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. Our plan will be to immediately move to support the strongest segments of our current private sector economy. Health Care, the two operating mines, fishing, and retail.
For Health Care, we need to do what we can to invite more specialty health providers to locate here, and to make certain that our neighbors know of the specialties available. SEARHC and Bartlett are both currently planning major expansions of their behavioral units; we need to make certain that they have what they need in order to attract professionals to locate here.
For the operating mines, we need to seek ways to partner with them, our local banks, AHFC, and the Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority to make new housing projects happen here, and so that employees have housing options.
For the Fishing industry, we need to make transportation out of Juneau more affordable so that they can get their product to market faster and more inexpensively.
For Retail, we need to foster a new more business friendly environment that will encourage more retail expansion, and to make it easier for new retailers to enter the market.
2. What are your thoughts on reopening the AJ Mine?
I am in favor of opening the AJ mine provided that the process (CBJ) doesn’t get so complicated that the project fails. As soon as the CBJ can adequately assess the water quality and supply issues, I would be in favor of the CBJ hiring its own Minerals consultant whose job it would be to flush out for us the issues of feasibility, and to tell us if after all of the public issues are addressed, if the mine can be operated at a profit. The process has to be straightforward and cannot be bogged down in a bureaucratic way. Since we are an owner, we need to proceed accordingly.
3. In what ways can the CBJ help contain the living expenses of area residents; and how will you help this effort?
Improved Transportation and vigilance in terms of the budget. Juneau access is one avenue that would go a long way to keep costs down. The city (led by Bartlett Hospital) is the number one consumer of energy in the Borough. The CBJ needs to lead the efforts to consume both electricity and diesel oil. For example, the Public Works director told me that just to run the water and sewer pumps in the City, it costs $1.6 million for electricity. We’ve got to do what we can to identify these high cost structures and one by one, reduce them or eliminate them by consolidation.
4. List the top three industries in Juneau and the number each employs. What are the means and outlook to grow these industries?
We pretty much covered this in #1. Frankly, I don’t have those employment numbers at my disposal.
5. Do you support road access between Juneau and the rest of the state? ___Yes ___No
6. Do you support the State’s lawsuit to abolish the Tongass Roadless Rule? ___Yes ___No