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Anchorage mayoral candidate Q&A: What sectors of the economy would you grow and why?

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 10
  • Published March 8

The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for mayor and the Anchorage School Board in the April 3 election to answer a series of questions on issues facing the city and the Anchorage School District. We're publishing their responses daily. The answers were fact-checked when facts were cited and edited for spelling, grammar and clarity.

In this part, candidates for mayor talk about the sectors of the Anchorage economy that they would grow, and why.

Ethan Berkowitz
Age: 56
Occupation: Mayor of Anchorage

Since 2015, we passed legislation that allows the MOA to incentivize specific development; entered into public-private partnerships for multiple developments; and refinanced old debt to save taxpayer dollars. My administration is focused on new residential development, in an effort to help bring down the high costs of housing. We're putting out underutilized MOA land for private sector development, requiring that housing be a primary component of this redevelopment. This has already resulted in new housing plans in the U-Med District and throughout downtown. In 2018, we anticipate over $300 million of proposed new development, including mixed use commercial and residential properties.

Rebecca Logan

Age: 54
Occupation: CEO for the Alaska Support Industry Alliance

All of them. It isn't the role of government to pick winners and losers with regards to which sectors to grow. The role of government in growing an economy is to provide a safe, stable business climate that incentivizes and attracts investment. That is achieved by a strong public safety program and limiting taxes and costly regulations.

Dustin Darden

Age: 34
Occupation: Union carpenter, handyman and maintenance worker for the municipality of Anchorage

Promote tourism and fun residential activities by building cool things like a zipline connecting Anchorage to Point Mackenzie. It would just need to go over the ships. Build a big greenhouse on the park strip like the Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse in Anchorage (real cool, check it out) on a larger scale. Spending and tax cuts like the $57,000 in fluoride purchase in 2017, cut the $14 million dollar gas tax. Just like in relationships some you cultivate some you regulate and some you disassociate. It's true the company you keep will have a impact on you if it's overspending you will become broke as Joe's Turkey.

Timothy Huit
Age: 57
Occupation: Roofing contractor and transportation worker

I would grow both summer and winter tourism. To achieve future grow, we need more venues and attractions in and around Anchorage to bolster our scenic setting. Tourist from around the world should want to come and spend more time in Anchorage. We need to work closely with our current tourism companies to facilitate longer layovers as tourists transit though our city. Ultimately, if we connect with good tourism partners in the future we can make these economic dreams come true and prosper in the future.

Paul Kendall
Age: 71
Occupation: Retired businessman, security consultant. Current political and energy activist

Anchorage as our state capitol and our Permanent Fund Dividend refunds should stimulate our Anchorage economy immediately. Everything you do is the product of competing thoughts manifesting into actions or deeds of which they are un-intended, well-intended or ill-intended. MORALS!? If political attacks on the PF/PFD continue, please CASH ME OUT at $150,000 and 150 acres each and let's start over. Our leaders have lost "the mission" – all public sectors are complexing themselves into industries of permanent employment. We need to de-lawyer the language of politics and public services.

Matthew Mendonsa
Age: 58
Occupation: Retired/disabled floral delivery worker

I would encourage more tourism during winter months. I would lobby with the cruise ships to make more stops each summer in Anchorage.

Ron Stafford
Age: 68
Job: Transportation consultant

Tourism is one of the largest items in our economy here in the state of Alaska, and I think that would be one of the things to work on first because it would have the most impact. Everything else just kind of follows along. As you increase tourism, you're going to increase restaurant usage and sales in merchandise.

Nelson Godoy and Jacob Kern did not respond to the questionnaire.

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