September 13, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 37

Letters to the editor

Last trip as Representative

To the Editor:

I have trips to Petersburg and Sitka coming up, this will likely be for the last time as the representative for District 2. If there are issues that I might be able to help with, or thoughts on new legislation needed in Alaska, or you’d like to show off your state-funded projects, please give me a call. I’ll do what I can to help through the end of December – as long as I’m still your representative.

I’ll be in Petersburg Wednesday, September 12 through Friday, the 14th, in the Petersburg LIO. I‘ll be meeting with constituents and city officials to hear their concerns and legislative priorities for the remainder of 2012. If you’d like an appointment, call Pam at 772-3829.

Representative Peggy Wilson




To the Editor:

Ever since this borough issue came into being, those of us who live outside the city limits of Petersburg have been called various names, such as free loaders, troublemakers, anti-this and anti-that. I wonder if the merchants of Petersburg think we’re free loaders? My wife and I personally contribute, in the neighborhood of $25,000 a year to the economy of Petersburg, and we don’t have any kids living with us. I’m sure that every other family out here spends about the same. If you multiply that amount by the number of families who shop in Petersburg, we’re talking about several hundred thousand dollars. If I understand the laws of economics, for every dollar coming into an area, it causes a rippling effect, whereby that dollar circulates through that area over seven times as it is passed on from user to user.

Whenever my wife and I used the pool facilities, we paid the extra fee involved. We paid the fee to allow us a senior citizen tax-free benefit. Most of the streets we use are part of the Alaskan Highway system. The Post Office is a federal establishment. Since I’m a resident of Alaska and the state is paying for a large part of the new library construction, I feel I have as much right to use it as anyone else.

I guess we can be considered trouble makers when we try to point out that a borough means more government, more bureaucracy, more employees and their medical and retirement benefits, more equipment, more regulations, more planning restrictions and costly permits, and less freedom to pursue personal goals. All of this means more taxes. The borough petition (charter) states that the borough Assembly will be able to impose a personal property tax, if deemed necessary, without a vote of the people. (Page 4, subsection 11-B of the petition.)

Yes, becoming a borough will result in additional monies from the state, but will it be enough to meet all of the demands of our city leaders and a larger government? I wonder why we, the troublemakers, are the only ones voicing the consequences of becoming a borough?

Some people have said that if we don’t become a borough, Juneau will annex us. Juneau would have to get permission from the state LBC and they have already stated that Juneau has reached its limits. It would require another request, which would then give Petersburg residents the opportunity to vote for or against annexation. Also, if Juneau were successful, it would have to provide full services for all the area annexed. I doubt that they would be willing to take on that expense. Read the rules of annexation and the proposed borough petition.

Gary Williams

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