The role of a parent is to provide their child the best possible environment for healthy physical, social and emotional development. While parents provide children an immeasurable amount of service they are not elected, nor is a family a form of Democratic Republic. Parents receive authority from God and govern their homes accordingly.
Similar to parenting, the role of city government is to provide residents, the best possible environment for creation of individual, social and economic prosperity. However, unlike parents, city leaders do not receive a, “Nanny-Mandate,” from God, nor are they elected to serve as benevolent, “Philosopher-Kings.” City leaders receive authority from residents to consider and set city ordinance as peers; as representatives of the people’s interest, nothing more.
If the City is to survive economic hardship, and build a prosperous future, its leaders must remember why they were selected to serve, and treat residents as equals rather than serfs. The Mayor and City Council must lead by example, including all residents as full-partners in governance, incentivize civic-participation, encourage new investment, and stop responding to perceived problems through punitive, regressive bureaucratic actions.
The City Government must not compete with private industry, should only generate enough funds to provide essential services, and whenever possible empower private industry to fill other service requests and needs through transparent, open, and competitively-bid public—private partnerships and contracts.
The City Council’s conversation concerning the “Leashing of Cats,” and the recent decision to penalize residents owning so-called, “nuisance buildings,” are prime examples of governance run amuck. The recent so-called, “Nuisance,” ordinance lacks imagination, pits neighbor against neighbor, and bureaucracy against resident; elevating elitist and self-centered opinions of a few affluent individuals, above the personal liberties and property rights of Kenai residents. The discussion regarding the, “Leashing of Cats,” is ridiculous at best. Kenai is not a giant gated-community and its residents are not participants in an overly restrictive Home Owners Association.
The nuisance ordinance is disgraceful and should be identified for what it really is: A War on our Poor or Economically Vulnerable neighbors. The issue concerning cats is simply resolved by capturing wandering kitties, spaying or neutering the felines and then holding them for owner ransom.
Why hasn’t the Mayor and City Council worked with the community to implement more plans based in partnership, relationship-building and economic revitalization? Is it easier to flex the punitive bureaucratic muscle then it is to propose mechanisms designed to motivate community change, innovation, and good-will through neighborhood-based initiatives and self-determined solutions?
As City Councilman I will bring a fresh, creative approach to solving city issues. I will introduce solutions benefiting and treating all Kenai residents with respect, and will fight efforts of special interest and rabid activist-groups seeking to elevate their interests above the health, safety or personal liberty of others living in our fair city.
As a Kenai City Councilman, I will work to repeal ordinances punitively targeting residents, rework the current property and business tax structure, and encourage development of common sense solutions to city issues.