Ketchikan Borough Election
I am running for office, because I know that Ketchikan has just scratched the surface on innovative ideas for a better community. We are facing tough times, and tough decisions need to be made with transparency and open lines of communication. I have a proven track record of bringing fresh ideas to the table for sustainable change, and would be honored to serve my community in the capacity of holding a Borough Assembly seat. There is a need for citizens to participate in government; the farther we come from the ideological center of governance through technical details and bureaucracy the more we need to stay grounded with our constituents’ base. I am involved in the community on all levels, from rec center activities as a parent and academic supporter, to local chamber of commerce through entrepreneurial workings of being a small business owner. I am grounded in the community and available to my constituents. I have the ability to remain in the center of the issues that matter to Ketchikan. My career has been perpetually centered on community and team environments. I am an educated and independent thinker that brings novel and valuable resources to public forum of local governance.
2. For more than ten years, all new public employees are in a Tier IV (401k – Defined Contributions) retirement plan. We support proposed legislation to offer choice between Defined Benefits and Tier IV. Would you be willing to lend support to this effort?
Yes, I would be willing to lend support
3. After union contracts are negotiated between management and the union, will you approve the contracts? What do you see as your role in the bargaining process, if any?
If and when unions are able to negotiate legal and beneficial contracts between the union representatives and management I would not stand in the way of approval. I feel my role would be only to be supportive of positive changes that have the support of those most affected. The potential divisiveness of sensitive negotiations like this need supporters for progress and not antagonists in government.
4. Do you support contracting out public services?
If a need for public services are better met from contracting rather than civil employment I feel my role would be to define and determine the best interest of the city and be an impartial arbiter for the best outcome. Indeed these issues must be determined on a case by case basis and I would not discount any possibilities without fair adequate scrutiny of the details, and bring these discussions to the forefront of voters.
5. Do you support Right to Work proposals?
I do know that there are many manufacturing companies, when they look to relocate or add additional locations, companies will not consider states without right-to-work. However, in those states, wages are shown to be an average of 3% lower. I do believe that Alaska should consider leaving its doors open for new manufacturing employment opportunities, as it logistically allows.
If right to work proposals are in the best interest of the state and community by protecting and benefiting the economy and its workers I would give it the same consideration of any proposal that comes across my desk.
6. Last year, the Governor signed legislation granting insurance benefits to the dependents of first responders, such as state troopers, killed in the line of duty. The new law does not include police/fire working for municipalities but allows local governments to opt into the program. Would you support opting into the new program?
Yes, I would support opting into the new program, giving police/fire the same access.
7. How would you cope with the increased cost of providing Health Care Coverage for city employees? How do you think premium increases should be allocated for payment?
Considering increased cost across the state, I would approach the issue as a 50/50 option. Today, in our tight budget concerns, perhaps it is more beneficial to not tip the scale heavy on one side of cost increase. As the city attracts qualified and competent employees, premiums and allocations are a focus and a balanced approach is necessary for retention and attraction to new employees. There is a national problem with rising health care costs. There is a deficit in the forecast of managing the costs of current city employees. The bottom line is that we have to provide adequate healthcare and that we must deal with cost. Operating a budget deficit is necessary from time to time, as a single mother in a failing economy for years I know there are ways to be creative and get the most for my dollar. I would bring my expertise to bear on this issue and find a way to make sure city employees are properly insured without maintain any long term liabilities or debts.
8. This past session, the House was able to fully fund revenue sharing/revenue assistance to local governments through a boost in the capitol budget. Revenues remain an ongoing challenge: how will you cope with the likely diminishment of state revenue assistance/sharing in future years?
The capitol budget is important and its diminishing will have serious impacts on our community. I will reinforce the assertion of our need to the State for continued capitol funding. I will address any shortfalls in the budget from this change on a case by case basis, cutting excess where possible, getting a better deal when available, and pursuing new sources of funding when applicable to maintain or raise the standards of assistance that our citizens in need and deserve from my representation. Ketchikan has incredible natural resources, and we as a community should take a harder look at harvesting these resources to have an all-encompassing approach.
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