Contributed by Ted Leonard
In the last issue of Make a Scene, I introduce myself as a candidate for Assembly (District 4) for the Mat-Su Borough. In this article, I want to share with the voters what I see the Borough’s role is in improving the quality of life and releasing the engine of economic development to produce good paying jobs for our residents.
The Borough needs to:
Provide needed services at reasonable cost: The Borough needs to go through a systematic process to identify the essential services that the public needs, ensure that the Borough is utilizing the most efficient and cost-effective delivery method to provide those services and ensure that the Borough is providing quality service to our residents. Before the Borough resorts to dramatically increasing taxes through a new sales tax (or increased property taxes), we need to ensure that all current tax dollars are being well spent and for needed services.
Have a reasonable, consistent and predictable tax policy: Business will not be attracted to our borough if they find our tax policies could price them out of the market. New businesses bring new jobs, bring more opportunities for our citizens and increase our tax base which can bring tax relief to the current property owners.
Adopt reasonable, fair, consistent and predictable regulations: Our regulations must protect our citizenry and our way of life, and yet not be an impediment to economic development.
Provide for a community where people want to live and raise their families: We live in a beautiful community with recreation opportunities all around us. We also offer a lower cost of housing and property than other parts of Southcentral Alaska. We must preserve this borough as the most wonderful place to live in Alaska.
Invest in needed infrastructure required to support our population growth and economic development: This infrastructure includes roads, energy, utilities, housing, schools and secure neighborhoods.
Ensure that public safety and the security of neighborhoods are of prime importance: Having robust police, fire and EMS readily available is a priority. These are the essential services government should provide. The Borough must work in conjunction with the State and the Cities to ensure that our citizens are safe and secure anywhere in the community and especially in their own home.
Provide for a trained, energetic and educated workforce that is available to assure economic development: We must pursue a strong education system that will provide the needed skills at all levels of labor, management, services and professions. To a great measure, our schools set the course for our future. We must pay very close attention to our education system to be certain our children are receiving a quality education that will ensure that they can work and thrive in a global marketplace.
Develop our natural resources: Our natural resources are our greatest source of potential wealth. We must develop these potential value resources wisely to convert them into actual wealth that can be transferred to the members of our community.
Together we can achieve the goals of growing our economy to create new jobs and to grow our tax base, financing needed infrastructure, supporting our public safety and providing our children a quality education if we have a government that is accountable to our residents, that delivers essential services effectively, that supports well planned development and limits negative interference in business and our daily lives.
I want to serve our great community and believe I am the right candidate at the right time. I would be grateful for your support and humbly ask for your vote on Tuesday, October 3rd.