Friday, May 15, 2009

The Burial Plot Thickens

Small town politics and cemeteries - it's like finding buried treasure as it gives this hack writer the opportunity to try to bury the reader alive with dead-end puns and cliches!

It's dead certain that you're still SOL in SOLdotna if you want a place to RIP.

Councilman Scott McLane had previously abstained from voting on the Unified Community Memorial Park Committee's most recent site proposal on Knight Drive, citing some grave concerns. Scott had deeded one of the parcels in the proposed site to a local church, but had included a clause that would have given him a percentage of the take if the property was sold for non-church use: a dead ringer for a conflict of interest.

Declaring that he has since divested his interest in the property, Scott cast the vote that deadlocked the council in a 3-3 tie this past Wednesday.

Mayor Pete Micciche, who has been dead-set against the Redoubt site, was able to drive the final nail in the coffin and break the dead-even vote, thus approving the Knight Drive site.

But you shouldn't think the issue is now dead and buried. The Redoubt location just might be resurrected.

While the SOLdotnans that favor the Redoubt site might now have one foot in the grave, some promised a legal challenge to Scott's decision to vote. A cemetery task force member claimed to have checked with the state recorder's office and found no evidence that Scott had actually divested himself.

And then there's the small detail of finances. SOLdotnans already own the Redoubt property, but would have to buy the Knight Drive properties. Estimates for the purchase of those properties range from $300,000- $500,000.

Then there is the advisory vote where SOLdotnas recently favored the Redoubt site 531-310. With a simple twist of logic (or perhaps some dead reckoning), Mayor Pete interpreted the vote as being against a previously considered site at the SOLdotna airport. Although the city council had at one time favored the airport, an independent consultant concluded that the airport had too much clay and contamination to be a contender. Other problems, including a high concentration of bears and airplane traffic noise also doomed the airport location.

The need for a cemetery for SOLdotnans became official back in 2001 when the SOLdotna Historical Society approached then city mayor Dave Carey. Since then, there has been has been a series of controversies involving land swap proposals with the borough and NIMBY attitudes of rich and powerful residents of the Mooring on the River (MOR) subdivision that borders the Redoubt property (which is drop dead gorgeous, by the way). Wasn't it a hoot when one of the the major concerns the MORons' had with the Redoubt property was that it was within 500' of a school (as if that really matters), then it turns out that the Knight Drive property they favored is also that close to a school. Whoops!

I do have a way to make everyone happy. Let's charge the MORons and anyone else who is in favor of spending money on the Knight Drive properties a special tax to pay for it. Hmmm...so if the final cost is $300,000, than each of the 300 or so folks who voted against the Redoubt site would be charged $1000.

I wonder how many would still put their money where their mouth is?

If you're not dead tired of this whole matter, do read some previous postings in SOL (4/9/09 and 1/24/08)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blogs and would like to offer some encouragement as an investigative journalist and “progressive”.

I noticed that quite a few things have upset you about the small town in Alaska where I assume you reside. It appears that they are not "progressive" enough for your liking and therefore you have made it your life’s goal to attend every city council meeting and blog about your experience. Thank goodness for progressive intellectuals like yourself who are able to enlighten there community through such informative and unique avenues as blogging. By last count it appears that you have had 3 or 4 dedicated readers this last month. Do not be discouraged comrade. Your message is and will really catch on I’m sure. For wherever there are people who wish to live off the hard work and dedication of others and worship mother earth there will be “progressives” such as yourself. It appears through your hard work and dedication “the people” or, “proletariat” as you may refer to them, are beginning to rise and take back there small community. It appears that your small town in Alaska is under the same evil grip of the liberty loving conservatives and there democratic, free market ideals.

Thank you for enlightening us on such important issues that we should be taking a stand on. Like your last piece entitled “The Burial Plot Thickens,” I can tell you paid attention in freshmen high school journalism class with your great use of all those clever play on words. How about saving the park or, as you cleverly entitled it “Parkin’ That Lot”. I am so glad that you and your four cohorts were able to save the grass which, from what I understand is the only bit of nature in all of Alaska and probably produces a majority of the oxygen for the state as well. Plus, a parking lot would encourage big SUVs that would have probably put up almost as much ash into the atmosphere as Mount Redoubt has been the last couple months. (Numb) Nutz for Guns was another article where you demonstrated the power of the pen. Your investigative research skills demonstrated how the NRA is plotting to take over the United States. Thank goodness for watchdogs like yourself. Your strong well thought out philosophies as a small town blogger have exposed such feeble minded Republicans as Tom Wagoner. Finally, my favorite and what I felt was the most informative blog was on the Kellers. Although, I am a bit confused as to which Kellers you are referring to. I did some research and found a Bill and Carol Keller who own Anchor Point property and another Bill and Carol Keller who own river property…two different couples. Is it possible your investigative reporting could have been flawed? I also researched and found that Bill Keller received his disabled veterans status for a completely separate issue that has nothing to do with his leg. But, your right, veterans should have to pay taxes just like everyone else and don’t deserve our thanks or any special benefits…that’s unfair and un-American.

