Borough voters keep term limits in place

Kenai Peninsula Borough voters gave a thumbs-up to an increased residential property tax exemption and a school bond to pay for school capital projects, including a new turf field for Homer High School.
They gave a thumbs-down to repealing the two-term limit for borough assembly members.
“The propositions went kind of the way I thought they’d go,” said Borough Mayor Mike Navarre.
Unofficial results late Tuesday night showed Proposition 1, increasing the $20,000 residential property tax exemption to $50,000 passed with 4,552, or 63.75 percent, votes; 2,588 voters, or 36.25 percent, opposed the increase.
James Price of Nikiski, a moving force in getting the proposition on the ballot, said he was happy with the results, but “actually hoped that we would have got even more than we received.”
Bill Smith, who represents Homer on the borough assembly, said he wasn’t surprised by the vote, but worried about the resulting loss of revenue for the borough’s service areas.
“Most service areas will have to look at a mill rate increase,” he said. “We’re talking about fire departments, emergency service areas and hospitals. They’ll have some significant challenges.”
Proposition 2, asking voters if the borough shall borrow up to $22,987,000 through the issuance of general obligation bonds, received 3,939, or 56.75 percent, yes votes and 3,022 or 43.25 percent, no votes. The bond would pay for capital improvements projects to be done over a three-year period and would include numerous roof replacements and a new Homer High School turf field. All the projects have been approved for the state’s 70 percent reimbursement program.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Homer High Principal Doug Waclawski. “I’ve heard nobody who was upset with it or campaigned against it, so I was reasonably hopeful and am happy it passed.”
Josh Fraley, the school’s head football coach, said the new field will “save a lot of money, time and is going to be a lot safer. Not just for football, but for the high school soccer team, cross country, everybody in the community. Thank the voters for taking care of the kids and taking care of the facilities.”
Proposition 3 was divided into two parts. The first question asked voters if they wanted to repeal the current two-term limit for borough assembly members. The second part asked if voters wanted to extend the current two-term limit to three terms.
Voters said no to both questions.
Part A received 4,967, or 71.40 percent, no votes and 1,990, or 28.60 percent, yes votes. In similar fashion, Part B received 4,913, or 71.35 percent, no votes and 1,973, or 28.65 percent, yes votes.
“That’s not a big surprise,” said Smith. “I think generally people are inclined to think that term limits are a good thing.”
Mako Haggerty, who represents areas of the southern peninsula on the assembly, said he was “kind of expecting” that vote.
“People are really tired of politics as usual and their impression is that once someone gets elected and is in office, you just can’t seem to get rid of them,” he said.
Haggerty has a different perspective, however.
“I think it’s voters’ responsibility to pay attention to what’s happening,” said Haggerty. “It’s as important to fire someone as it is to hire someone. We lose a little something when we can’t send that message. I understand why people want term limits, but it’s a sense of powerlessness on the part of the voter.”
Incumbent Sunni Hilts was the only candidate for School Board, District 9, an area that stretches from Anchor Point to the head of Kachemak Bay to the south side of the bay and encompasses Chapman School in Anchor Point, Kachemak Selo School, McNeil Canyon Elementary School, Nanwalek School, Port Graham School, Razdolna School, Susan B. English School in Seldovia and Voznesenka School.
Hilts received 485 votes, or 95.47 percent.
“Oh nice,” said Hilts, upon hearing the number of votes cast for her.
For the past year, Hilts has served as president-elect of the Association of Alaska School Boards and will become president of the association the first week of November.
In the service area board elections for the southern peninsula, with only one candidate for each seat, the following results were reported:
• Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Service Area, Seat B: Robert W. Craig, 215 or 94.71 percent of the vote;
• Kachemak Emergency Service Area Board, Seat B: Ralph E. Crane, 295 or 98.66 percent of the vote;
• Kachemak Emergency Service Area Board, Seat C: Mike Petersen, 293 or 99.32 percent of the vote;
• Kachemak Emergency Service Area Board, Seat D: Joseph E. “Jeff” Middleton, 367 or 98.66 percent of the vote;
• Kachemak Emergency Service Area Board, Seat E: Matthew Schneyer, 288 or 98.97 percent of the vote;
• Seldovia Recreational Service Area Board, Seat A: Mark D. Janes, 57 or 98.28 percent of the vote;
• Seldovia Recreational Service Area Board, Seat D: Vivian M. Rojas, 57 or 96.61 percent of the vote;
• South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board, Seat C: Barbara McBride, 1,511 or 98.63 percent of the vote;
• South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board, Seat G: Clyde T. Boyer Jr., 1,283 or 98.69 percent
• South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board, Seat H: Doris I. Cabana, 1,343 or 97.96 percent of the vote; and
• South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board, Seat I: Ralph E. Broches, 1,469 or 98.72 percent of the vote.

More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read