Anchorage Mayoral Candidate Profiles

Ahern

Lance Ahern

What is your party affiliation of any?

“None.”

How many years of political experience do you have?

“I’ve been in service at city and state government for about ten years.”

What goals would you have if you become mayor?

“Primary goal economic development, secondly I would like to improve public safety, and simplify how government works internally.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

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“Well I already am heavily involved with UAA. I serve on the computer science advisory board, where I provide guidance to that department. I created an internship for students in the state department of safety. I would like to build a stronger relationship between UAA and the city.”

Why are you running for mayor?

“For what Anchorage needs, I’m the best candidate. I can help the city make major decisions with major investments. I love the state service here in Anchorage. I think it’s fixable. We have the tools to fix it. I’m running because I want to take these tools and make things better.”

What are the top three issues you would like to address as mayor?

“Economic growth, public safety, and working on the efficiency and reducing the costs of running the city government.”

Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer

What is your party affiliation if any?

“Republican/Conservative”

How many years political experience do you have?

“Five years of experience.”

What goals would you have if you became mayor?

“My goal is to put Anchorage first. My priority is job development. I want to focus on tourism, which I believe is the only industry Anchorage really has. I want to focus on our areas that would help the tourist industry, such as museums, statues, monuments… whatever it is that brings more people. I believe it will enhance job development, and tourism and I’ll do anything to support it. I can’t control oil, I can’t control natural resources, but as mayor I can control tourism.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

“Influence local legislatures to support and vote on funding that involves UAA.”

Why are you running for mayor?

“I am running for mayor because I have the leadership skills, 40 years of management experience, and know how to get things done. Like I said earlier I put Anchorage first.”

What are the top three issues you’d like to address while mayor?

“Public safety is one of the top priorities as well as job development. I also want to advocate towards the tourism industry. I know a lot of people will look at this and think that these are low paying jobs, but there’s room for growth and opportunity.”

Berkowitz

Ethan Burkowitz

What is your party affiliation if any?

“I’m Ethan Berkowitz, running for mayor of Anchorage, which is where I live, appropriately enough, and my party affiliation I’m an Alaskan Democrat.”

How many years of political experience do you have?

“I spent 10 years in Juneau in the state legislature, 8 as the Democratic leader, and I ran for Congress and Governor, silver medalist.”

What goals would you have if you became mayor?

“I think we can do a lot to make this community safe, and secure, and strong. Safety; it’s public safety it’s making sure people homes are safe, we had a huge problem with domestic violence and we ought to address those in a comprehensive way.   When I talk about security, there is fiscal security that the municipality needs particularly given the state is going through some very uncertain and unstable times and we can stabilize that.  But people also need, as individuals, security – like housing is a big issue and if we can make sure people have security in their own lives, that helps springboard them to whatever they want to do.  And strength of community has a lot to do with making sure we have the right infrastructure, that we have strong broadband, reliable energy resources, and the educational system is serving the needs, that’s pre-K, that’s K-12, that’s vocational and technical, that’s university.  And we need to integrate them all so that as Alaska develops Alaska’s resources, people who are educated here step into those jobs and also as we try and figure out how to solve the problems that we have, we’re developing the intellectual capital to do it right here.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

“Well I think UAA is an important part of the Anchorage community and I think the more you can integrate UAA, APU, and the educational system here, as well as the business community, the government community, there is synergies that happen and we get stronger.  It’s like a scrum, a rugby scrum.  So the more we can be able to hang together the more we will be able to overcome adversity and advance our objectives.”

Why are you running for mayor?

“I live here, I mean, I’ve got two kids here.  My wife and I have been a part of the community for a long time she was actually a professor here at UAA for 6 or 7 years.  I’m invested into the community with various businesses.  This is a great place to live and if we  have the right kind of leadership, the right kind of vision, we’ll be positioned to do even better in the future.”

What are the top three issues you’d like to address while mayor?

“We need to make sure this is a safe, secure, and strong community and that has to work for everybody, all residents here, regardless of where they came from, regardless of how long they have been here, no matter what their party affiliation.  Anchorage has to be a great place for everybody to live, full of opportunities”

CoffeyHeadShotUse

 

Dan Coffey

What is your party affiliation if any?

C: “Republican.”

  How many years of political experience have you had?

“30 years plus.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

“We must engage the university. It’s a great asset to our town, so we need to engage the university in ways that have never been explored. We’ve got young people looking for job experience, so what about internships? You’ve got guys with Ph.Ds in fields that could very well be of great concern to the Municipal government, like behavioral health, and illnesses, and regular health, and so on and so forth. We need to make sure our sports teams our successful. So there’s more of that available to us, but it takes a lot of work. And you’re gonna have a new president of the university shortly. It’s like having a resource or an asset in your backyard, and ignoring it. I don’t intend to do that.”

