We need to recognize and plan for loss of revenue from the State, as well as the effect a shrinking oil industry is having on the local economy. Together these factures could place a much higher tax burden on the public. The new economic reality is the Borough may be forced to make adjustments to services provided and the cost for those services. As an assemblyman I will scrutinize budget items closely to see if the service provided is truly needed and if there is a more cost effective method to provide that service. The school district should do the same. I recognize the situation and intend to deal with it in a deliberate and practical way We need a realistic vision for the future success of our community.
My experience includes ten years as your State Senator and eighteen years as an assemblyman. During my Senate tenure oil prices went under $10 a barrel and people thought the “Sky was falling down.” The legislature took a can do attitude and worked the problem out. We made many cuts to live within our means. The Borough is in the same position today. Still there is a bright future for our Borough.
Even though the State and local Government are heavily dependent on the oil industry, we should still look for other non tax devices or revenue such as:
— Borough land sales
— Out sourcing various services
— Upon employee retirement don’t necessarily fill 100% of the position
— Scrutinizing cost effectiveness of non-departmental agencies (with the economic downturn there will most likely be funding requests from additional non profits).
I am a doer- for example:
1. The first $10,000 of property tax exemption came about by the efforts of two other assemblypersons and myself. The assembly wouldn’t put the issue on the ballot. We three got a petition and worked hard to get signatures – even to stopping cars on the Spur Highway to get signatures.
2. Soldotna High School became a reality. The Assembly President at the time said “there will not be a high school in Soldotna.” Roy Mulllins, an assembly member requested that I run for the assembly to help get a high school in Soldotna. I was elected and I don’t take all the credit but I did help get the issue for a High School on the ballot.
Political correctness has gone too far! I will work to keep the Judeo-Christian invocation as has been the history of the assembly.
Another concern I have is Medical care on the Peninsula (as I am a cancer survivor). I am looking forward to seeing the report of the Health Care Task Force next month.
I am looking forward to the October 4th election and hope the citizens of District 7 will see fit to allow me to use my experience, wisdom and “can do attitude” to serve them again.