Story last updated at 3:01 p.m. Thursday, October 3, 2002

Martin, Bagley re-elected
Morris News Service-Alaska
Kenai Peninsula Borough voters Tuesday chose incumbent Milli Martin over Faith Schade in the race for the South Peninsula District 9 seat on the borough assembly.

"I'm quite happy and delighted," Martin said. "It tells me people support what I'm doing and what I plan on doing."

Uncontested incumbent assembly member Chris Moss, also of Homer, retained the District 8 seat, the Homer district, a three-year term.

Voters also returned Mayor Dale Bagley to office for another three-year term, handing him a decisive victory over his opponent, current Alaska House of Representatives member Ken Lancaster.

In four other contested races for borough assembly seats, nine-year member and current assembly president Tim Navarre was turned out of office by assembly member Betty Glick in the race for assembly District 2 (Kenai), a three-year term; John C. Davis of Kenai easily topped Ronald J. Johnson of Kenai in the race for assembly District 1, the Kalifornsky district, a one-year term; in District 5 (Sterling), incumbent Grace E. Merkes beat challenger Marty Anderson handily for a three-year term; and in District 7 (Central), incumbent Paul Fischer of Kasilof successfully withstood challenges from two opponents and won re-election to a two-year term, beating out Paul Zimmerman of Kasilof and Anchor Point resident Doug Ruzicka.

In an uncontested race, incumbent assembly member Pete Sprague, of Soldotna, easily won re-election to a two-year term from District 4.

The assembly terms were either one-, two- or three-year terms to allow for a rotation of offices in future elections.

In other ballot decisions, voters chose to continue paying a tax on nonprepared food items boroughwide.

Proposition No. 4, which sought to eliminate the so-called "grocery tax," failed in the municipal election 64 percent to 36 percent, according to unofficial results released late Tuesday.

Borough officials had opposed the exemption, claiming that lost sales tax revenue would have a detrimental impact on city budgets and could result in increased property taxes.

James Price, who formed Peninsula Citizens Against the Grocery Tax and led a petition drive to put the question before the voters, disagreed with Williams' analysis and said he was disappointed with the results of the vote.

"I was very discouraged that the city (of Soldotna) used its money and personnel to promote an educational campaign I felt was a misinformation campaign," he said. "I don't feel it would be necessary to dramatically raise property taxes (had the initiative passed)."

Other propositions:

Voters passed Proposition No. 1, which will adopt a districting plan for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education.

About 55 percent of voters selected Proposition No. 1 Plan B, which creates a nine-member, district-based board, while only 44 percent voted for Plan A, which would have left school board representation as it is with seven members elected at large.

Under the new system, nine school board members will be elected by assembly districts starting next October, meaning all seats likely will be up for re-election next year.

Voters also passed Proposition No. 2, a plan to raise $12 million through general obligation bonds to pay for improvements to the Central Peninsula Landfill over the next 10 years. The bonds will be repaid over a 10-year period. With 26 of 29 precincts reporting late Tuesday, the vote was 5,087 yes to 4,040 no.

An overwhelming majority of peninsula voters also supported Proposition No. 3, a $14.7 million general obligation bond to build a new middle school in Seward to replace the currently substandard facility.

The proposition does not, however, automatically approve the bonds. The borough now will apply for state debt service reimbursement on the project.

If the state approves reimbursement of at least 60 percent, the borough will issue the bonds.

However, voters rejected Proposition No. 5, a proposed Anchor Point Port and Harbor Service Area. With two of four precincts in, the no votes had a solid lead over the yes votes, 193 to 148. Had Proposition No. 5 been successful, the service area would have been empowered to raise money for a port and harbor feasibility study estimated to cost over $1 million. The service area would not have had the authority to actually build a harbor.