Monday, August 29, 2011

Ear to the Ground

The Kenai Borough's mayoral race had two mentions in this Sunday's ADN's Ear .  First up was a bit about how a fund-raiser for Mike Navarre had across-the-aisle supporters including  some influential Rs such as Lisa Murkowski, Gail Phillips and Arliss Sturgulewski.

Considering that Dale Bagely, the leading R in the race, was a strong backer of the scoundrel, Joe Miller, it's no surprise that Lisa might back someone like Mike.

The other mention the Kenai received was Fred Sturman's malapropism (I hope) when he stated on the KDLL political forum, that the Kenai was a monogamous stream.  He's not the only candidate that has trouble pronouncing anadromous.   Didn't another candidate say that the river was androgynous?  I guess it's all about sex, so they are at least on-topic.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Candidate Deadlines and Class Warfare in Soldotna

Monday is the last day to file for the various elected borough and city positions that will be open this fall.  Predictably, many announced candidates are holding off making it official.  For borough mayor, only Dale Bagley and Gary Superman have put in the paperwork although there's no reason to think that the remaining four will change their minds.  I hope that they are all in as it promises to be entertaining.

Here in Soldotna, Peter Micciche is seeking a second term as city mayor, there's an article in today's PC with the announcement.  You have to give Peter his props, he's done more than a fair job as mayor, but to read article, you would think he's done so without any missteps. Micciche reinvents history with his account of the cemetery issue.  He was one of the driving forces to keep the cemetery from being established at the Redoubt site.  As Peter laments in the article, if folks don't like the direction government is going, they should get involved and that's just what happened.  Four folks not happy with Peter ran for the city council and when elected, forced Peter to change his position.  To his credit, the mayor has played nicely since.

Maybe it's a small issue, but the sweetheart deal that Larry Semmens, the Soldotna city manager got is a bit slimy.  Semmens was allowed to retire, but then was hired back as the manager - double dipping.  Now, an ordinary state, borough, city or school employee is NOT allowed to do the same thing (although temporary contracts for retired personnel to fill in for a regular employee who is sick or on emergency leave are allowed).  ONLY the bosses are given this sort of exception and allowed to be retired and work full time at the job they retired from.  Why?  Well, who the heck knows?

Why is this slimy?  Well, when one is employed in a public-sector job, both the employee and the employer pay into the retirement and health care programs.  Those contributions keep some money coming into the retirement and health care systems and help keep it solvent.  Now, Larry gets to collect his retirement and get health care for himself and his family and pays nothing into the system.  Oh yeah, and the deal increases the unemployment by one as some qualified candidate that would help pay into the system does not get hired.

It's the Chilkoot Charlie philosophy:  "We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you."  I think it is also the Republican/Tea Party way.  They want ALL of the benefits, but damn if they are going to contribute. 

Now Larry has done a fine job as manager, but how can his special deal be the right thing to do?

There are two city council seats B and F are open.  Rumor has it that Pete Sprague will file for Shea Hutchings seat F.  No word if Brenda or someone else will file for B.

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