The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly held their regular meeting on Tuesday night. Click on the audio file below to hear a recap from KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson.
At Tuesday night's Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, the Assembly passed Ordinance 2020 19-25, sponsored by Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, accepting federal funding from the Center for Disease Control, through the State of Alaska, for up to $2,037,000 for COVID-19 Community Funding.
The Assembly also acted to refinance several Alaska Municipal Bonds to lower interest rates, and therefore, lower the cost to the Borough.
During public hearings, several people testified in opposition to buying Dominion voting machines, asking the Assembly not to pass Ordinance 2020 19-24 introduced by Assemblymembers Brent Hibbert and Brent Johnson.
The Assembly did pass the ordinance, Assemblymember Tyson Cox not only moved to enact the ordinance, he moved to amend it, adding three machines to increase the purchase from 7 to 10. The amended ordinance passed – with only Assemblymember Derkovorkian voting no.
Borough Assemblymembers, the Borough Clerk, and IT staff took turns addressing the concerns of the public commenters, explaining security measures and asserting that Dominion is the best system for the Borough. Assemblymember Bill Elam spoke about his research on and support for the ordinance.
" I'm an IT professional. That's what I spend my career doing and I have spent a ton of time researching this, going through all the details. I want our election to be beyond reproach. I will personally vote for the Dominion system even though I've read the same articles you guys have," Elam said.
During Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda , Alex Koplin of Homer presented a letter to the Assembly, criticizing Mayor Pierce for using media and social media platforms to spread misinformation over the last several months, concerning vote by mail procedures in the Borough, mask wearing in the schools, and for producing a Facebook live stream with Anchorage Assemblymember Jamie Allard.
"The only reason you had her on the discussion was because she gained notoriety when she made light of the license plate that said furher and the third reich. These terms are extrememly offensive to many of us because they represent Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany and white supremacy. You gave her centerstage because she gained some sick popularity over her statements. Why would you promote her? Who are you pandering to?" said Koplin.
Mayor Pierce did not respond to Koplin's letter. He was not present. Pierce joined the meeting late, after the public comment period.
Assemblymember Jesse Bjorkman presented a resolution honoring former Assemblymember Jack E. Brown of Kasilof. Brown died on February 24 of this year. Jack Brown was a 14 year member of the Borough Assembly, serving Bjorkman's current district from 1987 to 2001. He served two years as vice president, three years as president.
Bjorkman read from the Commending Resolution.
"Jack invested considerable time, effort and care into the youth of the communities he lives in by supporting Nikiski Middle/High School, Skyview High School, Nikiski North Star Elementary and Alaska Christian College. Jack led others by founding the People Count Vocational School, and by working to begin the Boys and Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula," Bjorkman said.
Brown's wife Debbie spoke during public comments to thank the assembly and invite everyone to a celebration of life service for Jack E. Brown this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Cook Inlet Academy in Soldotna.
The next meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is on Tuesday, May 4.