Editor's note: In the days leading up to the April 2 Anchorage municipal election, we'll be publishing responses from Assembly and School Board candidates to a range of questions.
Q: If you could change three things about city government, what would they be (listing most important first)?
District 2: Seat A
Amy Demboski: I would make it smaller, more efficient and more transparent. The citizens of Chugiak-Eagle River work very hard for their money, and I want the citizens to know that their tax dollars are being spent in a responsible manner; it should be very clear where every cent is being spent.
Peter Mulcahy: Our municipality's budget is on an unsustainable course. We must get our expenses under control and live within our means. To do so, we must contain costs, streamline services. Which would then allow us to provide public services in accordance with our revenues while keeping property taxes under control -- reduce property taxes.
Bob Lupo: 1) The safety of the people must always be the No. 1 priority of any government, so our city's governing powers must never again consider cutting our emergency services to satisfy a budget deficit. 2) Allow Eagle River to govern itself. 3) Do not allow governing individuals, with conflicts of interest, to participate in decisions which will line their own pockets at the expense of the public.
District 3: Seat D
Ernie Hall: 1) More community involvement; would love to see 80 percent turnout for an election. 2) More participation in community councils, which is government at the grass root level. 3) Administrations and Assemblies that work well together
Nick Moe: Our local government would be more: 1. responsive 2. effective 3. concerned with a long term vision for the future
District 3: Seat E
Cheryl Frasca: 1) Provide a more deliberative process for how the Assembly reviews legislative proposals, including the public's role in that process. 2) Provide a way in which to engage citizens in constructively discussing difficult public policy issues. 3) Use a system of performance measures to evaluate effectiveness of programs in delivering results in making budget decisions.
Phil Isley: The planning department, the bonding process and the way our school system teaches children.
Tim Steele: 1) Restore effective checks and balances between our executive and legislative bodies in municipal government. 2) Improve local support for public education. 3) Increase the respect and attention paid to individual citizens by our elected leaders.
District 4: Seat F
Andy Clary: 1) I'd make sustainable budgets. Taxpayers work hard for their money, and we must show responsibility with their resources. 2) I'd simplify the process for developing land. Affordable housing needs to be available to more people. 3) I'd implement more effective uses of technology to better serve the public. Examples include improved technology in public safety vehicles and fleet management software.
Dick Traini: 1) The relationship between the Assembly and the mayor. 2) Exemptions mandated by state law on real property. 3) Unfunded liabilities
District 5: Seat H
Paul Honeman: 1) Eliminate either the city manager or the chief of staff position, because we have a "strong mayor" form of local government -- it is duplicative and expensive. 2) Place our public safety department heads and budgets under a public safety commission that is not directly answerable to the mayor. Playing politics with our public safety is not acceptable. 3) Develop a more user friendly public transportation system, with collaboration and a regional commuter plan that is adequately funded.
District 6: Seat J
Jennifer Johnston: 1) Improve shared services with the School District, so education dollars can go to the classroom. 2) Develop an improved form of crowd sourcing to bring the municipality's services into the forefront of the 21st century with improved technology and services. 3) More user-friendly technology in the Assembly chambers.