Patricia Silva is running for Seat F on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly.
Silva, who is originally from the south, came to Alaska more than 37 years ago to work for the Alaska Fire Service. It was during this time that Silva met her “wonderful husband of 35 years.” The two share daughter Shayla, who works as a first responder in the community.
“I’ve lived and played hard in our beautiful state; I’ve given birth in 70 below zero temps ... and I’ve scaled down mountains in Chitina to dipnet fish in the Cooper River,” she said.
According to Silva, her last opportunity to work for corporate America was during her 10-year tenure as sales manager at the Westmark Hotel and Conference Center. In 2018, Silva returned to school to pursue certifications as a life coach and motivational speaker. Two years later, in 2020, she accepted the challenge of Interior campaign coordinator for Sen. Dan Sullivan’s campaign, an experience that Silva said prepared her for the journey she is on today.
“My heart is to serve others which is part of the reason I have taken on this challenge to become a Borough Assembly member,” Silva said. “I have a passion to uphold our constitution, conservative values and freedoms that seem to be eluding Americans day by day. It’s important that as a borough assembly member we offer our community pro choices as we honor family values.”
1. Name two of the borough’s most pressing issues and how you would address them.
A. Government footprint has increased over what most residents want or expect. Property taxes are higher, adding to higher cost of living. We must tighten the budget to lower taxes so that our economic viability is not negatively impacted.
B. Planning and zoning efforts have resulted in properties that could be put to beneficial use rather than lying undeveloped and unproductive. We must revise platting procedures and create pro-development boards.
2. What new services are needed in the borough and how would you pay for them?
Focus on re-opening our community and businesses safely without vaccine nor mask mandates. We must recognize that the government has created a stay-at-home recovery plan; paying individuals an elevated salary to stay at home and accept government handouts, which is not sustainable.
Solution: create incentive programs that encourage individuals to re-enter the workforce; which would allow businesses to remain open while using the Covid relief funds.
3. What cuts are needed in borough government and what should happen with the money saved?
We need to adjust borough operations to live within our means! We must not borrow against our children’s future with continued growing government and government spending. We must enforce policies on capital projects to make sure new buildings are not built before existing buildings are maintained, sold or disposed of. Deferred maintenance must be done before funds are spent on new construction or projects.
4. Should the borough hire more code enforcement officers to deal with the backlog of land use complaints? Why or why not.
I would not hire more code enforcement officers at this time. We need to analyze what is causing the backlog and come up with a plan to address community issues.
5. The largest annual appropriation by the borough is for public education. Is the local contribution to education too low, too high, or just right? Explain.
The education operational budget is $35 million; an additional $15 million is available at borough assembly’s discretion. Before making an educated decision, we would need to understand how funding is being spent. It’s important that the borough assembly be good stewards of your hard-earned tax dollars.
6. What makes you qualified to hold this office?
Having lived, worked, and played in Fairbanks for more than 37 years has qualified me as a candidate for Borough Assembly. I’m running for office to help address our borough’s needs, to help shrink government growth and spending, to protect the health and well-being of our families, and most importantly to preserve the future of our children and grandchildren.