Candidate for District 1 Assembly
- Commissioner, Juneau Commission on Sustainability; Board member, The Glory Hall
- B.S. Environmental Sciences, Oregon State University
Winter solstice or summer solstice?
I’m running because I was born and raised in Juneau. I love this place. It has provided me a lot of quality things — a strong public education, a safe neighborhood to grow up in, good job opportunities — and I’m running to keep it a safe, healthy, great place to live.
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?
The rolldown affects and impacts from the state budget is probably one of our top issues facing our community and the Assembly. I think we need to preserve our fund balances and reserves so that we have funds to be able to pay these unexpected bills that we may get from the state. I think with the proper planning, we should anticipate some of these type of bills. And then I think we need to work with our allies across the state to say ‘This is how it will impact our community. This is how it will impact our neighbors.’ And to push back and just speak up and let the state know the impacts and work with folks across the state to try to mitigate those.
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?
One thing I am hearing as I’m out talking to neighbors is impacts due to cruise ship passengers. I need to see what kinds of studies have been done so far, but it may be time to be looking at impacts and we should always be evaluating ways to mitigate those impacts and keep a high quality of life for our neighbors and for residents.
The Juneau Police Department and Capital City Fire/Rescue are struggling with staffing shortages. What should the Juneau Assembly do about this?
Staffing, recruitment and retention for public safety is an issue across the state and it’s terribly unfortunate especially as our communities are really struggling with combating crime and increasing public safety. I believe there was a recent round of raises for our police officers. I think that’s good. There is some efforts at the state level to provide a better retirement. I think that’s necessary. What I hope the Assembly can do is we can ask our public safety employees. ‘What do we need and what can we help you do?’ I’ve spoken and heard some things about, for instance, for police, that they would like more secure radio so that criminals can’t be listening in on a scanner as they’re responding to a call. Those type of things. How can we help them be safe and do their job well?
Do you support additional city funding for improvements to Centennial Hall and a new Juneau Arts and Culture Center? Why or why not?
Centennial Hall is a city building and we are responsible for it and it needs work. I do support putting in money to fix that building up. I do support a new JACC, as I mentioned before with needing to be very safe with our finances. I do have a concern on how much the city is going to and will be asked in the future to support a new JACC. But I believe the investments in the proposals that are on the Oct. 1 ballot are reasonable and I do support them, again with some caution on raising taxes and not spending too much of our fund balances and reserves.