by K.J. Lincoln
The City of Bethel will hold a Regular Election Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 for the purpose of electing candidates to the City Council and voting on Proposition 1. This year we have 6 candidates plus 1 write in candidate vying for 4 open seats on the Bethel City Council. Here is some information about who is running and why. Quyana for your responses.
City Council Candidate: Anny Cochrane
Name: Hello I’m Anny Cochrane.
How long have you lived in Bethel?: I’ve lived in Bethel with my family for over five years now and have fallen in love with our community.
Do you have any prior city government/commissions/committee experience?: I have been a member of a number of boards throughout the years. When my family arrived in Bethel I started working right away with a small group and we all started the Bethel Winter Shelter, I still serve on the board for the Shelter. I serve with the Lions Club and we operate the monthly Food Bank and Soup Kitchen. During the summer months I volunteer to serve lunch in Owls park to the youth and I volunteer with 4-H and other community groups.
What is your occupation?: I am a mother of 6 amazing kids and I am lucky that I get to spend my time serving my community where I see there is a need. My background is in education, Human Resources and Risk Management.
What are the top three priorities that you have in mind for our community, the City of Bethel?: We all know that the majority of our community voted for alcohol sales and there was a very rough period of time for our families and kids. My first priority is a balance we need to find a way to allow freedom of choice while still keeping our families and communities safe. I’m a huge fan of Kotzebue’s model that has been working for 8 years. The bootlegging is hurting our community and preys on our most vulnerable residents. If it were legal and regulated we could use the revenue for public safety and perhaps education on the effects of alcohol.
I want to ensure our parks are in good repair. Safe places our youth can play is a big concern. We want our youth playing basketball at the park, because then they are not getting into trouble. Safe places for children and families to play make our community a better place.
I want to dive into the budget, look to see when funds are being used, being in business I know sometimes if departments are afraid of losing funding the next year they spend all the remaining funds on random supplies for the next year. I want to ensure we are utilizing our current resources and that we don’t have duplication. I want to ensure we are being wise with our taxpayers’ money.
When did you first start thinking of running for City Council?: I’ve been entertaining the idea to run for several years because I saw an opportunity to improve our community. I’m very active in Bethel and just want a Happy, Healthy and Safe place for families. We are at the crossroads and there are several issues that need to be addressed now or it could affect the city in a negative way. I saw changes that I thought needed to be made and I decided to step up and I’m ready to be an advocate for our residents and problem solver for our community.
Serving on City Council is a volunteer position. What would you like to tell the voters that will help them choose you when they go to the polls?: Stakes are high in this election. 2 years of policies and decisions that will be impacting our city and region. As a very active community volunteer I understand the issues facing the residents of the city of Bethel. I am really looking forward to helping to make improvements for our community. I have the commitment and desire to work with the council and the residents to ensure our community needs are met. I will be informed, ask questions and use forward thinking to be a voice for Bethel. I want to encourage all of our residents to be informed, to be involved and to let me know any concerns you have. I would appreciate your vote on October 2nd and look forward to making positive changes for our community.
What are your hobbies, your most favorite thing(s) to do?: When I have free time I enjoy spending it with my family, I love cooking, fishing, sewing, berry picking and reading with my children.
City Council Candidate: Carole Jung Jordan
Name: My name is Carole Jung Jordan.
How long have you lived in Bethel?: I was born in Bethel and grew up in Napakiak. I moved to Bethel at age 12 and attended BRHS and graduated in 1999. It was intimidating moving to Bethel because it seemed so big. Bethel has been my home for many years. My family is from here and I have lots of relatives here.
Do you have any prior city government/commissions/committee experience?: I worked for the City of Bethel for 5 years. I worked in the Finance Department first as the Admin Assistant for the finance director and then I was customer service for utilities at the front desk. In my last year at the City I did accounts payable. While employed at the city I was the recorder for the finance committee and attended all the finance meetings during that time.
What is your occupation?: My title is Office Assistant II for the State of Alaska. I do medical data entry.
What are the top three priorities that you have in mind for our community, the City of Bethel?: My top 3 priorites will be the water and sewer rates and better more reliable service. The next one is streets and roads. Our roads are bad! And number 3 the bad management at the City. I believe all city employees from the city manager to the dump attendant, should receive customer service training. The city is charging so much for services and they should be nicer to the people of Bethel.
When did you first start thinking of running for City Council?: I first started thinking of running for city council this past Spring.
Serving on City Council is a volunteer position. What would you like to tell the voters that will help them choose you when they go to the polls?: I just want more people to vote. Even if they don’t vote for me, just get out and vote. We need more young people to vote too. You don’t vote – you don’t get to complain.
What are your hobbies, your most favorite thing(s) to do?: My hobbies are reading, cooking, baking, berry picking and shopping but most of all spending time with my husband, kids and family.
City Council Candidate: Shadi Rabi
Name: Shadi Rabi
How long have you lived in Bethel?: Two years. I moved here in July 2016.
Do you have any prior city government/commissions/committee experience?: I currently sit on the planning commission. I have been on the planning commission for 1.5 years.
