District 2: Bannock: Reduced spending, real cuts necessary

  • By DUANE BANNOCK
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:46am
  • Opinion

It is an honor to run for election to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is where I was raised and where my wife Carol and I raised our children too. For nearly 50 years and counting, this has been my home.

The KPB now faces uncertain financial times. “What will the State of Alaska do?” “What will property values be next year?” “Will taxes, including sales and property taxes, continue to grow?” The Assembly must be prepared, willing and able to answer these questions.

Going forward, I want to be a part of a positive solution on the Assembly. My views are simple: Unrestricted growth of the government sector is not healthy nor is it sustainable. Spending other people’s money is easy; making decreases and cutting the budget is not. However, I am ready, willing and able to identify, recommend and vote to implement necessary cost reductions. I do not support ‘across-the-board’ reductions. I will work to prioritize our needs and keep our spending within our means.

While many in the private sector are downsizing, it seems that government, including our borough, only seeks more revenue to feed its insatiable appetite for growth. Indeed, recent news reports indicated that Alaska has the highest unemployment in the nation, with only health care, local governments and federal government showing gains. Who pays for these gains? You. Your taxes. Specifically, house and property taxes. Instead, please join with me to reduce spending. Now is the time to adopt a ‘hunker-down’ mentality; less spending, not more.

I’ve been directly involved in previous downsizing at the KPB as well as my time at the State of Alaska. I will work with the new Mayor and Administration to craft a budget that reflects our shared values as well as mandated services.

Past practices and “That’s the ways we’ve always done it” are NOT useful guides especially in this challenging fiscal environment. At a recent forum, six candidates for three local seats were asked to identify the priority of the KPB Assembly; all agreed the budget is the priority. My position is clear: reduction in spending and real cuts are necessary. New and additional taxes are not the answer to this spending problem.

If you seek a candidate that will focus on deficit reduction via spending cuts rather than increased taxation, I respectfully ask for your vote to provide knowledge, experience and common sense to the Assembly.

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