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KENAI PENINSULA BOROUGH MAYOR CALLS LOCAL CITIZENS "DOMESTIC TERRORISTS"!
Submitted by Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers
Mar. 26, 2006
Please read the Sunday Peninsula Clarion article below where Mayor Williams
calls A.C.T. members “domestic terrorists”!
In the blockbuster movie, “good night, and good luck”, there was an
out-of-control elected official attempting to ruin the lives of ordinary
citizens. Some brave news people finally stood up and expose Senator McCarthy
for the over-zealous bully he was.
Will the media of this borough be brave enough to stand up to Mayor Williams
before he does real harm to honest citizens?
Good night and good luck!
252-3044 Kenai Cell
244-6446 Anchorage Cell
Web posted Sunday, March 26, 2006
Mayor: Group’s criticisms off base
ACT charges borough isn’t trying hard enough to limit taxes, Williams says
that’s not true.
By HAL SPENCE
Assertions voiced earlier this month by a grassroots taxpayers group regarding
the state of the borough’s finances were based on inaccurate information, wrong
assumptions and demonstrated on their part a poor understanding of how
municipal governments work, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams said
It was the mayor’s first formal response to lengthy comments delivered to the
borough assembly March 14 by members of the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers,
commonly called ACT. During a 10-minute presentation and question-and-answer
period that followed, ACT officials Vicki Pate, of Nikiski, and Ruby Kime, of
Ninilchik, presented the group’s “120-Day Report,” a rebuttal of sorts to Mayor
Williams’ 60-day transition report delivered in January in which he set the
stage for addressing the borough’s looming financial problems.
Pate told the assembly that the idea behind the mayor’s 60-day report had been
a good one. She applauded the mayor for creating an 18-member transition team
of appointed borough residents who worked for nearly two months analyzing the
borough’s finances and recommending approaches to meet the fiscal challenges
facing the borough.
But she lambasted the resulting report.
“ACT feels the Williams’ report was biased in favor of higher taxes and did not
address the public’s desire for lower taxes and greater efficiency in borough
government,” she said.
ACT members have been vocally critical of borough spending and taxation
policies for more than two years, and last year saw two ballot propositions it
sponsored win voter approval. One, Proposition 4, limited the amount the
assembly could spend on capital projects without a public vote to $1 million.
It had been $1.5 million.
The other had the most immediate effect. Proposition 5, approved by about 54
percent of voters, rolled back a 1 percent increase in the sales tax approved
by the assembly in June 2005 that was expected to generate nearly $30 million
in new revenue between fiscal years 2005 and 2009. The proposition, now law,
also required that any future increase in the sales tax win approval of a
supermajority — 60 percent — of voters before it can be imposed.
Even before he was elected mayor, candidate John Williams argued against
rolling back the sales tax. Since taking office, Williams has pulled few
punches in delivering public warnings that it would take “draconian measures”
to meet the financial crisis. Nor has he been reluctant to lay at least part of
the blame for accelerating the borough’s difficulties squarely at the feet of
He has said more than once that he believed ACT members had no clear idea how
Prop 5’s restrictions on sales tax revenues would impact the borough’s ability
to provide its myriad government functions.
In his 60-day report presented in January, Williams warned that Prop 5 would
“either slow down, severely disrupt, or curtail services” to some operations of
the government altogether.
“Without significant changes to the government, the effect of Proposition 5
will be to bankrupt the general government,” he said. “The loss of funding to
the general government and the services to the people of the Kenai Peninsula
Borough through the budget years FY 2006 through FY 2009 will be close to $30
million. At present rates of loss, the borough will be $8.9 million in the red
by the end of the FY 2009.”
Williams went on to say it was incomprehensible to him that the people of the
peninsula as a whole “would intentionally want to destroy the very entities
that they voted to build.”
ACT members expressed a wholly different view March 14.
“Mayor Williams claims the people who promoted Propositions 4 and 5 did not
know what they were doing,” Pate told the assembly March 14. “We are those
people, and we know exactly what we are doing. We are giving taxpayers the
opportunity to control the size of their tax bills. If government does not
control itself, the taxpayers will.”
Despite ACT’s claims to the contrary, Mayor Williams said Thursday that he
continues to believe ACT members did not really know the true impact of Prop 5.
“They did not know,” he said. “I asked Mike McBride (chair of the Alliance of
Concerned Taxpayers), ‘Were you trying to shut down government?’ None of them
realized the entire hit of Prop 5 would be aimed at the administrative force of
The alternative, Williams said, is something more dire.
“If they did know what they were doing,” he continued, “then, to me, it amounts
to domestic terrorism in an attempt to subvert government.”
Williams also said continuing requests for public information, while perfectly
legal, have added significantly to the workload of borough employees — he
“Their continuous disruption of government by continually requesting of staff
more and more information, taking away time they need to properly run
government, is costing taxpayers of the Kenai Peninsula Borough rather than
saving them money,” Williams said.
Federal freedom of information laws allow governments to charge fees for public
information when the time providing documents exceeds five hours a month. He
said the borough is considering charging ACT for the time.
Further, the mayor noted that his administration has only been in power for
five months. In that time, he said, a volcano has blown, an oil-bearing ship
has grounded, there’d been a major power outage and the borough has put on the
highly successful Arctic Winter Games, all while facing a budget potentially $7
million in the red and writing a new and leaner spending plan for fiscal year
“We’ve hardly gotten our feet on the ground,” he said.