Big Lake voters reject city bid

Big Lake voters have defeated a bid to incorporate their community as a city. Unofficial results from the state division of elections show that over 80% of the mail ballots cast on the issue show No votes.

The incorporation move divided the community. Those in favor of incorporation wanted more local government, and less reliance on the Matanuska Susitna Borough, while those against the idea feared a tax hike.

Jim Faiks, who spearheaded the incorporation effort, said  Wednesday that he is “disappointed.”  Faiks says he believes government closest to the people at the lowest level is most effective.  He said that the Matanuska Susitna Assembly seat representing Big Lake has a wide area to cover stretching from Wasilla to Port MacKenzie.

“We’re not controlling what’s happening here. It’s 45 minutes to to to Palmer to attend a [Borough] meeting and it could have been five minutes to attend a city council meeting to determine what happens in Big Lake.”

Faiks says incorporation would not have changed the tax structure, and that voters were misinformed about a raise in property taxes.

Only voters registered in Big Lake were allowed to cast ballots in the mail election conducted by the division of elections. About 35% of Big Lake voters responded. Although Big Lake voters were widely against the incorporation question, they showed a community split in the election of proposed city council seats. All seven candidates on the ballot received about 14% each of the votes cast.

The election will be certified in mid-November.