The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for the April 2 election to the Anchorage Assembly to answer a series of questions on issues facing those bodies. We’re publishing select responses daily. The answers were fact-checked when facts were cited and edited for spelling, grammar and writing style. For more questions and to see all the candidates’ answers, click here. For School Board candidate surveys, click here.
Q: What is the largest budget you’ve managed? State the amount, length of time and your level of responsibility.
DISTRICT 2, SEAT A: CHUGIAK-EAGLE RIVER
As one member of the 7-member Anchorage School Board from 2003-2012, I dealt with budgets in the hundreds of millions that were derived from local, state and federal funding sources. It funded several departments with thousands of employees, over 100 facilities, educational materials and a vast array of equipment. The board is responsible for reviewing and evaluating the administration’s budget, amending it accordingly and then approving it before it goes to the Assembly for its final approval.
In the United States Marine Corps, I served in Logistics and Acquisition management for my last 7 years, where I helped plan and execute budgets totaling over $250 million per year. In this, I was taught the principles of responsible spending and that the most common driver of wasteful spending is short-term and shifting budgets. My involvement included briefing milestones and writing checks in support of research and development, operations and maintenance, and procurement efforts.
DISTRICT 4, SEAT F: MIDTOWN
As a small business owner, I’m responsible for managing the budget of the Anchorage Community House, which we have intentionally kept small because I fundamentally believe in fiscal responsibility – doing more with less. Currently, we are able to provide a community space to over 300 people every month for about $1,000 in costs. This allows folks to meet for book club, children’s STEM class, cooking class, potlucks & dance and meditation classes – all with the goal of building a community.
$1 million plus. Years of small business ownership.
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.
DISTRICT 3, SEAT D: WEST ANCHORAGE
30 tomato plants planted upside down in a hole in 5 gallon buckets hanging from a green house made out of recycled garbage. It lasted years till the snow fell heavy that same year the Dome caved in it did the same. Now it’s an apple orchard.
Over $10 billion as a member of the Alaska Legislature and a member of 5 legislative committees. In addition, as Chair, Treasurer, Director of Chugach Electric we reviewed budgets over $200 million.
Anchorage School Board, 4 years, $850 million
DISTRICT 5, SEAT H: EAST ANCHORAGE
I was Chair of the Assembly and Budget Chair for the Municipality of Anchorage from April until December 2018. The 2018 Municipal Operating Budget was approximately $506 million. Of course, no one truly manages a budget of that size on their own; I was grateful to work with Lance Wilber, head of the Office of Management and Budget, with other Municipal officials, and with my colleagues on the Assembly. I also gave regular updates to the city’s Budget Advisory Commission.
DISTRICT 6, SEAT J: SOUTH ANCHORAGE, GIRDWOOD, TURNAGAIN ARM
The $500 million plus Municipal budget is by far the largest budget with my fingerprints on it. The Assembly has ultimate responsibility for approving the budget and keeping spending within that budget.