To the editor:
Although Kodiak is in much better shape financially than many other U.S. communities, even we must face some difficult decisions. Business as usual is no longer possible. The wisdom of our political leaders, however, must be shown by the choices they make as to what must be cut or preserved. The head of a family whose income has diminished or has been eroded by taxes and inflation knows that certain essential budget items cannot stand cutting. It’s wise to postpone the Hawaiian vacation, to hang on to the 10-year-old family car a little longer and to avoid frequent trips to the restaurant, but the mortgage payments must be made on time, the house must be heated enough, adequate and nutritious food must be bought. These are essential budget items that cannot be cut. And if there isn’t enough money to take care of those, the wise head of the family will seek additional sources of income.
Our community — just as a family — must now realize that absolutely essential programs like the education of our children must be preserved and fully funded, while non-essential expenditures must be cut and additional sources of income found. In my opinion, a double, overlapping, bloated government is an extravagant luxury we cannot afford any longer. City and borough must be consolidated. The savings to the community would be enormous. Let’s elect in the future only candidates to the city council and borough assembly who firmly and honestly commit to consolidating city and borough under one government.
As for additional sources of revenue, it seems to me that it is not fair to dig continuously and almost exclusively in the pockets of property owners. There are many alternatives. In the past, I believe, there was a modest head tax paid by everyone who worked in Kodiak on a first paycheck. A borough-wide sales tax is another alternative. Our local governments and we citizens must begin to think outside the box and be creative. Let’s all work together on making wise choices and finding effective solutions. This is not politics — it’s our future as a community.