From the onslaught of emails it sure sounds as if everyone is tingling in their seats waiting for Part 2 of the longgggggg trailer of the longggggggggg last assembly meeting we served up Friday. So here you go.
Your fired oh wait a minute..no you aren’t….
Routine renewal of road service contracts turned into a bit of a dust up in regards to the Big Lake Road Service Area. The short of it was a case of old contractor, who last time around was replaced by new contractor and old contractor (who due to contract violations replaced mid winter in other RSA areas) wanted his turf back. The armies were called out, insults and promises were slung and old contractor gets his pink trucks back in place under what is promised to be better scrutiny. By no means a good solution but with so many other hot topics flying off the plate that’s where it landed. Rest assured the good ol’boy network is still alive and well and arrogant as ever.
Not so fast, nonprofit Small Business Development Center
The SBDC spoke of the wonderful things they do to promote business development, including one-on-one confidential advising to small businesses. The Ceremonial Mayor assured the spokesperson for the Small Business Development Center, who was testifying in favor of the resolution for $95, 000 to be spent by the Economic Development Department that the center would only be getting a slice of the pie. It wasn't clear from the brief remarks of the new borough Economic Development Director Don Dyer or anyone else where the other slices will go or how much will go to the SBDC. It does makes us wonder if any of this big hunk of tax payer change is going to the MatSu RC&D and if Assembly member Salmon is still president of the board if so? The website for the organization doesn’t make it very clear who the board members are but it has been referenced to several times in previous assembly meetings. Hmmm…If so couldn’t be a conflict there right? Economic growth is always the key talking point of any assembly meeting but to talk out of the box of generalities or specific actions always leads back to that dream stage. Hopefully the assembly will continue to request how this taxpayer money is spent and what success it leads to. Oh and wouldn’t it be great if we knew who on the Assembly is connected to who and what?
Air Force asked to Fly Higher.
After receiving considerable advice from the Aviation Advisory Board and the Wildlife Commission, Assemblyman Keogh introduced a measure asking the U.S. Air Force to raise the elevation for part of its JPARC training area near Lake Louise from 500 feet to 5,000 feet. There was a wide range of different takes on the reasons for supporting this proposal and the resolution. It's all too infrequent that different user groups agree on repercussions to people and places but in this case they did. Lake Louise area residents are serious about impacts to their area and lifestyle. This time the assembly listened. The resolution passed unanimously.
Finally, A Citizen Victory.
A petition to bring natural gas to a Lazy Mountain neighborhood through an LID (Local Improvement District) failed to get the required 50% support on the petition requesting the LID. One neighborhood resident testified he had voted for the petition, “...but found it distasteful that homeowners must pay whether they need it [gas] or not.” Another owner of multiple properties had made sure his neighbors were informed about costs should it be approved.
The Ceremonial Mayor inappropriately quipped, “One of your neighbors got conscience-stricken and went against the LID.” Then the vote failed unanimously and the Mayor declared the measure had “...failed by unanimous discontent.” What? Did he really say that?
Prickly stuff for a Ceremonial Mayor. Does the Mayor have friends that live in this area who wanted the gas? Is there something wrong with turning down a failed petition? Really Mr. Mayor isn’t this the way democracy is supposed to work for people? At least the majority ruled in that Lazy Mountain neighborhood. Expect to hear more on borough involvement in gas LID's and just who benefits and pays the costs. Safe to say Enstar isn't losing any money and in fact some would say they are cutting a fat hog on the deal.
No Sweet Dreams on the Horizon…
The next nightmare coming up in the citizens of the borough’s future is courtesy of Assemblyman Darcie Salmon who brought forth legislation with his intent to repeal of the current Multi-family Development Design Standards in the borough. He started the process rolling by punting it to the planning commission who seems to have lots of time on their hands lately for a 90 day review. Oddly it was introduced in the same meeting that heard several people testify about being at their wits end with some neighbors sprawled next to their nice neighborhood off Hollywood Road in what they claim is an illegal subdivision containing one lot with five trailers full of people without proper sewer, water or electricity that have a fondness for shooting guns. They complained not only of the foul odors, health safety issues to their own wells and land but sincere concern for their own welfare. Folks don't normally show up to speak to assembly members in a public meeting and ask for their help unless they have run out of other options. To make it even odder, this is an area that Mr. Salmon represents who wants to now loosen the development standards for multi-family. Can the banjo music get any louder? Guess we are about to see.
While we're at it shouldn't the public be privy to what the cost of these endless revisions and turning back the clock are? We hear plenty of rhetoric about the cost of having any standards or regulations but never the cost of the unraveling. Pretty much guessing the costs incurred so far in what this assembly has managed to unhinge would be staggering.
SO Listen Up to this 3 Minutes of Public Testimony..
We promised you with this jaw dropping, knocked out of the park testimony by a borough resident who said so much in three short minutes we had to listen to it twice and ask for a transcript to share. More of this kind of testimony might get the attention of the boys gone wild that pretend to represent your interests at the assembly table...
"Mr. Mayor, Assembly Members, Staff. My name is Patricia Rosnel. I urge you to adopt Resolution 12-076 regarding the Jim Creek Master Plan, to reflect the intent of its parent Butte Asset Management Plan, from which there seems to have been an attempt to orphan it. This is the parent Butte plan that survived rigorous public process up to unanimous assembly approval that designated Jim Creek as multi-use.
A few weeks ago we were rendered speechless by a publicly attempted coat hanger abortion of the Jim Creek Master Plan through an unannounced maneuver that I might characterize as sleazy at best. That attempted abortion was an assault on the public process, and an attack on borough constituents. It was disrespectful to fellow assembly members. The defense that motorized means nonexclusionary is senseless. The one assembly member who lives in the district voted against the amendment while the proposer is not only not from that district, but has been noticeably absent even from the assembly chambers this year.
Resolution 12-075 contains a simple correction that restores the civil intent of the public process; sharing, that is, multi-use, arrived at by a community who disagreed amongest themselves but who still reached a mutually acceptable solution, honestly and through a democratic process.
This year at taxpayer expense we witnessed back to the future subdivisions, the tall tower rout, and the cutting of the ethics code. Here, an attempt is made again to divert the focus, this time to motorized wheels over human feet and animal hooves. The original legislation was to authorize a public planning process, not curtailed by the assembly before its time of hijacked for personal, business, or political purpose. The assembly will have its way with the plan, after the residents, in the body of according to the borough comprehensive plan. "the affected community (s)."
Only a few months ago you stood strong for residents and community councils. What might have reversed that outlook so soon? The people of the valley, not Anchorage or beyond, pay your salary, your health insurance, and now apparently your life insurance. Tonight you can confirm your respect for us and demonstrate support for untainted public process by passing Resolution 12-075."
Not public testimony they hear every day. But when you take on the tough task of being an elected official a big part of the job is to open your ears to all constituents. Didn't budge the assembly to vote for the resolution but then this testifier WAS NOT a member of the Mat Su Business Alliance or Conservative Patriots group.
Even the new temporary digs at the school district didn't slow down the rhetoric or the plans for future skullduggery. You won’t want to miss the next exciting meeting scheduled for July 17th in the School District Administration Building behind Swanson Elementary School. Radio Free Palmer will be there streaming the meeting and making it available for podcast although listening to these meetings twice are beginning to result is a nasty rash of some concern.
By then Borough candidates for School Board, Assembly and Mayor will be signing up for the October Borough Election. There are already some promising candidates that have thrown their hats in with plenty of time for more that might be considering it.
Getting some balance on both these elected bodies would give us far less to write about and you to worry about. Pay attention the future of the borough depends on it.