Per the governor’s State of the State speech, the topic of leadership captures the essentials of being able and prepared to inspire others to reach agreement. Let’s be honest, the Legislature for many years, and even today, demonstrates a lack of discipline and willingness to make responsible fiscal decisions. It is seriously paralyzed in taking necessary corrective budget actions and behaves as if to say “what’s the problem”? And some want to point to our governor and make claims that he somehow lacks leadership. Really?
We have relied for too long solely on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline for providing the majority of our state revenue and ignored so many other economic opportunities. It’s fair to say we have been lazy. We deserve what we are experiencing in our state today. Budget cuts, reductions to our Permanent Fund dividends and taxing our income or property will ultimately need to be considered in balancing costs to deliver government services. Clearly, Gov. Mike Dunleavy, like it or not, has made the local “front page news” much about our spending and revenue challenges. Good on him and his administration for that!
Having witnessed years of avoidance by our legislators in making tough decisions, the governor’s proposed budget cuts have not been popular with many special interest groups. Having this much-needed discussion that is not easy to execute, in my opinion, demonstrates vision and leadership by our governor.
We Alaskans all know what needs to happen, yet we also scramble and do what we can to avoid being affected by future decisions. Our future generations deserve better from all of us that have benefited from Alaska’s wealth; to ignore our responsibilities to our children now is irresponsible at best.
Gov. Dunleavy has provided a 10-year plan that includes a spending cap. It is my hope legislators will stop delaying and talking about what they think needs to be done and just do it. I encourage you to read the 10-year plan; it depicts good leadership by our governor.
It’s time for all to take ownership and fix it!
— Charlie Pierce
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor
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