The Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Opinion: Do you trust your Assembly?

I am voting against all three initiatives.

My dad told me “if a proposal is extremely hard to understand, cannot be clearly explained or it is all smoke and mirrors, then oppose it.” The three municipal ballot initiatives designed to support the new JACC facility clearly fall into this category. Our Assembly intends to give $4.5 million (voter approved for Centennial Hall) to help fund the new JACC facility. They propose a 2% bed tax to help cover or replace that gift and a $7 million general obligation bond to upgrade Centennial Hall. In short this means that your taxes are going up — again.

What happens if the state reduces its municipal support? What happens when the Fairbanks and Alaska Municipal League proposal is adopted which would allow the local municipality to take away your property tax exemption? Don’t you think that all of these things should be considered before asking Juneau seniors to support another mega ill-designed project?

Seniors, remember that at one time five members of the Assembly pledged to support reinstatement of the senior tax exemption. Did you see your tax exemption reinstated? The point is do you trust your Assembly? When the JACC proponents fall short of getting private funding, do you actually think the Assembly will scuttle the project and ask for voter funds back? Or will they tap the $7 million Centennial Hall funds again without voter approval?

I don’t trust the Assembly and is why I am voting against all three initiatives until I see a more realistic proposal.

Ron Somerville,


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.