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Monday, November 3, 2014


The Mat Su Borough Assembly has a different look these days. Oh it still an "all male" club but thanks to voters who finally acquired a taste for moderation in the last couple of elections the men that have taken a seat at the table (Beck, Sykes and Mayfield) appear to be much more interested in working together with the public for a better more transparent government and place to live. They seem to be determined to give more than lip service to a public process and actually include and invite folks to the table to be part of the solutions. Change that could give you whiplash if you aren't paying attention. 

They also seem to be determined to keep their ego's in check. That in itself should trim hours off of assembly meetings. A welcome change for those of us that find the chairs in the new assembly digs not that much more comfortable than the old ones.  

Speaking of elections and change and in case you've been living under a rock TOMORROW is the statewide election.

After months of teeth gnashing, wild promises. finger pointing, twisted truths and flat faced lies that came into our homes and even our businesses in the form of an avalanche of mailers, phone calls, door knockers and commercials the day of reckoning and maybe referendum is upon us. Hopefully you take this duty to vote seriously and have done your homework beyond the soundbites. Also that you recycle that mountain of glossy fliers mostly paid for by outside money laying in the seat of your car or kitchen table.  

IF you haven't voted early or by absentee so you can dangle your feet in the ocean or some other place with a clear conscience, you will head to your voting precinct tomorrow to cast your vote to either change the look of the state with new leaders or continue to support the status quo. Of course there will be some people for one soggy reason or another will fail to cast a vote and become part of an epidemic more serious than ebola, low voter turnout.  

Oddly this wild ride on the election roller coaster comes down for most people to a couple of issues that are important to them. If your concerned about the future of Alaska at all one of the top issues will be EDUCATION. Something important in our state constitution Article VII states "the legislature shall by general law establish and maintain a system of public schools open to all children of the State, and may provide for other public educational institutions. Schools and institutions so established shall be free from sectarian control. No money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution".  During last session of the legislature one of our own valley freshman legislators, Dunleavy launched an attack on that amendment that narrowly missed the target, trying to sell the idea of school vouchers. A bad idea with a side of bad idea. But make no mistake, that attack will be back in earnest if voters stick to the status quo and don't make a change by electing his opponent Warren Keogh a strong supporter of public education and using public money for that purpose and not into the pockets of corporations or religious organizations. Keogh is in the company of some fine candidates across the state that have received the seal of approval from Great Alaska Schools who did your homework for you and through their thoughtful questionnaire came up with the best voters guide of the election when it comes to education. It will tell you who really talks the walk of the education of our young being a priority and not a campaign slogan shell game. There are other issues for sure but few rises to the level of a good FAIRLY FUNDED education for our kids and future workforce. 

We have a feeling that Alaskans are in the mood just as borough voters were in for a new look for their leaders in state government. Folks are ready to let the adults back in the room now that the piggy bank has been turned over and the food fight it over. They are tired of being shaken down for their lunch money and they are ready for some sense and sensibility in their leaders. If that's the case than Keogh won't be the only new legislative leader but there will be a few more whose name you will see in the voter guide. Along with them if the stars align the unity ticket of Walker/Mallott, will take the helm with their steady hands and guide us through the rough seas ahead. And despite Ted Cruz and his mom jeans "desperation weekend tour" of Alaska, the bush will carry the water of the state and send Begich back to the Senate and Ohio Dan back to his trust fund and the arms of the Koch Brothers and his new BFM, Mitt. 

Whatever happens it will happen tomorrow (Tuesday Nov.4th) and our bleeding ears will get a rest. Do your part of what may prove to be an historical election. Vote.  Any questions find the answers on the state website

Let's do this!