So, in summery I just want to offer you encouragement to keep fighting the good fight. It’s “progressives” like you who are making this nation great! You are the change we can believe in.

Yes We Can!!!

Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
(Workers of the world, unite!)

KittenStCyr said...

Wow.. I need a shower after reading that.
Do you think you could deliver your criticism and corrections WITHOUT jacking off to your
commie fantasies?

Anonymous said...

When I fantasize about communists I think of people like you KittenStCyr….Keep up the great work and keep showering…once again, it is intellectuals like yourself who create Change We Can Believe In

souldotna said...

My, my, my, Anonymous,

You have ‘us’ all figured out don’t you? It must make it a whole lot easier to be you if the rest of us fit nicely into some fantasy you have about the way the world works.

I suppose it wouldn’t do any good to attempt to upset your delusions - oh, and delusions they are – but humor me if you will.

First the obvious ones. It is indeed the same Kellers who own the Kenai riverfront and the Anchor Point properties, although they are Trustees of the Anchor Point property. By the way, they paid exactly $0.00 in property taxes on their (and notice how that word is spelled) $1.7 million Kenai River property. Considering the annual PFD we get from the state of Alaska (well, I suppose that THAT really is some sort of commie, share-the-wealth plot), and that there (see how you spell that word now?) is no state income or sales tax means that the Kellers live in a tax gain state. I do find it to be dishonest political theater when Bill removes his leg and waves it at public meetings, declares he is a disabled vet (with the implication that he lost his leg in the service to his country, which is not true), and whines that we are taxing him to death.

What did your ‘research’ find?

I only wish that SOLdotna was under the grip of liberty-loving, free market capitalists. I try to do my part to promote both ideals. So when the citizens of SOLdotna with over 60% of the vote, select to have one site as the cemetery, but then when those wishes are thwarted by the rich and politically connected, it seems that Liberty is marching down the shit hole. When big oil (or whatever) bribes our state and national representatives so that they will tilt legislation to favor their agendas, that is not free-market capitalism, but rather state-supported robbery.

I do wonder when being wasteful, greedy, destructive and self-serving became the principles of the conservative movement. I like to think I am a true conservative: I continue to work hard for what I have; I don’t lead a wasteful and destructive life; and I live within my means. Oh, and I do work hard to make SOLDotna a better place to live and can report that I’ve been a part of making some good things happen here.

Yep, I would prefer that our government would abide by the guiding principal of being of and for the people, but somewhere along the line that ideal was hijacked by people who just wanted to get what they could, and screw everyone else.

Do you really justify unnecessary pollution with the rationale that since volcanoes spew ash, what difference should it make that humans continue to pump poisons into or air, land and waters? I’ve heard a similar small scale argument in SOLdotna when snowmachines rip across groomed ski trails (grooming paid for by skiers) and then excuse their destruction by saying moose trample the trails, so what difference does it make that they do too? Spare me. And then you have no trouble jumping to conclusions about Soldotna Creek Park as you sarcastically dismiss my appeal for preserving green space as “the only bit of nature in all of Alaska.”

Oh, your rapier wit.

What else? Going to meetings is one of the last things I like to do with my life – I’m way too busy to make that my occupation. But I do go on occasion, and I do read, and because this is a small town, I do talk to the movers and shakers. Being an informed citizen is our duty, don’t you think?

But maybe thinking isn’t your strong suit.

Peace and Love,

Souldotna

Anonymous said...

Just a few final thoughts, as this is quickly becoming a waste of my time (and if you are as important and as much of thinker as you believe you are then it is quickly becoming a waste of your time as well).

To begin, I can say with 100% confidence that the William Keller you are referring to only owns riverfront property. I know for a fact that there is another separate couple with the same first and last names that own the Anchor Point property. It’s confusing I’m sure for you when you do your research and both properties are under the same exact name but let me reassure you they are two separate couples.

But, let’s pretend for a moment that they are not. Of what matter is it to you that this individual owns a valuable piece of real estate? Why does it bother you that this individual has taken the resources he has been blessed with, invested them wisely, and put a lot of hard work into making a beautiful home on a great piece of property and bettered himself? Are you jealous, bitter, or just down right against people who work hard, are wise with there money, and are able to better themselves in this great country of ours? You may want to look within yourself and determine what is your drive? Why do you feel so much resentment for these people?

Is it also wrong for this individual or any individual to desire fewer taxes? This seems almost natural to me. But, then I’m one of those crazy right wingers that would prefer to pay less in taxes, which would in turn mean smaller government I know…what a terrifying thought to not have government taking care of our every want and desire.

As for the cemetery I’m not from Soldotna so I don’t know the details but, it seems to me that you should go find your own place to be buried. Why is it the town needs to have a graveyard? Better yet, spread your ashes as fertilizer over mother earth as opposed to polluting the earth with more coffins. Just a few thoughts but I will differ on that subject to you the expert.

