Elections are Tuesday for mayor, council and school board
Bonding on new boat harbor is on the ballot asking for up to $20 million
Mayoral candidate Rich Long
Two very important issues are on the ballot for Tuesday's municipal elections.
Valdez voters will elect a new mayor, Rich Long or Larry Weaver, and decide whether or not the city will bond up to $20 million to fund the construction of a new boat harbor.
All three seats up for election for both school board and city council have candidates that are running unopposed. City council candidates are Nate Smith (incumbent), Chris Moulton (incumbent) and Jim Shirrell, a former council member. School board candidates are all newcomers to elected office: Bill Comer, Bill Connell and Darryl Verfaillie.
The ballot also has space for voters to write-in the names of candidates not on the ballot for both council and school board, with one write in spot for mayor.
Normally, council terms are for two years each, as is the mayor's position; school board terms are for three years. This year, elected officials will serve terms that are trimmed by six months due to the fact that municipal elections in 2015 and beyond will be held in April rather than October.
Absentee voting is open at city hall during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. This Monday is the last day to vote before the polls open Oct. 7. Questions should be directed to the city clerk's office at 834-3468.
Name and age: Richard Long – 60
Place of residence and for how long: 2310 Richardson Highway -25 years Valdez resident.
Place of Birth: Whittier CA
Children's Names and ages: Alex and Justin
Education background: Master 500 Ton (Retired) 8 years with Crowley Marine and 8 years with APSC. Have operated tugs, freight, charters, and tour vessels from Seattle to Prudhoe Bay. 15 years owning and operating a local marine business.
Current occupation and employer: Owner Long's Marine
Past or present employment with the City of Valdez 2 summer seasons as the Community Safety Officer.
Previous elected offices held: 5 years as a Ports and Harbor Commissioner and 3 years on City Council.
Please explain your platform in 400 words or less, and why it will be good for the Valdez community.
My platform is one of stopping the decline in our population with the associated demise of small businesses and the increases in the cost of living here. I would like to foster a stronger council working with the community with initiatives that will grow our community. I have three main areas that are my priorities:
ENERGY: We must step up to the challenge of lowering the cost of energy. We need to be more proactive in taking steps to bring our cost of energy down. This will take some significant investments on our part but is critical to our future as a healthy, economically strong community. We as a community need to invest in initiatives that will lower our fuel and electricity costs. This will be my number 1 priority.
ECONOMIC GROWTH & DIVERSIFICATION: We must invest in fostering new industries, such as waterfront projects that will improve our community as a port. I will support infrastructure that will grow and diversify our economy. I visualize a marine support facility that is also connected to a maritime educational trade school. I would also like to market our community as a premiere summer and winter tourism destination. For example, we should market the John Kelsey Dock to the smaller 200' to 300' cruise ships.
STOPPING THE GROWTH OF THE CITY BUDGET We must stabilize the city budget while still maintaining our infrastructure and quality of life. I intend to seek out more efficient ways to provide services and reduce waste wherever possible, taking special care not to reduce services without specific cost savings.
We cannot continue to allow the growth of government without also growing the private sector. We have so far been very fortunate to have the oil properties to allow us to sustain our government so far. I do not believe that we should sit back and think that we will be able to continue this without diversifying our economy so we will not be dependent on one industry. With the support of council and the community itself I believe we can make positive changes that will make Valdez an even better place to live and raise families. I will work hard to build support and consensus of council and the whole community so we can make positive changes for a better Valdez. Thank you for your support.
Name and age: Larry Weaver, 58
Spouse: Meg Weaver
Place of residence and for how long: Valdez, 31 + years
Place of Birth: DeKalb, IL.
Children's Names and ages: Shannon 38, Misty 36, Benjamin 32
Education background: High School and college
Current occupation and employer: Retired, self employed
Past or present employment with the City of Valdez: 25 years with the city, the last seven as Public Works Director
Previous elected offices held: Board of Directors CVTC, ARWA (Alaska rural water association) local and State President (F.O.E.) Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Please explain your platform in 400 words or less, and why it will be good for the Valdez community:
As Mayor I will continue to seek out ways to provide more affordable energy for our community, this may take investing in new technologies and using the city ability for large purchasing to offer more energy efficient appliances, devices and goods at a cost savings to our citizens.
Mayoral candidate Larry Weaver
Also keeping and attracting businesses that will be able to offer jobs to our children and grandchildren. As an example, with the building of the new harbor we will need to work with the local college and school administration to offer courses in marine mechanics and technology.
Rather than trying to do everything at once we need to become more focused and push for project completion, taking the attitude of what can we do to make things happen, not point out all of the reason it can't.
These are just some of my thoughts and things I have heard from talking to people, but as far as a platform goes I would have to say mine is one of continued listening and talking to the community, I am open minded willing to think outside the box, not entering this position with a hidden agenda and believe I would be a good representative for Valdez.