Candidate for Areawide Assembly
Siri, an adorably rotund tabby
Program Manager, State of Alaska
CBJ Assembly, Southeast Alaska Land Trust Board of Directors, Glacier Swim Club member
Masters of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Winter solstice or summer solstice?
The winter solstice is the best day of the year because the days get longer after that.
Well, I had a really fantastic time the last year on Assembly, learning and meeting new people. And I said last year that I could bring kind of an analytical economics approach to Assembly decision-making. And I think I found that I do bring that. We have a wide variety of voices on the Assembly. I think I have a positive impact by bringing that kind of analytical, forward thinking approach to our decision making.
Cuts to school bond debt reimbursement and Medicaid will have significant impacts on communities. What can Juneau do to mitigate the impact of state budget cuts?
That’s a fantastic question. I think we’re in a really great position with our budget reserves where we can kind of think out a glide path so that this isn’t really drastic impact to our budget in our town. And we’ll be going over that this fall of how we plan to slowly reducing so that we’re not making the problem worse. If we reacted kind of out of fear, I think that would make a contraction worse than it would need to be. So, I hope we can avoid that.
Juneau has a significant increase in cruise ship tourism in one year, according to visitor industry estimates. Is the city doing enough to manage the growing number of cruise ship visitors? Why or why not?
I think this summer we’ve reached a tipping point with our community and what we’re willing to tolerate. So, I think we need to be working on that more. I’m really disappointed about the results of the subport lot bid. I was hoping we could get control of that so we could maintain our own local control of our waterfront. But we also need to update our Long Range Waterfront Plan, which is almost old enough to vote by itself. So, we need to be spending city time and city resources on that problem.
The Juneau Police Department and Capital City Fire/Rescue are struggling with staffing shortages. What should the Juneau Assembly do about this?
Well, we did address that this year with contract negotiations. I believe that process is over. Using our resources of compensation and benefits to attract and retain firefighters and police officers and doing a little bit of restructuring of job classes that hopefully kind of shift their workload that makes those jobs easier for the people who are protecting our communities and keeping us safe.
Do you support additional city funding for improvements to Centennial Hall and a new Juneau Arts and Culture Center? Why or why not?
I do. Centennial Hall definitely needs those improvements. I think all user groups, not just the ones that are coming from outside of Juneau to use it as a convention space, but the people in town who use it as a community hall. And everybody agrees that that building needs a lot of work. I also support the new JACC and hope that they get that project up and running. I think that it’s a pretty good investment for CBJ to give a small portion of that funding. (It) will help in the short term, create jobs and in the long term will have a beautiful performing arts center which will just enhance our community at every level.