The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for Anchorage Assembly in the 2019 election to answer a series of issue questions. Many of the questions were based on suggestions from readers. Find all candidates and their answers here. We did the same thing with candidates for Anchorage School Board.
Candidate: Christine Hill
Occupation: Operations Manager
Current employer: AK Auction & Duane’s Antiques since 1986
Previous public offices held or sought/community leadership positions: Secretary for the Alaska Republican Party, Treasurer for Alaska Federation of Republican Women, Volunteer for HOSPICE
Education: Degree in Police Science
What steps have you taken to prepare for this job? What strengths do you bring to office, and what in your life demonstrates those strengths?
I have 67 years of life experience from being a waitress, sales manager for a national company, business owner, wife, mother and grandmother. The success of my endeavors can be measured in the sustainability of my marriage, my friends, and the stability of my current businesses.
Describe an ordinance or legislative issue you plan to bring forward as an Assemblymember, and any funding it might require.
SAP is a drain on Anchorage. Employees are not being paid timely nor accurately. As an employer this is illegal. This matter needs to finally be resolved. Other city software systems are running smoothly and efficiently.
What is the largest budget you’ve managed? State the amount, length of time and your level of responsibility.
I manage Alaska Auction and Duane’s Antique Market. I have done this for 33 years. Income and expenses are in excess of $1 million dollars a year.
Describe your position on policies that affect the way Anchorage grows in the coming years.
While government can establish a vision about how Anchorage should grow to meet the needs of future residents, it can never do a better job at executing that vision than the private sector can.
Do you support the alcohol tax proposed by the administration of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz? Why or why not?
I’m not in favor. My concern is where the money will actually go and how it will benefit Anchorage. Seattle attempted to do what the current Assembly is proposing and homelessness and its attendant problems there increased.
What should the city do to alleviate the problem of illegal camps in green spaces in the city?
The illegal camps are illegal. They must be dismantled and the people removed from these public spaces. That sounds harsh - but law abiding residents should not be pushed out of the public spaces to maintain. It is time for broader dialogue about the causes of homelessness and responsible solutions.
The cost estimate for modernizing the Port of Alaska recently doubled. What do you think the city should do?
This is not just an Anchorage port - it’s an Alaskan port. It can - and has to be - fixed. The state has to participate in a financial commitment that chooses private sector professionals to fix Alaska’s primary port of entry and be held responsible for their work.
There could be tough budget times ahead with state cutbacks. What can the city do to make up for those cuts?
Anchorage has a strong economy and while local spending needs to be streamlined, we are well positioned for further growth and development. Sound economic policies need to be applied and maintained.
What did you think about Alaska’s efforts at criminal justice reform, which began in 2016 with Senate Bill 91?
I am very relieved and encouraged that Governor Donleavy has made a strong commitment to this end and that legislators are actively working to revise this situation.
Describe your position on crime in Anchorage.
Crime gets worse when criminals know they have few consequences. There has to be clear consequences for bad behavior.
How do you feel Anchorage performed in the recent 7.0 earthquake? What can the city government do, or what would you do on the Assembly, to improve seismic safety or emergency preparedness?
I’m very impressed with how the state and local governments responded and brought us back to normalcy so quickly. In attending some workshops in the Municipality they have identified areas of improvement. I hope the changes they make will not have to be tested for 50 years to come.
What do you think of the job Ethan Berkowitz has been doing as mayor?
There is room for improvement. He needs my help, vote Christine Hill for Assembly!
Overall taxation in Anchorage is....too low? Too high? Just right? Explain. If taxes are too high, what would you cut? If taxes are too low, what would you raise?
There is always an impetus to push taxes higher to feed government spending. We have a tax cap and attempts to sidestep it must be fought.
Tell us your ideas about transit and infrastructure in Anchorage.
Many buses are barely utilized and yet many residents complain that changes in routes has disenfranchised them. Public transit needs to be analyzed not by the elected officials but by transportation experts. Public transportation is important to a vibrant city and it need a rational review.
What other important issue would you like to discuss here?
Anchorage is a world class city and we need an Assembly that is constantly working to make our city attractive for future growth and quality of life.
What is the most pressing problem facing your district?
Crime, affordable housing, and roads.
Would you support a law allowing on-site consumption of marijuana?
What three places would you pick when highlighting Anchorage to tourists?
Alaska Native Heritage Center, Kincaid Park, Flattop Mountain
Would you take steps toward reversing Anchorage’s plastic bag ban?
Do you support the Berkowitz administration’s efforts to create a climate change action plan?
If you were asked to cut the city budget by 10 percent in the coming fiscal year, in which three areas would you recommend cuts?
I would get department heads’ thoughts first.