I am writing this letter as a follow-up to the excellent letter submitted a few weeks ago by Deputy Mayor Merrill Sanford, in which he outlined the obligation of the mayor and the Assembly to review from time to time all of the tax revenue sources available to the borough. He provided an excellent overview of the process - which included the process initiated by the mayor and Assembly last year to review all of the sales tax exemptions provided for in city ordinance.
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I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that Randy Wanamaker's involvement in the sales tax exemption review process was part of this "job description" as our representative on the Assembly. I speak from experience when I share with your readers that, once elected, each member needs to assume responsibility for participating in the full range activities that are part of this job description. From time to time, some of these responsibilities will include work that could potentially result in future "political baggage." A conscientious elected official steps up to the plate, does the required work and does not select only those options that are considered politically "safe" activities. Randy Wanamaker is just this kind of conscientious public official, and I am confident that he will conduct himself in the same manner as Juneau's District 4 Representative to the Legislature.
In the interest of full disclosure, I need to add that I could be accused of having a personal interest in sales tax exemption issues, since I am rapidly approaching the age when I will be personally affected. Come January, I will be eligible for the Senior Sales Tax Exemption, and I am very pleased that Randy Wanamaker and his colleagues on our Assembly have reviewed this issue once again and have determined that retention of this benefit for Juneau's seniors should be continued.