1. What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the city? What will you do about it?
I believe the biggest issue facing our city is people suffering from mental health issues. My plan is to first see how the city can add mental health and cultural sensitivity awareness training to our first responders.
2. How do you intend to address the city’s revenue shortfall? What options are you willing to explore to raise revenues?
A few options that I will be exploring, with all city employees, include potentially closing City Hall at noon on Fridays, merging departments and/or looking at capturing 25% of the revenues earned from lands sales to place in our general funds account instead of placing 100% of those funds into the permanent investment fund.
3. Chief of Staff Mike Meeks has said that the city can no longer “salami slice” in regards to the budget - whole departments would need to be cut entirely to stay solvent. If revenues do not rise, which departments would you consider eliminating first? Which would you not ever cut?
Before I even consider cutting whole departments, I would first consider the reality of merging departments, downsizing or closing at noon on Fridays. However, until I can see a more up-to-date portfolio of the budget, revenues and a realistic projection of the city’s financial forecast, as well as exploring better revenue options, I am not willing to consider cutting departments.
4. If the business community does not contribute enough funding to maintain the current levels of the Emergency Service Patrol, how should the city respond?
The Emergency Service Patrol is a necessity in our community. However, they are assisting with an issue that needs to be fully addressed at the root level, in order for us to minimize the need for Emergency Service Patrol. The city should encourage businesses and organizations to create an alternative plan of action in the event that this service can only be used on a limited basis.
5. What are your views on the legal marijuana industry?
I believe the legal marijuana industry has been a great source of revenue for our community. I am in support of the marijuana industry. After seeing the secure nature of many of the local businesses, I am confident that this industry will continue to take the safety of our community into consideration.
6. How will you, if you are elected, support vulnerable residents? Who do you consider a vulnerable resident?
I have been advocating for vulnerable residents in our community for over 17 years. I would like to discuss the potential of collaborative funding, among organizations, to open apartment room-share housing, equipped with on-site counselors, social workers and other staff. People with mental health issues, runaways, the homeless community, LGBTQ community, addicts, alcoholic, disabled veterans and seniors are all among the list of vulnerable residents.
7. What should the city do to support existing businesses and attract new business to Fairbanks? How would you, as mayor, accommodate this?
I believe that the city should stop trying to raise taxes on the same businesses and look for more creative sources of revenue. I believe the city could benefit from having more engaging attractions downtown. This could be done using modern technology to create a flashier downtown scene.
8. How should the city approach LGBTQ rights? How will you?
The city should approach the LGBTQ community with equality in mind. I will be working to ensure that their language, which includes gender identity and sexual orientation, is included in an antidiscrimination ordinance.
9. Consolidation of the city of Fairbanks and the Fairbanks North Star Borough governments was discussed in the 1990s. Do you favor consolidation? Why or why not?
I would be in favor of consolidation if the majority of our community members were to play an active role in enhancing our city forward. More community member involvement could help us offset the cost of many of our services, such as trash and snow removal, leaving more funds to potentially offer community involvement incentives. This could also mean that we have a lower crime rate if we couple community policing with active neighborhood leaders.