The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for Anchorage Assembly in the 2020 election to answer a series of questions, many of which were based on suggestions from readers. Find all candidates and their answers here. (We also surveyed candidates for Anchorage School Board.)
Note: This survey was sent and candidates’ responses were collected in February, before the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus was reported in Alaska.
Candidate: Monty Dyson
Occupation: Assistant pastor
Why are you running?
I want my grandchildren to live in the same Anchorage I've lived in since 1982. I want to keep Anchorage affordable and safe for my family.
What is your overall vision for Anchorage?
Provide a safe community for Anchorage residents, eliminate unnecessary spending and continue to make Anchorage a great tourist attraction.
What specifically should the city do to offset the decline in revenue from the state? Are you in favor of new taxes or revenue? If so, what specifically?
If you don't have the income coming in, you have to make cuts somewhere. Another option may be to sell or rent assets that the city owns. I'm not in favor of new taxes.
Should the city cut its budget? If so, where specifically would you cut spending?
Yes. Possibly for a long-term goal, we could privatize some areas to prevent the city from having to pay out pensions.
What specific steps should the city take to address homelessness? If your vision requires funding, where would the money come from?
Stop enabling the homeless through panhandling. Call in different support groups to help take care of the emotional counseling needs.
What is the biggest issue facing Anchorage, and how would you address it?
We need to continue to develop Anchorage through the water port and airport. Amazon should be hiring workers in Anchorage. Also, create an environment for inviting larger working businesses to want to come to Anchorage.
What specific steps should the city take to address crime in Anchorage?
We need to ensure that those that break the law are punished appropriately. Police officers are chasing too many repeat offenders.
2019 was the warmest year on record for Alaska. What should Anchorage do to address climate change?
I do not believe that humans are the primary driver of climate change.
How is the current Assembly doing? Are there any issues you would raise if elected?
If I thought the current Assembly was doing a great job, I wouldn’t be running. The current Assembly needs a conservative balance.
Do you support the governor’s budget cuts?
The Port of Alaska needs at least hundreds of millions of dollars to modernize. How should port modernization be paid for?
Sen. Dan Sullivan just announced the Department of Transportation has awarded $20 million toward the development. We need the state and other cities to come alongside Anchorage since most of the materials are shipped around the state.
Describe an ordinance or legislative issue you plan to bring forward as an Assembly member, and any funding it might require.
1. Repeal the plastic bag ban. 2. Streamline the process for builders to get the necessary paperwork completed to start the building process without compromising safety.
There is a movement in the Eagle River/Chugiak district to secede from the Municipality of Anchorage. Where do you stand on EagleExit?
Eagle River tends to be more conservative than the Anchorage administration. Anchorage hasn’t done its part of representing or considering Eagle River with its policies to make them feel part of Anchorage.
What other important issue would you like to discuss here?
I want to help bring more balance to the Assembly. A large contingent of Anchorage residents don’t feel like they are represented very well.