November 22, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 47

Editorial

Control our destiny, don’t have it dictated by others

It’s good that the borough election will get underway next week.

Following months, even years of discussion, the electorate now will have their say as ballots are cast and the fate of the city’s borough formation effort is decided.

At this point, we find the arguments for and against the borough very repetitive, almost to the point that some feel if an opinion is repeated just one more time, it will carry more weight than the first time it was presented.

During months of debate both the city and specific individuals have been vilified. Fortunately, a person’s bank account, employment status and public employee benefits will make no difference in this election. We all will cast the same ballot.

We find little merit to the argument that the city, its borough attorney, employees and elected officials in any way used deception to advance the cause of borough formation. There simply is no reason the city’s borough formation effort needed to rely on anything but truthful statements of fact and in some cases opinion backed up by logic and sound reasoning. Everyone is entitled to present his or her opinions. Opponents are welcome to challenge the arguments at will. At the same time, we reject the suggestion that our rural neighbors are “freeloaders.”

Through the discussion, we believe the public has become well informed of the issues and in the end, voters will make the right decision.

We believe the majority will uphold Petersburg’s tradition of charting a long-term course of action that will benefit the community with economic stability, improved quality of life and potential for growth.

The majority want Petersburg to control its destiny, not have it determined by others.

Not wanting to pay taxes is not a good reason to vote against the borough, particularly when those taxes support education.

Government is not expected to grow as a result of borough formation, and yet the opportunity exists for the expansion of infrastructure and services for those that may request same. There are rural residents that understand the benefits of living in close proximity to the services provided by both the municipality and the private sector and are willing to support the continuation of those benefits.

We support the boundary lines established for the Petersburg Borough and believe that absent an affirmative vote by Petersburg, Juneau will annex lands as far south as Cape Fanshaw. A recent article in the Juneau Empire said that, “the City and Borough of Juneau should be prepared to respond to, and if necessary, oppose, municipal boundary petitions or applications presented to the LBC by other municipalities in Southeast Alaska that encroach upon or would otherwise impact CBJ’s ability to annex its “ideal” boundaries as identified by its annexation commission at an appropriate time in the future.”

Petersburg has forced their hand and the CBJ will not make the mistake of putting off again the opportunity to annex territory now being sought by Petersburg.

Petersburg needs to control its destiny and not have neighboring governments dictate our future.

Ballots will be mailed on Monday, November 26. Voters will make a decision that will advance or stifle Petersburg’s regional interests for decades to come.

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