Alaska Public Media and KSKA interviewed the Anchorage Mayoral Candidates and produced an excellent video series. These interviews give an objective look at each of the candidates for Mayor.
Grab a snack and drink; take a few minutes; enjoy and be educated. You’ll find interesting comments in the thick of them. Out of a field of eleven candidates, eight showed up, and they grouped them together randomly into three half-hour segments.
Video 1: Paul Bauer, Dan Coffey, Timothy Huit
“My view is that if elected mayor the first thing I’m gonna do is set up citizen committees and pose that question to the people,” Bauer said. “Of course privatization is an option. There could be some areas where we could privatize businesses instead of government handling it.”
“First thing, we have a lot of city land and we need to bring that into the private sector–with restrictions and zoning requirements so that they build housing. And mainly high density housing, we need to do that,” he said. “Secondly, we’ve got to fix the regulatory scheme.”
Video 2: Lance Ahern, Andrew Halcro
“We need to reduce the structural cost of public safety. We need to have less administrative overhead, not just in government overall, but also specifically in public safety,” Ahern said. “So today we run two different 911 dispatch centers—one for police, one for fire. We can take that excessive spending and re-invest that into officers on the street.”
“So when you talk about funding government you have to start to talk about alternative revenue sources,” Halcro said. “And while a sales tax discussion is premature, I think in the next 3 or 4 years the city will have to start to have that dialogue.”
Video 3: Amy Demboski, Ethan Burkowitz, Dustin Darden
“First there’s a procurement program called ARIBA that we did away with, and that saved about $10 million in its infancy. And if we were to resurrect it and bring it back again the projections are, from people who have run it, that it would save $15-20 million annually,” Berkowitz said. “Secondly, I’d look at the energy efficiencies that we could get out of the municipal buildings.”
“I don’t think we have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem,” she said. “So when we start looking at revenues: yes, we want to diversify the tax base, and that means we want more property on the tax roles, so redevelopment credits for development – I think that’s a great opportunity. Make more land available, I think that’s a great opportunity. But it doesn’t mean we have to tax people more.”
“I’m in this thing to win it, baby,” he said. “It’s gonna be finding ways to save money by the employees, by the department heads, and to reward those things,” Darden said. “It’s not a magic bullet to save money, it’s engaging what exists, and encouraging that kind of development.”
images credit Josh Edge APRN