Memorial dedicated to Kenai’s Charter Commission

KENAI — More than 50 years after Kenai’s founding fathers signed the city’s charter, making Kenai a home rule city, a memorial honoring the group has been placed in front of City Hall.

The Kenai Charter Commission was honored Sunday with the Cornerstone Rock, a boulder taken from the beach of the Cook Inlet and placed outside City Hall. Attached to the rock is a plaque that lists each commission member, The Peninsula Clarion reported.

Richard Morgan, the last living member of the commission, was invited to cut the rock’s ribbon at the ceremony.

Morgan signed the Charter of the City of Kenai along with seven other commission members in April 1963, making Kenai a home rule city. Kenai was free to establish how its government and council operated, and council members were given more authority to make decisions.

When the charter first went into effect, there was little to no recognition of what the charter really meant for Kenai, said Mayor Pat Porter.

“Most people don’t look through the charter, but when you’re bound by its structure as a council person, you have a tendency to read it,” she said. “I thought to myself, there is nothing that recognizes their gift to this community… For me, it was really important to have this memorialized someplace.”

City Manager Rich Koch budgeted about $4,600 for the memorial project and the ceremony. Koch and Kenai’s street foreman were the ones who went to the beach to pick out the perfect rock for the memorial.

“We wanted it to be a local Kenai rock,” Koch said, adding that they looked at several contenders before making a selection. “This rock won.”

The rock was hoisted from the beach and hauled up to City Hall with a loader.

Morgan said he thought Sunday’s dedication was a very nice gesture, and that he was certain his former fellow commission members would think the same.

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Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com

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