Letter: Soldotna annexation and our mayoral candidates

  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:46am
  • Opinion

Soldotna annexation and our mayoral candidates

With our local elections just a couple of weeks away, it is important that the voters know where the candidates stand on this highly contentious and divided issue. I have had the opportunity to explore the candidate’s involvement in annexation or lack thereof, and have asked the candidates for their responses.

The only mayoral candidate who has clearly stated his position on annexation is Mr. Charlie Pierce. Mr. Pierce has stated his opposition loud and clear and does not have any personal or financial gains to be made from annexation. He clearly stated that if he is elected as mayor, he will support the borough residents who stand against forcible annexation by the city.

Dale Bagley, on the other hand, has been a driving force pursuing Soldotna’s continued expansion and has publically stated he is for annexation. He also was a member of a (non-public) task force formed by the City of Soldotna 3 years ago to select annexation areas. These meetings were not disclosed to the public until it leaked out at a workshop session on annexation. When he has been asked during the debates about his position, Mr. Bagley states that only the borough road service will be impacted. Never anything about the impact on businesses and families who will be directly affected. One may ask if there are conflicts of interest at work here. Realtors, banks, developers, investors, and speculators may all have an interest in seeing annexation go forward.

Linda Hutchings has stated that since it is a city issue, there is nothing that can be done at the borough level if she is selected as mayor. Her husband, Dave, was also one of the 12-member secret task force on selecting the annexation areas. Ms. Hutchings is wrong when she states there is nothing she can do if elected mayor. Borough Assemblies have a very strong say when it comes down to annexation. Resolutions can be written and voted on, along with other strategies.

With forced annexation close at hand, who do you want leading the borough? Do you want someone that respects the personal and financial reasons why people choose to live or start their businesses outside of the cities? Or do you want someone from Soldotna who is highly motivated to see annexation plow through regardless of what the borough residents want?

Brian Olson

Borough Residents Against Annexation

More in Opinion

This screenshot of an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation map of PFAS sites in Alaska shows that contamination from so-called “forever chemicals” is observable throughout the state. (Screenshot | Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation)
Opinion: More action must be taken on PFAS

Toxic forever chemicals present in high concentrations in Nikishka Bay Utility Water Supply

Logo courtesy of League of Women Voters.
League of Women Voters of Alaska: Join us in calling for campaign finance limits

The involvement of money in our elections is a huge barrier for everyday Alaskans who run for public office

Promise garden flowers are assembled for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Let’s keep momentum in the fight against Alzheimer’s

It’s time to reauthorize these bills to keep up our momentum in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other types of Dementia.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., questions Navy Adm. Lisa Franchetti during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 14 on Capitol Hill.
Opinion: Music to the ears of America’s adversaries

Russia and China have interest in seeing America’s democracy and standing in the world weakened

Dr. Sarah Spencer. (Photo by Maureen Todd and courtesy of Dr. Sarah Spencer)
Opinion: Alaskans needs better access to addiction treatment. Telehealth can help.

I have witnessed firsthand the struggles patients face in accessing addiction care

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Need for accounting and legislative oversight of the permanent fund

There is a growing threat to the permanent fund, and it is coming from the trustees themselves

(Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Imagine the cost of health and happiness if set by prescription drug companies

If you didn’t have heartburn before seeing the price, you will soon — and that requires another prescription

Mike Arnold testifies in opposition to the use of calcium chloride by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities on Kenai Peninsula roads during a Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Votes: Civic actions that carried weight

Watching an impressive display of testimony, going to an event, or one post, can help so many people learn about something they were not even aware of

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Helicopter fishing a detriment to fish and fishers

Proposal would prohibit helicopter transport for anglers on southern peninsula

The cover of the October 2023 edition of Alaska Economic Trends magazine, a product of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. (Image via department website)
Dunleavy administration’s muzzling of teacher pay report is troubling

Alaska Economic Trends is recognized both in Alaska and nationally as an essential tool for understanding Alaska’s unique economy

Image via weseeyou.community
5 tips for creating a culture of caring in our high schools

Our message: No matter what challenges you’re facing, we see you. We support you. And we’re here for you.

The Alaska State Capitol is photographed in Juneau, Alaska. (Clarise Larson/Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Vance’s bill misguided approach to Middle East crisis

In arguing for her legislation, Vance offers a simplistic, one-dimensional understanding of the conflict