With presidential campaigns grabbing headlines and the state primary elections approaching, it would be understandable if folks on the central Kenai Peninsula didn’t want to hear any more about politics.
But “all politics is local,” as the saying goes, and for everyone who wants to be involved, the opportunity to effect change locally is approaching. The filing period for municipal elected office — city council and mayor, borough assembly, school board, and various service area boards — opens Monday morning and closes on Aug. 15. The municipal elected is Oct. 4.
So, for everyone who has ever been interested in public service, here’s your chance.
In Soldotna, there are four city council seats on the ballot. Two are for 1-year terms; two are for 3-year terms.
In Kenai, voters will be electing a mayor and two city council members.
Three Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly seats will be on the ballot, representing Nikiski, Soldotna, and Kasilof. Three Board of Education seats also are up for election, representing Kalifornsky, the East Peninsula, and the South Peninsula.
A full slate of service area board seats also will be on the fall ballot.
Candidate information packets are available from clerk’s offices around the borough.
In Soldotna, the clerk’s office is in city hall, located at 177 North Birch Street. Call 907-262-9107, or find information online at http://soldotna.org/government/city-clerk/elections/election-information.
The Kenai clerk’s office is in city hall at 210 Fidalgo Avenue. Call 907-283-8231 and find candidate information at http://www.ci.kenai.ak.us/government/citycouncil/electioninformation.
The borough clerk’s office is in the borough building, 144 North Binkley Street in Soldotna. Call 907-714-2160, and find candidate information online at http://www.kpb.us/assembly-clerk/elections/candidate-election-information.
If you are interested in running, don’t dawdle. There is paperwork that needs to be signed and filed, including an Alaska Public Offices Commission disclosure form, and two weeks during the Kenai Peninsula summer go by quickly.
For those who do decide to run for local elected office, we salute you. It takes courage to submit yourself to public scrutiny, but our democracy works best when people are willing to become involved and voters are given quality choices as to who they want to represent them. The city councils, borough assembly and school board in many ways make more important decisions than those that come from Juneau or Washington, D.C., as they impact us in our own communities.
And to all candidates, best of luck come election day.