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

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks about teacher bonuses during consideration a bill increasing state funds for public education in the Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Rep. Ben Carpenter: Time to disrupt our legislative process

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Fishing, energy move into spotlight

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of debating an omnibus education bill in the Alaska House Chambers on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge: Finding common ground on education

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, speaks to attendees at a town hall event on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Taking action for workers, supporting kids

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Rep. Justin Ruffridge works in the Alaska State Capitol building on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge: Bills move forward and public weighs in

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Alaska House Rep. Ben Carpenter, center, speaks to constituents at the Alaska State Capitol, in this undated photo. (Courtesy Office of Rep. Ben Carpenter)
Rep. Ben Carpenter: Focusing on fiscal stability

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Alaska Council of School Administrators logo. (Photo provided)
Op-Ed: The K-12 Fiscal Cliff: Who is Responsible? Everyone!

Seven years is a very long time to go without a meaningful permanent state funding increase

Priya Helweg is the Deputy Regional Director and Executive Officer for the Office of the Regional Director (ORD), Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services, Region 10. (Image via hhs.gov)
Opinion: Inflation Reduction Act makes prescription drugs less expensive and more accessible

The Medicare program, can, for the first time, negotiate a fair price for certain prescription drugs taken by millions of beneficiaries

Alaska House Rep. Ben Carpenter, center, speaks to constituents at the Alaska State Capitol, in this undated photo. (Courtesy Office of Rep. Ben Carpenter)
Rep. Ben Carpenter: Looking toward strategic education reforms

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, speaks to attendees at a town hall event on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Hearings for bills on the horizon

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Rep. Justin Ruffridge works in the Alaska State Capitol building on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge: Energy on the front burner

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

In this undated file photo the Trans-Alaska pipeline and pump station north of Fairbanks, Alaska is shown. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
Opinion: The PROVE IT Act would affirm Alaska LNG makes global sense

The PROVE IT Act is U.S. Senate legislation to study the emissions intensity of goods produced in the U.S. with those produced in other countries