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Mayor DeVilbiss talks Borough Matters at TKA Community Council

by Lorien Nettleton ~ March 6th, 2012

Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss attended the Talkeetna Community Council Board’s March meeting on Monday night. He suggested Talkeetna start the process of becoming incorporated, saying that it was difficult to get Borough services up to residents’ satisfaction. By incorporating, the mayor said, Talkeetna would be able to implement its own tax, be it seasonal or year-round, and in that way be able to have a local equivalent to the bed-tax, which is collected borough-wide and re-distributed amongst communities. It was suggested at the meeting that by incorporating, the borough would be able to divest itself of the Talkeetna Water and Sewer Utility, leaving the town to deal with the financial difficulties of rate increases and loan re-payment.

The council took the opportunity to question the mayor’s about an ordinance he introduced in November that would allow Community Councils to decide for themselves whether to include non-resident land owners and other entities to have membership in Community Council affairs, such as voting on advisory ballots and electing board members.

The original ordinance, eleven-dash-127 would have required Councils to amend their bylaws to allow for the inclusion of non-property owners and other entities. The Substitute ordinance, eleven-dash-157 would give the Community Councils the choice of whether to include these groups in their membership. The Mayor says he had been asked by three Councils to let them include non-resident land-owners, because they had so few full-time

2 Responses to Mayor DeVilbiss talks Borough Matters at TKA Community Council

  1. Montana Mike

    Staff:

    Why is it so difficult for you in government to address the problems of the borough?

    Instead of admitting you in government have not kept up with the growth in Mat-Su Borough, you want the “out” to form their own government, as if, this solves your own ineptness. It doesn’t. Tax money ill spent, is tax money ill spent.

    Mat Su Borough lacks a proper master plan, including ALL the borough.

    Times change, the Borough is a fiscal mess, with tax payers money not being accountable.

    You in Mat Su government are receiving a outcry from the borough tax payers, due to the lack of services we receive.

    Whether the problems are in water in Talkeetna, proper bathrooms for tourist use, code compliance enforcement, Mat Su Borough is wasting tax payers dollars and not properly accounting for how tax payers dollars are spent.

    Tax Payers in the borough deserve their property and business’s protected from sprawl, junkyards, junk cars and the Borough code is written to do so. It is enforcement by the Borough that is lacking.

    It is the inability of borough staff, to address the problems of the tax paying people of the borough, who pay their staff salaries where the problem lies.

    Wasilla/Palmer area shows what happens when sprawl, lack of a plan, lack of code enforcement happens.

    When a borough functions without a proper plan and proper code enforcement, a terrible unsightly mess occurs, like what has happened to Wasilla/Palmer. One does not have to re-invent the wheel, simply look to areas with a proper budget and plan and implement those.

    Instead of Mat Su government passing the “buck”, why not tackle the problems of this Borough and start re-structuring the Borough to include all, with a proper staff and plan. Stop wasting tax payers money and get a clue.

    Mat Su Borough could open a borough staff office on the North end of the borough, with a plan and budget to match, to keep Talkeetna a “historical” area for Alaska, before sprawl, lack of a plan, lack of code enforcement, damages the tourist income coming to Mat Su Borough, Alaska and turns Talkeetna into another Wasilla/Palmer.

    The people in the Talkeetna area need to know the property tax income collected annually by the Borough and bed tax income collected annually by the Borough, and how those monies are currently distributed, to even get a handle on how our tax payers money is being used and the feasibility of starting our own government in this area.

    The Borough wants to send general information about “assessed values” (a meaningless figure, with all the exemptions) and “appraised value” (another meaningless figure), while Borough Staff can not even “break out” the revenue and expenses in the borough and show how those tax funds are distributed throughout the borough by areas and for what.

    Someone in the Borough Government must have accurate figures of who spends what tax dollars, where, and how in this Borough.

    I know one thing, as a Borough Tax Payer and Businessman, the wasted Borough Tax Dollars on programs like the ones shown below are not needed nor wanted.

    We in the borough would rather have proper toilet facilities for tourist, water supply, signage regulations, and our Borough Code Enforced as written, than these ridiculous programs and Borough Staff Man Hours wasted!

    http://www.adn.com/2011/05/07/1850915/mat-su-ferry-floating-sports-car.html

    http://www.matsugov.us/prison/

    http://www.frontiersman.com/news/hatcher-pass-to-get-a-new-road/article_41ea8e1c-6040-11e1-8a19-0019bb2963f4.html

    Moose feeding areas, while our business’s and properties are over run? Come on!

    Anyone involved in Borough Government want to try to show how Borough Tax Dollars are collected and spent annually, by local areas? Snow Removal, Schools, Roads, Staff, as example, by areas.

  2. Lorien Nettleton

    KTNA is a public radio station unassociated with Mat-Su Borough. The mission of KTNA Radio is to operate a non-profit, educational, community radio station with local access; to provide a broad base of educational, cultural and informational programming to challenge, broaden and enrich the listening audience; to foster a sense of community within the Upper Susitna Valley; and to share programming and services with a larger Alaskan community.

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