Why are you running for mayor?

“I’ve got a lot of experience in municipal government, both as a public official and also in the basis of my law career. Liquor licensing, regulation… all of that I’ve done as a lawyer for… well, as I said, 30 years. So I’ve been in and out of local government affairs for many, many years. So in October of 2013, when I started this process of running, I looked around and I said, ‘Look at all these issues that we’re facing in the city.’ Are we equipped to handle housing, chronic public inebriance, or public safety, some of which I’ve dealt with and immersed myself in. They were all challenges that I knew I had a good, solid basis of knowledge on, and in the seventeen months between then and now, I knew I’d have plenty of time to educate myself on those matters. So that’s what drove me. And it’s going to be a bit of a daunting prospect with the loss of state revenue sharing and the drop in oil prices, but nonetheless, it’s not like I’m a neophyte.”

What are the top three issues you’d like to address while mayor?

“First of all, public safety, and the task we need to achieve with that is community policing, which takes a forced increase. We don’t have a don’t have a large enough police force to achieve that, and by the end of 2016 we should have enough officers to implement community policing. Second is we’re gonna have to deal with chronic public inebriance in the neighborhoods and on the streets and in our parks and so on, and that’s part a housing issue, part a treatment issue, part a mental health issue … the complexities of dealing with that in tight fiscal times is daunting, so… But somebody’s gotta start addressing the problem and I intend to. And then the third thing is that we’re not building enough homes and apartments and places for people to live in Anchorage. Starting up and assessing existing homes and making people go to the Valley and work in Anchorage and drive back and forth every day… so we’re going to have to address housing issues, and there’s a three-part aspect to that. One is getting as much land as we can from the city, the state, and the federal government, which are large land-owners in town; secondly it’s going to require regulatory change in land-use code. And finally it’s going to take a change in the land and development centers, and permit centers.”

 

Dustin Darden

Dustin Darden

Do you have a party affiliation?

“No.”

How many years of political experience do you have?

“I’m working with the political process as a citizen of the United States of America. Politically, every one of the country is politically involved.”

What goals would you have if you became mayor?

“Boosting morale in the city by engaging you, by opening a recreation center that would be open 24 hours a day that’s accessible for anybody to do something and to appoint responsible department heads that would be rewarded for cost savings and efficiency so when the next dude comes around the budget won’t be erased, they’ll still have some and to involve employees and public citizens in ways we can save money while keeping the force employees.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

“I plan on helping the university by working with the students to get involved with their government and to work in conjunction with interested participants to close down the Planned Parenthood on Lake Otis and 40th.”

Why do you want to close that down?

“There’s many deaths that transpire in that facility every day and it’s intolerable.”

Why are you running for mayor?

“I’m running for mayor so that, there’s a lot of reasons I’m running for mayor. Some of the primary reasons are one) treating the work force with dignity and respect, the police department to work hand and hand with the citizens to be safer, brighter Anchorage and to remove the fluoride from the drinking water, which is a poison and to educate the masses on things that we’ve found to be socially acceptable, like fluoridated drinking water and abortion which are completely not acceptable.”

What are the top three issues you would like to address?

“Responsible budgets, creating responsible budgets would be one of them. The other one would be public safety and three would be boosting the morale as the city as a whole.”

 

 

Demboski2

 

Amy Demboski

What is your party affiliation, if any?

“Republican.”

How many years political experience do you have?

“I would say five years of public service, two years in elected office.”

What goals would you have if you became mayor?

“Sound fiscal policy with an emphasis on public safety. Infrastructure and education.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

“I am a UAA alum. I would say, specifically, the best thing we can do is we can work collaboratively and proactively to ensure that UAA has the adequate resources needed for educating the students. From a municipal standpoint, that just means having a good working relationship with the state legislators.”

Why are you running for mayor?

“I’m running for mayor because I think it’s important to have someone who has a current knowledge of municipal issues. I’m the only current Anchorage Assembly member that’s running. I would say I have a current knowledge of the issues facing the state and the city, and I think it’s very important to have someone who’s ethical, to have someone who has a laser focus on sound fiscal policy, but really focus on the essential (inaudible) of government which is public safety, infrastructure and education.

What are the top three issues you’d like to address while mayor?

“The top three issues — No. 1: public safety. No. 2 : maintaining our infrastructure. And No. 3: improving education.”

AndrewHalcro

 

Andrew Halcro

What is your party affiliation, if any?

“I am a registered Republican.”

How many years political experience do you have?

“I served two two-year terms in the state legislature between 1998 and 2002.”

