By Jenny Neyman
There is one thing Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dave Carey and those most directly affected by his proposed budget cuts agree on — the public needs to speak up.
Beyond that, though, there hasn’t been much common ground as Carey shares the direction he plans to go for the borough budget this year. That lack of common ground includes agreement on who the public should speak up to.
Constituent groups supporting property tax exemptions, a seasonal break on sales taxes as well as Kenai Peninsula College, Central Area Rural Transit System and other “nondepartmental” agencies the borough funds, are encouraging outcries to the mayor and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members.
The mayor, however, while saying he’d listen to public input and pass on any written comments he receives to assembly members, suggested that anyone at odds with his suggestions for balancing the budget direct their vehemence where it has more potential to garner results —legislators in Juneau.
“I need all these groups that are concerned about funding to be communicating with Juneau and say, ‘Please help us.’ I believe it greatly that it helps when you have a community, and we’re 60,000 people, if you have people from all different parts of the borough as well as all different user groups saying, ‘This is a one-time need we have,’” Carey said. Continue reading