain our strongest tool in combating the pandemic and helping us return to our lives and the things we love and cherish.

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: All votes matter

In the beginning, only property-holding white men could vote.

Cristen San Roman. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Is management of Cook Inlet catered to special interest groups?

If these fish are so at risk, why is BOEM able to move forward with lease sale 258?

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Grateful for the hidden ‘good’

Gratitude: Noun The state of being grateful; thankfulness. The state or quality… Continue reading

Homer High School Principal Douglas Waclawski. (Photo provided)
Point of View: What is Homer High School about?

What I consider Homer High’s strength is that we are a place for learning.

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. (courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Invent your future at UAA

At UAA we’re providing the tools to help students of all ages and skills chart a new course forward.

A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Alaska Voices: Vaccination is the still best protection from COVID-19

The Alaska State Medical Association encourages you to protect yourselves and your community from preventable illness by getting recommended vaccines.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
The sad diminishment of Rep. Don Young

Young seems afraid to demand his party leader defend the dignity of the institution he loves.

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Alaska Voices: Restore our strong campaign donation limits

Without campaign spending limits, the ideal of one person, one vote is no longer really true.

The Final Redistricting Map approved for the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna area is seen on Nov. 9, 2021. (Map via
Alaska Voices: The Alaska Redistricting Board’s last-minute gerrymandering failed Alaska

Our Constitution outlines rules for a redistricting process designed to uphold public trust.