Former Juneau Assembly Member Merrill Sanford — who termed out this past fall — is more than ready to jump back into field and has announced he will run for mayor this fall.
Mayor Bruce Botelho will be terming out this year (a person can serve for three consecutive terms and then must have a one-year break before serving again). Sanford served on the Assembly for nine years and as a volunteer firefighter in the community for more than 30 years.
“I have been working with Southeast Conference on some of their projects and got a little bit frustrated with some of the things we’re trying to do there with jobs and basic infrastructure throughout all of Southeast. I thought maybe it’s time to jump back into this thing and move forward with some of this stuff.”
Sanford said there are two or three projects just within Juneau that at least need to be looked at.
Two of those projects include the AJ Mine and a mine at the Herbert River.
“We’ve slowly got some information on the water system,” Sanford said. “The AJ Mine itself will produce not only property tax dollars by a million and a half or so, but it will also produce royalties. I think that it deserves a really good looking at. ... With the AJ, they just finished up on their water study. It gives us a way to protect our watershed. There are some ideas of how we could do that. I would be willing to look at those things very seriously. We should get us a second source of water and we need to get our water sources up to speed anyway.”
Sanford said there are opportunities like the AJ Mine and location near the Herbert River throughout Southeast. He said there are two out by Skagway that are close to having a mine plan and a couple near Prince of Wales.
“I think we just need people from all over our region need to stand up and support somehow in any way possible,” he said.
Sanford said he also will bring back to the Assembly his normal stance of not supporting tax increases or mill rate increases to balance the budget.
Sanford said that if people are pro-development or for keeping and growing populations in Southeast Alaska, they should support him.
Sanford can’t file with the city until the filing period opens in August, but he has let the clerk’s office know his intentions. He also hasn’t filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission yet, but indicated he must do so when he starts collecting money.
• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.