Last night the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly introduced an ordinance implementing one of the recommendations of the Election Stakeholders Group, which has been meeting since February.
The recommendation in question would change the way members of all Kenai Peninsula Service Area boards are seated. Instead of standing for election, they would be appointed by the mayor.
The introduction attracted comment from three men, all from Nikiski, who spoke against the measure.
"Hi, I'm Paul Huber from Nikiski. One of the critical things about this that really upsets me is when the constitutional convention put service areas in the constitution, one of the things that they intended was that service areas were a way for small communities or unincorporated areas, to slowly develop leadership skills and show that they are ready to become an incorporated area or a city. The problem is, if you remove the ability that they have a say who they want to represent them on those boards, you are taking away their voice, you're taking away a way for them to demonstrate that this community can govern itself."
"Thank you, John Quick, Nikiski, Alaska. I do understand that a lot of work has been put into this working group. And I believe eight or nine months of work has been put forth in this effort. But I believe specifically where I live for the folks on Nikiski, we really, really, appreciate the fact that we have the opportunity to vote for who we want for the service boards. And, we take that very seriously."
"George Pierce from Kasilof, Alaska. Well, you know, you guys go out of your way just to dominate everything, don't you. You want to get rid of the mayor. You want to appoint everybody you want in your area just for you guys. We're people, you know, the people that are supposed to elect you? How about if we can let the people pick who they want. You know, I mean you've gotten out of hand with doing away with the will of the people."
The ordinance was introduced and referred to the assembly's finance committee for consideration.