Voices of the Peninsula: Municipal government? What are their responsibilities?

Municipal governments (boroughs and cities) are similar to state and federal governments. They have a legislative and executive branch and form to govern and provide the needs of the community: roads, sidewalks, harbors, zoning/planning, health/safety, business and building regulations, along with budget planning. Elections for the legislative branch — councils and assemblies — are held each year.

City Councils approve the budget, set mill rates (property tax) and appropriate funds to provide for city services. In Homer, council members are paid a stipend for each council meeting they participate in.

The borough assembly has the responsibility of appointing the borough clerk, adopting the annual budget, enacting borough ordinances, setting mill rates and authorizing contracts and agreements. Assembly actions are by ordinance, resolution or motion. Assembly members are paid a monthly stipend and travel expenses.

Our borough service area boards supervise the provision of special services within a designated area (hospital and fire service). Our school board is responsible for school employees and administrative pay, curriculum and establishing procedures to review and select instructional material. They also get a small stipend for their service. All of these folks are elected by you, the voter.

The Borough Voting pamphlet will no longer be mailed. Look instead for a post card — don’t toss it please! The pamphlet will be available on the borough’s website and you can also request one.

Remember, your voice matters and your vote counts!

Kenai Peninsula Votes is a local voting advocacy group.