What goals would you have if you became mayor?

“My first goal would be to make downtown cleaner and safer, and that’s done by improving downtown. … The second one is public safety. I mean, we really need to get more proactive in our neighborhoods … and the relationship between first response and our neighborhoods is critical. … And the third thing is to have a vision for the future. The great future cities in this country are gonna be based on the three Ts— and that’s talent, tolerance and technology.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

“I think the city needs to get more involved with the university. And the private sector does too. The university is a fabulous facility to grow potential students. … In the legislature between 1998 and 2002, I supported the university. … I always have recognized the importance of the university. … The next mayor has to be a big cheerleader.”

Why are you running for mayor?

“I’m running for mayor for three reasons. Number one, we need to grow the economy. With oil (prices) … there are going to be some cuts coming and we are gonna have some costs that the local government is gonna have to start to assume that the state is paying for it now — whether it’s money for additional new schools or more roads or additional police. That’s money now that we’re gonna have to find other ways of paying for it. So we’re going to have to grow the economy.

The second thing is making the community safer and healthier. And safer — of course, we all know that we’re about 40 or 50 officers short. We went a couple years without academies. We’re trying bring that up now. We have some real challenges with retirements coming up in the next 2-3 years. So we have to add police to the force. The lack of … police on the ground is part of the problem of why we haven’t been able to be proactive on things like bar break and the gang unit task force …………….. (1:10) so because we’re losing officers, our ability to kinda focus on those specialty areas, that tend to prevent crime and tend to give offers the opportunity to go into neighborhoods………. That’s a  direct result of staff levels.

But also, City Hall really needs to do a better job at reaching out to some of he minority communities — and not just the minority communities, but, you know, anchorage is a very geographically diverse city — I’m mean, from Eagle River to Anchorage, then, you know, you have Hillside and Girdwood. … Each area of town feels like it’s been alienated from the city a little bit over the last couple of years. And it’s not just ethnic. It’s geographic as well. … And I think starting to gather minority leaders around the table and say, “Okay, how are we work together on problems we recognize or are impacting our communities?”

… And that’s what the community has to do, and that will improve public safety. Obviously the second part of that is making the community healthier. And you’re really talking about dealing with the inebriated and the homeless problem.

… And the third reason I’m running is (because) … there isn’t anyone in the race with my … experience.

 What are the top three issues you’d like to address while mayor?

(See Question 3 above)

TimothyHuit

Timothy Huit

What is your party affiliation, if any?

“I am a registered Republican. I mean, I’ll go into it a little bit: I’m not really a Republican. … I’m mainly a Republican because I supported Ron Paul last time.”

How many years political experience do you have?

“I’ve been a community activist for probably 25 years, but never actually held office.”

 What goals would you have if you became mayor?

My goals are to make Anchorage a safe city, and to also you, know … connect the college to the Anchorage community, and have degrees match up to what we have in the community so people want to stay in Anchorage and use their degree here.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

“We’ve tried, in the past, even when I was there — because I’m a graduate of UAA, 2003 — and we tried in the past to connect the university to the community. So I’m going to work hard as a mayor to reach across the aisles and groups and work with the Chamber of Commerce and other people to make that connection — so that our degrees will fit into jobs that we have locally.”

 Why are you running for mayor?

“I’m running for mayor to help my community. I’m running it this time because I believe the education I got at UAA, and my life experiences can address the important issues of homelessness, income equality, and public safety.”

What are the top three issues you’d like to address while mayor?

“Public safety is the No. 1 issue, which includes homelessness. And it’s part of the whole part of the problem of crime, homelessness — is income equality. But, you know, there’s a housing element, and all kinds of things involved in that. It’s a kind of a widespread area there. We’ve got to pull it altogether to make affordable housing and better jobs. New policing strategies is what we need to move towards, community policing.”

Kern3

 

Jacob Seth Kern

What is your party affiliation?

“Democrat.”

How many years of political experience do you have?

“I’ve ran for city mayor since, I’ve got six, six, six, six, seven, seven, eight, nine, seven, seven, seven, seven, seven, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 15 about nine years of political experience campaigning. About 10 years of campaigning experience.”

What goals would you have if you became mayor?

“I would make my machines to give money back to the city.”

How do you plan on helping UAA?

“Giving you money, giving you money for my machines and doing anything you say by the popular vote.”

What machine are you talking about?

“Electricity machines, spaceships and cars. Just different electronic devices that I would come up with.”

Why are you running for mayor?

“To make my machines and give money back to the city and the residents.”

What are the top three issues you’d like to address while mayor?

“Just giving you money, that’s it, main priority, millions and billions and trillions of dollars to do by ballot and just popular vote and petitions, just mass signatures.”