1. Is economic development your number one priority for the City and Borough of Juneau? If not, please explain what priority(ies) you hold higher and why. If your answer is yes, what are your plans for helping to bring and retain living-wage jobs to the community?
Yes. Address a couple of key infrastructure needs in the community, namely electricity, transportation and housing. Those three areas of infrastructure are the constraining factors limiting current businesses from expanding and the Federal and State government from locating jobs here. Next market Juneau and our high quality of life to companies in industries we want to locate here.
2. What are your thoughts on reopening the AJ Mine?
I think it is appropriate for the Assembly to review and consider opening the AJ Mine. Actually opening it should follow the permitting process and if at the end of the process, a mining company has demonstrated that they have a plan that will operate the mine safely: For the workers, the community and the environment I would support it.
3. In what ways can the CBJ help contain the living expenses of area residents; and how will you help this effort?
CBJ operates the water and sewer system, so controlling those costs would be a great place to start. Supporting and assisting in the development of a regional electrical grid would stabilize energy costs not only for the CBJ and its operations, but all the local businesses and residents as well. Working with land owners and developers find was to increase rental units and affordable entry level homes.
4. List the top three industries in Juneau and the number each employs. What are the means and outlook to grow these industries?
By employment: Government with 7,436; Tourism, 2,400; Retail, 2000
By wages: Government 45%, Healthcare 8%, Tourism 7%
Retail has 2,000 jobs but only represents 6% of wages earned in Juneau. Mining with about a quarter of the people, 510 earn about the same amount in wages 6%. Tourism employees 2,400 people but represents only 7% of wages. Retail is a derivative industry, it is set by the number of potential transactions and the only way to grow it is to growth the number of potential transactions (more people), it will grow if Juneau’s population grows. Cost of living/housing seems to be the consensus reason the Federal and State government employees choose to live elsewhere if they can. This problem can be addressed directly by the Assembly. Local government jobs is also a derivative industry and set as a percent of the local population. Hopefully Juneau will seek the development or the attraction of new industries. Expanding the brewery and seafood processing are strong industries with good outlooks for potential growth.
5. Do you support road access between Juneau and the rest of the state? ___Yes ___No
Yes, all the way to Skagway
6. Do you support the State’s lawsuit to abolish the Tongass Roadless Rule? ___Yes ___No