Letter to the Editor: Make your voice heard on annexation

For many years now, the city of Soldotna has bludgeoned its way toward annexation.

For many years now, the city of Soldotna has bludgeoned its way toward annexing areas of the borough whose residents and property owners don’t want to be annexed. Their choice of method for accomplishing this has been the Legislative Review Process. To annex an area by the Legislative Review Process is to take it over without a vote of those who are affected. It is the least democratic of the five avenues a city can use to expand its borders.

The first go-round saw petitions with hundreds of signatures and public testimony in meeting after meeting against annexation. The entire Soldotna City council turned a deaf ear toward the outpouring of public sentiment and voted to annex anyway. One man, then city mayor Dave Carey, vetoed their decision and we escaped becoming an unwilling part of the city of Soldotna.

In 2015-16, the issue raised its ugly head once again. In spite of more petitions with over 1,000 signatures and more public outcry, the city council voted to have the matter studied. The Athena group assessed the need for annexation and their findings did not support the city’s desire to extend the current boundaries. The city of Soldotna has the largest tax-based income of any city in the borough.

Fast forward to 2018 and the city of Soldotna, in spite of reams of negative comment from those who would be impacted, decided to go ahead, using the Legislative Review Process, to annex those areas that would provide the city with the most lucrative tax revenue. This coming Saturday, Sept. 7 at SoHi Auditorium, the city will offer its final token meeting for public comment before petitioning the Local Boundary Commission in Juneau for permission to annex several areas adjacent to its present boundaries — areas whose residents and property owners will have no vote.

What can you do? Please, come to the meeting on Sept. 7. Make your voice heard. Support those who are being denied the right to vote on their future. Who knows where the city will go next?

— Sally Oelrich, Soldotna

More in Opinion

Opinion: Fear of president’s immature tweets

Recent evidence suggests evidence debilitating fear of Trump’s twittering thumbs.

Greg Sutter in a photo taken July 12, 2017, near Homer. (Photo courtesy Greg Sutter)
Voices of the Peninsula: Let’s keep ‘yellow jack’ from flying over more boats

In Homer you could see it being flown on our state ferry, M/V Tustumena, tied to the Pioneer Dock

Larry Persily (Clarion file)
Alaska Voices: LNG project economics still challenging

The new estimate released at the June AGDC meeting is 12% below the number of several years ago.

Opinion: The necessity of history

Let it stand and also let others show why her moment in history is also necessary.

A statue of William Henry Seward, former U.S. Senator and governor of New York, Vice President and Secretary of State who negotiated the purchase of the Alaska territory from the Russian Empire in 1867 on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)
Opinion: Preserve our history, don’t tear it down

“Erasing Seward from our history won’t make our history more fair…”

Alaska Voices: UAA helps Anchorage build workforce capacity

It’s about time we asked ourselves: What can we do to support our university?

A statue of William Henry Seward, former U.S. Senator and governor of New York, Vice President and Secretary of State who negotiated the purchase of the Alaska territory from the Russian Empire in 1867 on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)
Opinion: United we stand, divided we fall

Alaska Voices: The statue is causing pain to some of my neighbors.

Logo courtesy of League of Women Voters.
Voices of the Peninsula: Support new Voting Rights Act

Alaska learned from its Territorial mistakes, and now has one of the strongest election systems.

Kate Troll (Courtesy Photo | Kate Troll)
Opinion: Alaska’s environmental standards aren’t stringent

Is this how a state with the highest environmental standards in the world would act?

Trevor Storrs is the President/CEO of the Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT). (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: Alaska must invest in our children

Alaska’s youngest residents — its children — need our help.