As an American and Alaskan voter, we tend to focus most on the presidency, U.S. senate, U.S. house and maybe the governor race. Ironically these are the contests we have the least amount of control over, as they are the most downstream from the things we actually could impact if we were motivated enough.
Politicians tend to react to sentiment and flow with the tides. The best way to influence the races beyond our reach is to influence the races we can control. The politicians will take note of power appropriately utilized.
FAIRBANKS SCHOOL BOARD
I have found those on the political right tend to be fond of criticizing the national department of education. And rightly so. The record of U.S. schools’ performance has been in steady decline since this agency was founded, despite ever-increasing funding and mandates. Yet, few Fairbanks-area conservatives spend much time discussing the fact that we have a local school board that determine academic standards, curriculum, and indoctrination policies, and with the exception of exceptional anti-faith and anti-family propaganda, our local school board has a dismal record of success.
As a state we regularly come in within one or two points of being the 50th worst academically performing state. This is wholly our fault as a community. We can’t blame this on Commiefornia or Bidenomics. We are to blame for not electing people of moral courage to ensure our kids are learning good values and a quality education.
Believe it or not they are learning something at school all day. It may not be how to read but they are learning something. It may be a disdain for your country and culture.
We need everyone willing to vote the right way, so I hope Fairbanks School Board members April Smith and Maggie Matheson get reelected. More importantly though, we need people of courage to come in and take the offensive to fix problems, not just block and tackle the evil being pushed. I strongly believe School Board candidate Michael Humprey is the man for this.
The schools these days are a dangerous place to send your kids. We need to change this. Not everyone can homeschool their kids, and while anyone who can, should, we still need to fix the schools for those who can’t.
CITY OF FAIRBANKS
Fairbanks has a looming crisis few are talking about. With the current spending and future projections in four years the city will be facing an eight-million-dollar annual shortfall, and growing. For the last few years, it’s been closer to four million and has been made up from the permanent fund the city wisely invested after the sale of its utility. If the city doesn’t see some growth, which it hasn’t had in longer than I have been alive, city council members and the mayor will soon be faced with hard choices – raise taxes, cut spending, or sell assets. This will be much like the situation the state has been in. The issue is looming. Be careful who you elect and what “nice programs” they fund. I think incumbent City Council Members Lonny Marney and John Ringstand understand the problem.
The Fairbanks Borough is likely facing the same problems. Growth has stalled for quite some time, but spending has crept ever upwards. The borough does have 77,000 acres of land they have not designated for a purpose, which could be sold into the private sector to create economic growth and increase revenue.
I personally find it insulting and offense for the borough to hold on to so much land when people could be getting use out of it. Cheaper lumber could be milled if land was sold to entrepreneurs, and cheaper houses could be built. Families could afford to build recreational and hunting cabins like people of prior generations.
A friend of mine bought a lot from the state in the 80s. I helped him rebuild after a fire wiped him out many years later. I would love to own that cabin, but since a river lot is such a primum – as the government refuses to sell very much land at all – his cabin is selling for more than my first home’s mortgage. This situation is unacceptable. The borough could solve its financial looming issues while helping people out by simply changing their attitudes from one in which the government should hold on to the land for safekeeping to where the land belongs to the people to own individually. It’s crucial we keep Tammie Wilson and Jimi Cash on the Borough Assembly. We also need to send them reinforcements with the addition of Aaron Gibson.
I am reminded of a wise saying. “First look to the log in your own eye.” Before we raise a storm about Washington and Juneau maybe we should focus on getting our own house in order.
— Early voting for the Fairbanks elections began on Sept. 18. Election day is Oct. 3. Click here for everything you need to know to cast a ballot.
The views expressed here are those of the author.