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Sunday, September 29, 2013

ARE MATSU VOTERS SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER?

  


The answer to that question will be Tuesday when the polls close and the ballots are counted in the borough-wide election and we see if they show up to vote. Reportedly absentee and early voting has been more robust this time around. It wouldn't take much to improve the 18.5% turnout from the last borough wide election.

The result of that miserable election played out more painfully than anyone could have predicted. Thanks to that small percentage of people that live in the valley that embraced the campaign rhetoric about the need to elect a "conservative businessman" things have as grandma would say "gone to hell in a handbag".

That small majority of registered voters elected a pack of assembly spending hounds that don’t know who they are, don’t know what they want, don’t know how to ask or save to get it, suffer from an attention span of a gnat, have become masters of manipulation for their own or their business buddies monetary gain, exhibit few manners, and don’t follow rules unless reminded and then only on a limited basis.

How's that working for us so far?


      We have watched while the "conservative businessmen" put speculation before services and savings. They have played fast and loose with the people’s pocketbook spending untold money on a dock-less ferry, a bridge that is on life support (KABATA), a ship less port, and a ghost rider railroad. Gambling with the public's money is seen as good stewardship by these assembly spending hounds.

These "conservative businessmen" voters have used crystal balls and wild ass guesses to estimate bonds and other expenditures. They have started but left unfinished borough projects that have been tossed in the air like the juggler dancing on hot coals. Pretty much every bid awarded these days can be traced back to a process laced with a heavy dose of cronyism.

The assembly bully hounds embrace the love of micro-managing staff and projects. They have successfully chased employee moral down the drain faster than a can of Drano. Manager Moosey the most frequently "performance reviewed" manager in history has been placed in the assembly slingshot on a regular basis. He is tasked to herd up a revolving door of department heads, insufficient numbers of qualified staff who continue to be bogged down with assembly members hanging on their backs breathing down their necks with conflicting directives and layoff threats of position eliminations.

What once were well rounded publicly accessible advisory bodies that added expertise to save personnel costs have now been reduced to a theater production of appointed puppets pushing personal agendas or those of the business buddy assembly. No more evidence is needed than witnessing their much beloved tower commission appointee, Mr. Aaron Downing who is doing his best to convince everyone that will listen that Cell Towers should be able to pop up anywhere and the borough shouldn't be shy about using imminent domain on private property to make sure it happens. We’re pretty sure that is NOT what the defenders of "private property rights" have in mind. The people of the borough don’t want corporate America to take, rent, buy or grab what belongs to them.


Let’s face it the last couple of elections have resulted in a tea party temper tantrum delivered up by a few voters that got out of their easy chair and took time out of their busy agenda to take off their foxgoggles to vote.  They have had their way with the rest of us by electing candidates that don't want to govern just destroy things. They have elected people that truly believe that praying and paying is the best strategy. By not voting borough residents have become their hostages.

If we are ever going to rid our elected bodies of crime syndicates we have to SHOW up and exercise our ability to vote. When we let things get in the way of showing up at the polls our politics immune system is stressed and up pops another self serving "conservative business man" who becomes the political equivalent of herpes, or a yeast infection and among other things is too immature or ideology wrapped for the responsibilities they’ve been given.

Complain all you want. That's fine. But don't limit it to complaining.


We’ve put up too long already – we can’t afford what’s happening any longer. Many of those who are elected in these low voter turnout elections say one thing and do another, they waste our public money and grab for more, they afford us no explanation or justification, and they put us at risk by increasing our liability for litigation and physical harm. We gave them our votes and our trust, and they give us worse than no respect.

The people of the borough CAN be smarter than a 5th grader.

They can cast a vote NO to more "conservative business men" that want that allow partisan politics to decide our borough financial future instead of electing those of character of conviction to protect the public checkbook, our quality of life and personal investments in our homes, public schools and community spaces.

 It's an easy choice for us. 


On the borough ballot for District 1 it means casting a vote for JIM SYKES who will be a worthy replacement for Warren Keogh who has been too many times the lone voice of common sense on the assembly these last 3 years. Keogh really became the assembly man for ALL borough residents but first and foremost District 1 and did an outstanding and tireless job representing constituents. He walked into the dragons den on more than one occasion and changed the hearts and minds of many that had drank the kool-aid served up by the good ol boys club of what he believed and stood for. The whole valley owes him big thanks for a job done better than anyone in recent memory. Those will be big shoes to fill but we know JIM SYKES has the ability, time, diplomacy to do the job well. The last minute character slams Aaron Downing and his hate filled cronies are serving up only serves to reinforce what they fear most. That is the balanced, smart and ETHICAL governing SYKES will bring to the table.