What is your occupation?: I am the program manager at the YK Fitness Center (the pool). I assist in managing our staff, developing/evaluating programs, and maintaining our facility.
What are the top three priorities that you have in mind for our community, the City of Bethel?: 1. Improve transparency between council and the community. 2. Ensure financial stability of Bethel and community, while attempting to find new revenue streams in unique/creative ways. 3. Develop programs to involve all members so our community, in hopes of improving quality of life for all individuals living in Bethel.
When did you first start thinking of running for City Council?: I thought about running for council when the announcements of open seats came out over summer. The push to fill out my candidacy paperwork developed form my experience on the planning commission. Originally, I applied to be on the planning commission after learning what the primary duties of the group were. Planning commission work sounded interesting to me. For example, on the planning commission, commissioners have duties and obligations surrounding permitting and licensing for new business applications, new subdivisions, any many more. Some projects we’ve worked on include, the new wind turbine in Kasayuli, multiple liquor store applications, and three new subdivision applications. Throughout these processes, research was conducted, discussion occurred, and difficult decision were made. That to me, was and is exciting and fun. With these thoughts in mind, council is a step up from the planning commission. Especially with significant projects, such as Donlin Gold, rapidly approaching. City Council is interesting and exciting to me, and I felt as if it was a unique opportunity, that I ultimately decided to go for.
Serving on City Council is a volunteer position. What would you like to tell the voters that will help them choose you when they go to the polls?: I will put the time in, do the research, and represent the community of Bethel as well as I possibly can. If you have not met or interacted with me, I urge you to speak with me, or reach out to someone who has personally or professionally met and interacted with me before election day. I can wholeheartedly assure everyone, I will logically and rationally make decisions based upon the betterment of the entire community, not for the betterment of myself personally.
What are your hobbies, your most favorite thing(s) to do?: I enjoy hanging out with friends and family. One of my favorite things is cooking a big/good dinner and enjoying it with close friends. Additionally, I enjoy the outdoors. I like snowmachining, fishing, hunting (still trying to catch a moose this season) camping, and generally spending time outside. I also enjoy sports. I enjoy playing all sports. Basketball is my favorite sport to play/coach, however football is my favorite sport to watch. Cincinnati Bengals are winning the super bowl this year!
Name: Mark Springer
How long have you lived in Bethel? About 20 years
Do you have any prior city government/commissions/committee experience?: Yes, I’ve served two full terms on Council, got beat once over the Alcohol issue, and was appointed to fill a term vacancy. I was on the Public Safety and Transportation Company Commission for several years before I ran for Council.
Member communities in our region elected me as their representative on the Alaska Municipal League Board of Directors, and I was also elected as its Second Vice-President.
Governor Walker appointed me as the Rural member of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board, where I serve as its current Chairman.
What is your occupation? I’m “semi-retired.” Mostly a Grandpa.
What are the top three priorities that you have in mind for our community, the City of Bethel? Economic Development. As Bethel grows we will need new businesses and services. Community sustainability and climate change resilience. Our environment is changing fast and we all have to be prepared to deal with the impacts. Cost of City services. I pay a $400 a month water and sewer bill. It’s tough. The Council needs to continue to improve, and try to economize, the delivery of City services.
When did you first start thinking of running for City Council?: I am seeking a third elected term, so I guess I first thought about it in 2010/2011.
Serving on City Council is a volunteer position. What would you like to tell the voters that will help them choose you when they go to the polls?: time around I am a Write-In candidate. Due to an illness I wasn’t able to get my paperwork in by the deadline. If you like the job I’ve done and would like me to continue, please write me in, and fill in the oval, too.
A few issues I have positions on:
Local Option – YES
Stand for Salmon – YES
Donlin Mine – NO
I’m proud that the Council’s protest of the renewal of AC’s liquor license was upheld resulting in closure of that store.
What are your hobbies, your most favorite thing(s) to do?
My hobbies include Amateur Radio, Twitter (@markspringer), knot tying, baking bread and my favorite thing to do is to get all the kids out the door in the morning in time for the school bus!
City Council Candidate: Fred Watson
Name: Fred Watson
How long have you lived in Bethel?: Born and raised in Bethel- lived for over 50 years in good ol downtown Bethel.
Do you have any prior city government/commissions/committee experience?: I currently am on city council and have been since 2016. I currently serve as the Vice-Mayor and have been on the public works committee and the Parks, Recreation, Aquatic, Health & Safety Center Committee.
What is your occupation?: I work for YKHC as the Uqisquin Coordinator/Health Aide Support Counselor.
What are the top three priorities that you have in mind for our community, the City of Bethel?: My three top three priorities are streets and roads, water and sewer and accountability within the city administration.
When did you first start thinking of running for City Council?: As soon as I was eligible, I ran and that was in 2016. I was a long-time city employee and that excluded me from serving on city council.
What are your hobbies, your most favorite thing(s) to do?: Hunting, Fishing, Camping. spending time with daughters Stephanie Nicole, Elizabeth Anne, and Lil Man Nick =Jenkins as well as granddaughter Tiny- Carol Watson.