Sitka's Challenge

An Editorial:

The election on Tuesday will give Sitka voters choices among a fine selection of candidates for mayor, Assembly and School Board.
    With this issue the Sentinel continues its tradition of granting editorial space to the candidates in which they can inform the voters in their own words on what they can bring to the deliberations that will determine Sitka’s future.
    We are pleased with the caliber of this year’s field of office seekers, and leave it to the voters to choose those they believe are most qualified.
    Whoever they are, they will find their talent and ability severely tested by the decisions they will be called upon to make.
    The election itself is providing a test for the voters, who will decide on an issue of great importance to the financial stability of our city government.
    We don’t like taxes any more than anyone else, but we believe voter approval of the property tax proposition Tuesday will be a reasonable approach to stabilizing city finances. Reliance on our own local resources is a fact of life since the oil price collapse that has left Alaska billions of dollars short of balancing its own books.
    A citizen task force and the city Assembly have given careful consideration to the options, and have recommended a raise in the property tax ceiling as but one step among others – including more cutbacks in city government – to meet our most pressing needs in city services and school support.
    We can look to the state Legislature for an example, if one is needed, of an utter failure to deal with a fiscal crisis. While the legislators sit paralyzed by indecision and the state totters toward insolvency, we in Sitka have the chance to deal with our own problems head-on.
    We support a Yes vote on Proposition 1.

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