May 3, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 18

Letters to the Editor

Keep it classy

To the Editor:

As we approach the end of the 2011-2012 school year, our annual Prom dance is almost upon us. As a staff, we enjoy the yearly transformation of our students dressing up and becoming “proper” ladies and gentlemen for a night. Especially in Southeast, devoid of malls and high-priced fashion stores (thank goodness), investing the time and money to dress formally is a major commitment and, coupled with the forever memories of prom night, should be a special night of friendship, festivity and laughter.

Petersburg High School has been focusing on improving the overall dance behavior of our students, and we feel that Prom is a great event to move another rung up the ladder of cleaner dancing and students learning to respect themselves and each other.

In Petersburg, all high school students are allowed to attend Prom, and we encourage our students to wear their finest clothes, share a meal and enjoy the company of friends.

Our goal is to embrace this long-standing tradition of etiquette, dancing and community, therefore sexually-explicit dancing and alcohol/drugs are very counterproductive. Our junior class has been busily preparing exquisite decorations--the product of three years of fundraising—ordering wonderful snacks and arranging the music so their school mates can have a wonderful night highlighted by pleasant memories that will last a lifetime. As a community, please join us in encouraging our children to plan for and experience a Prom of elegance and class, focusing on quality time with friends and honoring our seniors for the last promenade of their school career.

Rick Dormer

Principal, Petersburg HS/Mitkof MS

Can’t claim credit

To the Editor:

Contrary to Mr. George Cole’s statement made in the April 26 Pilot, I can’t take credit as the preparer of the Petersburg Borough petition. The petition is the result of a collaboration of scores of area residents, businesses and elected officials who participated in providing history, personal experiences and facts regarding the numerous life styles, livelihoods and common interests that make up the Petersburg community. However, I can take pride in being the lead clerical staff that aided in bringing all the information into one organized document to be presented to the State. The heart of the petition is the Petersburg Borough Charter - the map of how our borough government will operate when approved by the voters. The Charter was prepared by 9 area residents: 5 city residents and 4 non-city residents. Of those 9 individuals, 8 of them own(ed) property outside the current city limits, 1 in the City of Kupreanof and 7 either living or owning property from the Papke's Landing area south to Duncan Canal (Mr. Cole’s neighborhood). This union of diverse individuals and property owners helped formulate a local government framework that can work productively and advocate for our total surrounding area.

As far as school funding…I stick by my earlier statement: Borough formation is good for our schools and I’m confident in my interpretation of State law. Mr. Cole bases his statement upon an incorrect reading of the state statutes, relying upon AS 14.17.410(e), which is not applicable here. He needs to look at AS 14.17.510(c). After making the base year adjustment mandated by section .510(c), the estimated increase in the required local contribution based upon borough formation totals only $118,000 (far less than the “about $500,000” which Mr. Cole erroneously keeps opining), and less than the $184,000 to be collected from those living outside proposed Service Area 1 of the borough. There is no “$300,000 bag” which Petersburg is left holding.

All the budgetary planning continues to assume a 4 mill property tax outside the current City boundaries.

I agree with Mr. Cole on one thing – the state educational funding laws are complex, and explaining their meaning must necessarily be complicated to be accurate. While simplistic explanations are sometimes the easiest ones, they are not always right.

As far as my comments as a private citizen: I do have the right to voice my opinion outside of my work environment. I only add the clarifier of “private

citizen” to let the reader know I am not speaking for the

municipality.

Kathy O’Rear

Still a Private Citizen

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