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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 12:48 am | Updated: 11:33 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Letter to the Editor

Sept. 25, 2012

To the editor:

Luke listens? Not so much. Luke Hopkins was elected during a time of intense debate over air quality and wood-burning restrictions in the borough. I attended the meetings and the original mood of the assembly was to ban wood burning in a large area of the borough except on warm days — which sort of defeats the purpose of heating with wood. Overwhelming community testimony prevented them from instituting the proposed plan at that time.

Luke promised to listen to the citizens on vital issues, but has over and over submitted ordinances that would restrict people in heating their homes. The community spoke loudly and clearly in a citizens’ initiative that we do not want the borough to actively harass wood burners. Educate them and provide the means to upgrade systems, but don’t force people to pay for oil when it is as high as it is.

Luke’s response to the 60 percent vote was to submit the ordinance that will take affect the day after the initiative sunsets. That ordinance does not read as a ban of wood burning, but it moves in that direction. At a time when people are leaving the community because of the high cost of energy, it is a classic example of a big government agenda overriding the needs of the people.

This isn’t the only issue where Luke has not listened, but when more than half of the town speaks and he does exactly the opposite, it’s pretty clear that he’s refusing to hear us.

I won’t tell you who to vote for mayor, but really, local government should be responsive to its citizens.

Bern Sliney

Fairbanks

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