Now on the subject of dear mother earth, if you choose to walk everywhere and be eco-friendly in all that you do…more power to you! I just feel like it is a bit naïve and even arrogant at times to think that you can manipulate the environment in which we live by forcing everyone to live the same lifestyle you choose. My point is that pollution happens naturally (volcanoes) and your fellow citizens of Soldotna driving there SUVs are a small decimal of a percentage of pollution in comparison to the natural pollution that goes on each and every day around you.

As for you being a thinker. I really highly doubt that to be the case. If you were an individual of thought and wisdom I highly doubt you would be attending every town hall meeting and blogging about your experience. No, I think rather you would be perhaps paid to write as an investigative journalist? Maybe, you would be a college professor professing your great knowledge, ideas, and thoughts on political theory, constitutional law, and public policy? Perhaps, you could even use your great knowledge as an informed citizen, one who is connected with the “movers and shakers of Soldotna Alaska,” to run for political office yourself?

Instead it appears that you have chosen to play the role of cynic in your small community. You complain about and are jealous of those who enjoy the fruits of there labor. You despise the fact that others wish to live in liberty with a small un-intrusive government that is not looking to tax an individual left and right to feed its enormous appetite for dependency, money, and power. You are a cynical small town political hack of which your blog is a great example of. My recommendation to you if you really want to find fulfillment and happiness would be to move to Canada or better yet Europe who seem to be much more in line with your modern “progressive” views. Soldotna Alaska and there backwoods, small town ways are too beneath you and not sophisticated enough for your modern progressive ideals

I know it may sound cliché but if you don’t like it there move!!!


Signed,

Another Non-Thinking Right Wing Religious Conservative

souldotna said...

Once again, you have demonstrated that you only have your delusions as you offer nothing of substance.

It bothers me not in the least that folks, through their honest hard work, improve their life. It's the American Dream and I have been blessed with a good life because of it.

I only rail against Keller's dishonesty and hypocrisy. As he sucks off the government teat, he complains about the taxes he does not pay. Well I suppose if 'conservatives' like the two of you had your way, we would no longer be able to afford the benefits we give our veterans. We would also have to send them to fight the oil wars with equipment that does not suit the conditions. Oh, wait. Bush did that didn't he?

Oh, and the cemetery issue? SOLdotna owns the Redoubt property, we would have to buy the Knight Drive properties. Where would we get the $ to do so? Taxes. So, you say we should pay less in taxes by setting policy that would increase our taxes? Ah, sweet fantasies. Isn't that called VooDoo (AKA supply-side) economics?

The joke is that you sign off as a religious conservative. Pray tell, what religion espouses the greed, destruction,and hypocrisy that you defend? If I may make the assumption that you claim to be a Christian, I hope that you try to absorb the life and teachings of JC. Go ahead and read Matthew 6:19-24, Mark 10:21, Luke 12:15-18:25, Acts 4:32-5:11.

Wait a minute - was JC a socialist?

Sorry to disappoint you, but I have no intention of moving from SOLdotna. Small towns like this are places where you can still bring about change for the good.

Maybe YOU should think of moving to a place like Iran or Saudi Arabia where conservative religious practices are the law of the land, dissent is not tolerated, and where the agents of terror are funded by SUV-driving Americans and their insatiable appetite for oil. Those societies have actualized your fantasies - you would fit right in.

Please do contribute to this blog once you have something of substance to say.

Anonymous said...

Try and play nice. Life is short and your words are your legacy.

Anonymous said...

Details

PIN Number Tax Roll Tax Year
05537047 2008 REAL ROLL 2008
Mailing Address
KELLER WILLIAM J & CAROL L
35510 BRIANS ST
SOLDOTNA , AK 99669-9709

SITUS
35510 BRIANS ST

Delinquent Years Charges
Delinquent Years Amount
2007 $0.00
2006 $0.00
2005 $0.00
2004 $0.00
Type Amount
Tax Amount $0.00
Penalty $0.00
Interest $0.00
Fees $0.00

Last Paid Total Amount Paid Due Date Remaining Balance Due
10/13/2006 $0.00 5/18/2009 $0.00
Minimum Due $0.00

souldotna said...

Parcel: 05537047
Value: $1,723,900
Owner:KELLER WILLIAM J & CAROL L
Tax Amount $0.00

Parcel: 16562010
Value: $390,600
Owner: KELLER WILLIAM J & CAROL L TRUSTEES

The above info was taken from the KPB online parcel lookup.

Anonymous #1 might very well be correct that there are 2 couples with the same last and first names (and same middle initials). I did make an assumption that they are the same couple. I have no other info to support/refute this. If my assumption is in error, I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Regardless, the Bill Keller of the $1.7 million Kenai Riverfront property pays no property tax. As a veteran, who may have been injured/wounded in the service of the US (but whose missing leg is unrelated to his time in the service), he is entitled to and deserves a tax break. He is entitled to and deserves medical treatment for his injuries.

If there should be a reasonable cap to the property tax break is a subject of another debate.

As a recipient of tax-supported governmental (federal and local) financial assistance, one might expect Mr Keller to appreciate that it the tax that others pay that helps him to live the way that he does. Instead he uses dishonest political theater to whine about the taxes he does not pay while ignoring the benefits he does receive.

S.


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