Since there are no contested races affecting Kodiak on Tuesday’s primary election ballot, there might not be much interest in voting. But there are also two ballot initiatives to be decided.
Ballot Measure One has to do with property tax exemptions, and Measure Two attempts to reestablish a coastal management program in Alaska.
Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerome Selby is one of the founders of the Alaska Sea Party, which collected the signatures to put Measure Two on the ballot. He says it’s vital for the state and especially coastal communities to turn out to pass Measure Two.
Opposition comes from Governor Sean Parnell and multi-national resource developers, which have spent heavily to back the "No On 2" campaign to get the measure defeated.
Selby says accusations by the measure’s foes that coastal management wasn’t business-friendly and would stifle resource development are not accurate:
— (Coastal 1 29 sec "It’s pro-development, but it’s … it eliminates lawsuits.")
Selby says reinstating a coastal management program would allow local and state input on projects on federal lands and in federal waters along Alaska’s coast:
— (Coastal 2 28 sec "This vote is really about who … it’s the big corporations.")
One of the arguments of the No On 2 group is that the ballot initiative would not actually recreate the Coastal Management Program as it was when it expired last year. Selby says that’s correct – up to a point:
— (Coastal 3 17 sec "It’s the way Jay Hammond set it up … had envisioned it.")
Since coastal management expired last year, neither the state nor Alaskan communities any longer have a say in what happens in federal waters. Selby says it’s conceivable that salmon farms could sprout up outside state’s three-mile limit.
— (Coastal 4 30 sec "Before, when we had a coastal … no coastal management program.")
Since it expired last year, Alaska became the only state in the union that does not have a coastal management program.
The primary election is on Tuesday.