Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 9:48 PM on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Carey says he won't seek second term in top spot

Morris News Service - Alaska


Mayor Dave Carey

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dave Carey announced Tuesday that he will not be running for re-election this fall.

So far, four candidates have announced their intention to run for the seat: Dale Bagley and Fred Sturman of Soldotna, Debbie Brown of Kasilof, and Ron Long of Seward.

In the statement announcing his decision, which he said was timed to coincide with Flag Day, Carey said he cannot fulfill his oath to the borough and God to serve a 36-month term if he spends four of those months campaigning.

"Running for re-election could give me an unethical and even maybe an immoral advantage because I could make decisions that would help me get votes when I have taken an oath of office to serve everyone," Carey said Tuesday.

Carey also talked about his plans for the future in his announcement.

In the short term, he is concerned with borough business, including implementing the 2012 budget.

"I will also be working with the assembly on the process for how the borough decides on funding for nonprofits and post-secondary education," he said in a prepared statement.

Another of Carey's priorities is to help the borough keep pace with the Internet age. Carey said he wants to use technology to engage young adults.

Carey also mentioned an ordinance up for public hearing at the borough assembly's June 21 meeting. That ordinance would prohibit the borough mayor from holding certain positions in any entity that receives a financial benefit from the borough. Homer's Bill Smith brought the ordinance forward, and Carey said he thinks of it as the "Director Turner Ordinance."

Effectively, the ordinance would prevent the mayor from teaching at Kenai Peninsula College, Carey said.

Neither Gary Turner, the director of KPC, or Carey were available for comment.

The mayor also is looking past the end of his term at what he plans to do next.

Carey has served in public office since the 1980s, including several years on the borough assembly, on the Soldotna City Council and as Soldotna's mayor.

When he finishes this term, he may follow a religious calling, he said.

Carey said he intends to apply for a four-year program that would ordain him as a deacon. He has just finished a one-year program of discernment and training through the Catholic Church.

"I can think of no better way to spend the rest of my life than as a member of the Christian clergy trying to respond to God's call," Carey said in his statement.

Molly Dischner is a reporter for the Peninsula Clarion.

Official statement by Mayor Dave Carey

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 Mayor Dave Carey

Respectfully, I chose Flag Day as the time to announce my political intentions because I love America and what it stands for and I especially love the American Flag as it represents our Constitutional values as a Republic and our beliefs in the principles of limited government, popular sovereignty and consent of the governed.

Our Flag allows me to express my strongest support for all those in our military and for all veterans who have served to protect our Constitutional values. My father, a Navy Pilot, returned from an overseas military operation with a Flag on his coffin when I was four and, I believe, the ONLY special interest that government, on all levels, should acknowledge and give a preference to are veterans and active-duty military, reservists and National Guard members.

My primary point today is to discuss how I will do my job as it relates to running for re-election as Borough Mayor. I have stood for election 12 times. Twice for Soldotna City Council, three times for Soldotna Mayor, four times for the Borough Assembly, once for the State House, once for the State Senate and three years ago I was elected Borough Mayor with over 64% of the votes cast.

Running for re-election as Borough Mayor is different than any other election. My previous 12 elections were all for offices that worked as part of a group and actions required a quorum of members and a majority to make any decision.

Not so with being Borough Mayor. The Borough Mayor is the top Administrative Officer in this Borough. As such, I hire employees and can fire them. As Mayor, I make decisions daily without needing anyone else's approval or consultation. As such, the Borough Mayor has authority to make decisions everyday that could assist in a re-election campaign and gain votes.

Running for re-election could give me an unethical and even maybe an immoral advantage because I could make decisions that would help me get votes when I have taken an Oath of Office to serve EVERYONE.

My "Oath of Office" was to spend 36 months, not 32, representing the people of the Borough. I could NOT do both at the same time fairly. I would have to resign as Borough Mayor if I was to ethically keep my Oath to the people and to God. Although it was not part of the Oath, I ended my public Oath of Office with the words, "So help me God."

I have no intention of resigning to run for re-election. I love being Borough Mayor and I have the greatest respect for the people who elected me and for the importance of the work to be done during the next four months. My competitive nature must be aimed at finishing the job I was elected to do not spending four months focused on running for re-election.

What are my priorities during the next four months?

I will be working with taxpayers, borough staff and the Assembly to implement the 2012 Budget passed last week. I am so pleased with the current Assembly. Term limits have greatly improved the Borough Assembly. The current Assembly actually listens to people as compared to the aristocrats that ran the Assembly for my first two years. There is real debate and thinking going on. They don't all agree with each other; but, they listen to each other and the public.

I will do all that I can to see that the term limits approved by the voters are not weakened. I will oppose every ballot Proposition that would reach into the taxpayer's pockets, take more money, and re-distribute the money to the Special Interests that provide campaign contributions to elected decision-makers.

I do not believe our fiscal problems are caused by a need for more revenue; our fiscal problems are caused by too much spending by government. I believe in the competitive capitalist market, less government regulation and the need to promote a strong middle class with moral values.

Our government must continually look for ways to bring our young people into the process. Young people do not come to our meetings because we are not user friendly. We are dinosaurs when it comes to technology and social networking. I will be working during the next four months to get Borough meetings electronically on-line and saving paper. Young adults are being pushed to the breaking point financially by the debt and corruption in American government. If my generation (age 58) and those older, want Social Security, Medicare, and Emergency Services providers, we better include the younger generation in decision-making as they will be forced to pay OUR bills.

I will also be working with the Assembly on the process for how the Borough decides on funding for non-profits and Post-Secondary Education. The people working in those non-profits and at our colleges are doing a great job, there are great students being taught and the Borough as a whole benefits.

At the same time, there should not be intimidation inflicted on anyone by the college leader because someone says there should be a discussion about funding. Yesterday morning (Monday) as I was filling my car with gas, a worker at the station, a young man, came out and said he was a student at the college. He said to me, "I'm still a little "ticked" at the college for conning me into protesting the funding during the sign unveiling". I believe there were a lot of people conned during that process.

Next Tuesday, the Assembly will hold a hearing on what I think of as the Director Turner Ordinance (2011-18). It immediately prohibits me from teaching at KPC. It would be an inaccurate perception to think my teaching at the college was connected to funding for Post-Secondary Education. I also have a great local private lawyer, Eric Derleth (trialguy.com), concerning the harassment and intimidation I experienced during February over college funding.

Finally, I would like to share a personal milestone. One year ago, I applied for and was accepted in a One-Year Program of discernment and training regarding being ordained in the Catholic Church. The training required monthly meetings in Anchorage on Friday night and Saturday. I finished that Program last Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost.

By this coming Saturday, I must decide whether or not to apply for the Four-Year Program which will require many on-line classes and one full weekend a month in Anchorage. I will send in my letter of application this week, and God willing, four years from now, I will be asking people to come to my Ordination as a Deacon in the Church.

I can think of no better way to spend the rest of my life than as a member of the Christian clergy trying to respond to God's call. I hope people will pray for me during the next four years and that the next four months as Borough Mayor will include my most productive work for resident taxpayers and the great people who work for the Borough. I will certainly be praying for them.