Borough Mayor Mike Navarre in a memorandum to the borough assembly vetoed Ordinance 2014-25 which provides for an areawide transient accommodations tax subject to voter approval. “Because this structure mirrors a city tax … the council and voters of each city should decide whether or not a bed tax is levied in their own boundaries. This should not be decided by borough voters,” Navarre said in the memo.
Navarre also states that the borough budget already includes funds for marketing tourism in the borough outside the cities. “Dedicating a tax for a specified purpose like tourism marketing is problematic. Any unspent funds cannot be placed in the general fund … they would have to either be spent or held for future tourism promotion purposes.”
Navarre says that he does not think the tax is equitable “as it would generate revenue from a select portion of tourists in the borough and impose the full burden on a small segment of the tourism industry.”
A veto may be overridden within 21 days following the exercise of the veto or the next regular meeting, whichever is later. The mayor has asked the assembly to put it on the Aug. 5 agenda, if it wishes to override his veto, as it is too late to be placed on the October 2014 ballot.
During an executive session with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education, Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD superintendent, tendered his resignation, effective December 1, 2014. His resignation was formally announced and accepted during the public school board meeting. Dr. Atwater will leave KPBSD to become the new University of Alaska Associate Vice President for K-12 Outreach.
The school board met in executive session on Monday evening, and will determine the next step for a new KPBSD superintendent. Three options are possibilities: a national search and new hire; appoint a new superintendent from qualified internal or external candidates; or hire an interim superintendent for the remainder of the school year. When a decision about the next step is made, KPBSD will communicate with our staff, schools, families, and the public.
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has opened its Housing Choice Voucher program waiting list in Homer and Soldotna. Applicants will get vouchers based on the date and time they submit applications.
Applications are available at www.ahfc.us or in the AHFC’s public housing locations. Completed applications are accepted online, in person or by mail. More information on eligibility and rules for renters can be found at www.ahfc.us/rent/applying.
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