If you live in District 2 that means a vote for MATHEW BECK. There is not a sliver of doubt he should replace Noel Woods who is well pass his freshness date. Voters in District 2 (Palmer area) should run not walk to the polls to elect Beck to fill the seat. He brings in baggage that is small enough fit in an airplane overhead bin which is nothing much. He is NOT wrapped in a political party flag. He is a fierce defender of farmers which really is about food security something this assembly has not given the time of day. He believes in our public schools system and knows the value of listening to all sides of issues but standing up for what is right for people and neighborhoods. Although conservative by his own admission the other self processed "conservative business men" on this assembly will not find him a push over for their own ideology or agenda. BECK is the kind of fresh leadership we pine for.

There are two seats for school board voters will decide.


It is without ANY reservation for seat "G" we will cast our vote for sitting school board member DAVID CHEEZEM. There is no doubt that Cheezem's agenda is doing what is best for kids. He can actually think outside the box for solutions. Cheezem knows that there are times you've got to go along to get along. But there are also times when the principled stance is also the smart one. A vote for DAVID CHEEZEM is a smart one. Both the teachers (MSEA) and certified employees (CEA) unions have endorsed CHEEZEM along with candidate NEIL LACY. Having the voice of the people that work for the district is a strong endorsement which gets our agreement and even though Lacy can be rough around the edges he has provided some valuable input. There will be another open seat on the school board in November when Cordero steps down and we are hoping Donna Dearman will get the nod for that. She will be a good addition to the board at that time but a vote for her now could make a 3 way split go to the other candidate Jacobson who would bring a very partisan element back into the board.


The two bond issues have their pro's and cons. One measure gives the borough more tax dollars and the other sends tax dollars out the door to address infrastructure needs.

Ballot measure B-1 is a areawide alcohol tax of 5%.
Ballot measure B-2 is a 50% borough match for borough transportation system bonds.

The cities have their own ballots and a buffet of candidates to choose from.


Staying on course in Palmer


There doesn't seem to be much reason to change horses in Palmer. The City of Palmer is without term limits so it's not complicated. There is a choice in the race for mayor but little reason to change. Palmer Mayor DeLena Johnson has grown nicely into her position as mayor and has used her vision for moving Palmer forward leaving a pretty darn satisfied city of people and an even more vibrant business community under her leadership. If the yard sign didn't give it away, Johnson will get our vote for re-election and deserves yours if you live in the city of Palmer.

 Wasilla, Wasilla...


We are hoping the voters of Wasilla give the green flag to an increase in sales tax for financing a new library even though most of those that pay it will not live in Wasilla. As much as some elected officials would like you to believe that libraries are not a worthy investment we disagree. They serve a huge purpose particularly to those on the bottom of the financial pole. Wasilla struggle for a new facility to serve its bulging population and those from outside the city limits is well documented and supported by convincing data.  What isn't convincing is giving a second chance to disgraced former legislator Vic Koring. If Wasilla voters give him the nod to sit at their council table they might as well mount big damn cameras everywhere and call their city a full time reality show. Get a hold of yourself Wasilla voter and vote for Brandon Wall. 

SO.....


Electing the right people should not be about holding a liberal or conservative ideology, it's about facts that are based on truth and data and not some build it and they will come strategy.

There is simply no excuse for not voting and we have had our fill about hearing about those who don't. Bothered enough to consider once this election is over to publish the list of your friends and neighbors that couldn't be bothered to take a couple minutes out of their day to put a few marks on a piece of paper. A voters list is public information and it may be time to engage in some good ol fashion public shaming for those voting deadbeats. If you are a teacher or employee of the district or borough the fate of your own job may be in this election. Being "too busy" to vote could make your next project finding a new job. 


So don't make us call in the flying monkeys. But do call your friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives and get them to the polls Tuesday. Corporations are NOT people and the borough is NOT open for funny business, corruption, or exploitation. Let's get to the polls and prove it.