Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:12 PM on Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Say yes to being owner state

Please vote yes on Ballot Measure 2.

During my nine-year tenure on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, the Kenai Peninsula still enjoyed the benefits of this program, including a staff member, whose salary was half paid by the state, and who worked together with the Gilman River Center to provide one stop shopping for permits and review of upcoming projects.

Under that program, the interested public had a place to come and be heard. Coastal zone management review was a permanent item on the borough planning commission agenda.

When then-Gov. Murkowski gutted the program, the borough, because of our unique position of public lands, was able to maintain more oversight than most other boroughs. I kept hoping that this little crack in the door would one day enable the program to be fully restored. Instead, the Legislature, with the governors urging, allowed the program to die last year.

As Mako Haggerty pointed out in his opinion piece last week, opponents of this measure claim it is a federal takeover, but it is not.

It is a program to give you, the public, a voice in what happens on federal lands. The commission to be formed would represent each of the nine coastal districts (as originally existed). No one district would have veto power over another.

And as Susan Bell of Gov. Parnells own Community Development Department said, it will cost the state $2.9 million, not $5.4 million as being advertised.

We the voters have an opportunity to reinstate a very powerful, citizen tool on Aug. 28. By voting yes, as Mako noted, we are voting to be an owner state, not a resource colony.

Please vote yes on Ballot Measure 2.

Milli Martin