Hal Smalley: Decisions reflect input, review and discussion

  • By Hal Smalley
  • Thursday, September 29, 2016 5:07pm
  • Opinion

Susie and I chose Kenai as our home 42 years ago. We knew no one and yet were welcomed and found opportunities to be part of the community. Serving as your Mayor would be another way to give back what we have received, a way to share my time, energy and expertise.

City employees and those who serve Kenai as volunteers in a wide variety of ways continue to be the keys to the success of our city. We truly are “a village with a past and a city with a future.” I’m grateful for their commitment and vision of Mayors Porter and John Williams, and the mayors and councils that preceded them.

This is not a time without challenges and opportunities. One third of the council will be new and we’ll have a new city manager. It will be more important than ever to work collegially and mentor new leadership.

I will bring my leadership style to the process. I believe this can have a positive effect on how our city’s business is done. I will lead as your Mayor, but I will be one of seven (plus the student representative) and as such will pass the gavel to the Vice Mayor when speaking on issues. While this may seem formal, it can serve as an equalizer and a reminder that no voice on council is more important than any other.

I will not forget that I represent all residents — not just the voters and not just the most vocal. The advantage of local politics is that we are all neighbors and share many common concerns. Every day we can see businesses and individuals reaching out to those in need and making a difference in multitudes of ways. It’s not about partisan politics.

My record reflects one of listening to public opinion and then making a decision that reflects public input, administrative review and council discussion, resulting in a conclusion that best represents the city’s interest.

All of us are contributors to our present and to our future. As your Mayor, I will work with you to 1) provide the best open and accountable government we can offer 2) provide for a sustainable and balanced budget, keeping the mill rate low 3) maintain a community that continues to be the best place to live, work and raise our families.

The election is just a few days away now. While I have gone to nearly 1000 residences during the campaign, it is possible I have missed you. I do want to hear your ideas and concerns. Please feel free to contact me. I will return your call. Your input is important for the good health of our city.

Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy. I would be grateful for your vote on Tuesday, October 4.

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