Letter to the editor

Questioning two candidates

To the editor: There’s two individuals currently running for office that I believe voters need to scrutinize closely.

First, is Kathryn Dodge. Several years ago, the City Council, acting as a Board of Adjustment, heard an appeal by residents of Slaterville. After long deliberation, the council and city staff determined the appeal was warranted; the borough Planning Commission made serious procedural errors.

Angered by the decision borough Mayor Karl Kassel, in good ol’ boy fashion, quickly introduced an ordinance to the Borough Assembly to change the long-honored tradition allowing the City Council to act as a Board of Adjustment regarding planning matters inside the city. After much testimony in opposition from city officials and citizen comments, the assembly ignored the input and unfortunately backed Mayor Kassel.

Assemblywoman Kathryn Dodge, herself a city resident, voted to strip the city of that right.

That action itself shows little regard for the people of Fairbanks who now have no say in conditional uses inside the city limits.

Kathryn Dodge was also removed from the Alaska Human Rights Commission earlier this year after its executive director was suspended and then resigned for a controversial social media post complaining about a “Black Guns Matter” sticker, calling it racist.

Second is Mindy O’Neall. Many people remember the “last minute controversy” that erupted in 2013 in the city mayoral race between John Eberhart and Vivian Stiver. Eberhart’s campaign expressed concern over Stiver’s “questionable conduct” for violating an arcane Alaska Public Offices Commission rule that resulted in a small fine immediately paid by Stiver. The News-Miner soon reported that Eberhart’s campaign manager helped originate the complaint.

That’s right, Mindy O’Neall orchestrated the whole thing. Do we want this kind of politics to be the norm here?

Later it was learned the Eberhart campaign had numerous APOC violations, including the highly publicized infraction resulting in a $37.50 fine. Using thousands of city dollars, he fought it for years before the City Council stopped the payments. A letter dated Feb. 6, 2014, from APOC assessed Eberhart a penalty of $44,500 for failure to file a 24-hour report and later reduced it to $445.

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