Resident of Alaska since 1971, Juneau 1975.
Education: Portland State University (Oregon), Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Sociology
University of Alaska Southeast, Paralegal degree.
Occupation: Currently retired after working 17 years for the State of Alaska, working in human resources primarily personnel related, and retirement and benefits appeals. Prior to working with the State I worked eight years at Alaska Public Employees Association representing employees in contract negotiation, workplace employee/employer grievances, appeals and arbitrations. Arbitrations included contract interpretation and disciplinary actions.
Family: Married 25 years to Henry Jebe, retired Alaska Marine Highways.
Community Service: Juneau Visitor and Convention Bureau, Glory Hole meals, Juneau Voter Registration, U.S. Naturalization Ceremonies, Alaska Native Sisterhood, Pioneers of Alaska Women’s Igloo #6.
Other Experience: League of Women Voters: member 25 years, Alaska League President two years, Juneau League President two years, Treasurer, seven years, Budget Survey for CBJ Assembly (20 years); Juneau Docks and Harbors Board, Chair Operations Committee (6 years), Juneau Alcoholism Board.
1. What is your highest priority for the CBJ to accomplish during your term in office? Explain why this is a priority and how you would facilitate this change.
I am committed to open, transparent and accessible government for all Juneau’s citizens. Items of interest should be first on the agenda. Also, I want to make sure that adequate public hearings are held on all items before the assembly, for example, on the lists of projects being proposed on election ballots for sales tax extensions and bonding. Assuring the public’s access can sometimes be as simple as an update to the CBJ website so users can more quickly find information. As mayor, I would continue and expand Mayor Bothelo’s Citizens Academy.
2. What would you suggest to maintain or increase the year-around vitality of the downtown area, given the decreasing number of stores supplying basic needs?
A vibrant downtown is essential to our success as the capital city. More downtown housing for all income groups is needed. CBJ should explore fiscal options to encourage year round businesses. Attracting more people for events like the Maritime Festival boosts downtown as a desirable location. We need to start implementation of the Willoughby District Plan. With the changes at the Foodland Center and the new State Library, Archive, and Museum (SLAM) building we need to look at how this area can be a center for new housing, and retail activity.
3. What responsibility does the CBJ have in coordinating public health efforts for such issues as homelessness, the burden of drug and alcohol abuse, and other factors that affect public health?
The CBJ decided years ago to give up local health powers, therefore the state Division of Public Health and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services do many of those things for CBJ and the rest of Alaska. The Assembly’s Human Resources Committee acts on current needs. The CBJ also supports efforts by such groups as the Homeless Coalition and others to address pressing public health issues. I hope that Juneau can have a Housing First project in the near future which would provide a safe place for homeless people with alcohol and mental health problems.
4. What is your position on the proposed five-year extension of the 1 percent special sales tax and the $25 million infrastructure bond issue, both of which are set to appear before voters in October?
Sales tax is an important revenue source for capital projects such as the airport equipment maintenance facility, Capital Transit maintenance shop renovations, a youth mental health unit at Bartlett Hospital and a library at Dimond Park. I plan to vote “yes” on the extension of the 1% sales tax for five years. I do support the infrastructure improvements proposed to be financed by general obligation bonds and will vote yes. In the future I will encourage more public input and limited bundling of such bond projects. I don’t support use of bonds for deferred maintenance, budget reserves and bond debt service.
5. What is your position on reopening the AJ mine? Please briefly explain why you do or do not support this project.
I am a supporter of mining and encourage it in Alaska and Juneau. The 2011 extensive community dialogue on a reopening of the AJ Mine resulted in challenging issues that need further consideration. There needs to be continued efforts to increase our knowledge of what is required of the city to encourage private development. We need to address the safety of Juneau’s water system and impacts on the commercial fishing and tourism industries currently operating. We need to understand the options and educate the public in gaining its support. Until such time as a private company makes an actual proposal to open the AJ Mine, the CBJ needs to proceed carefully and thoughtfully.
6. What steps can the Assembly take to ensure that the capital remains in Juneau?
The Assembly needs to continue its support and funding to the Alaska Committee and its efforts to show the rest of Alaska the importance of Juneau as its capital city. Revitalizing and improving the downtown area to provide year round retail and cultural choices, affordable rental housing, and safe and clean streets is essential to our success as the capital city. We need to look at fiscal options to encourage building owners to improve property. The Assembly needs to make this revitalization a top priority.
7. What can the Assembly and the CBJ do to increase voter registration, voter turnout, and participation in issues of government?
The Assembly needs to provide more funding to the Clerk’s Office to continue and improve its efforts to encourage voter registration, voter turnout and participation. Voter’s need to be reminded, even between elections the importance of voting. The recently developed Citizen’s Academy needs to continue. Educating the public on the various functions of the city and political processes required to do business will increase awareness and potentially garner greater voter participation. The Assembly needs to ensure an atmosphere of openness and transparency at its meetings, welcoming discussions on all sides of issues coming before it.
8. What measures should the CBJ take to increase the municipal water supply sources?
There is a need for a comprehensive water supply plan to learn whether we need to increase our water sources and if so, how best to do it. Currently there are two water sources adequately serving the area wide water system: primarily the Last Chance Basin well field on Gold Creek and Salmon Creek Dam reservoir in conjunction with the Alaska Electric Light and Power Company’s Salmon Creek power generation plant. When both sources are available, residents north of Hospital Drive are served by water from Salmon Creek, while residents south of Hospital Drive and all of Douglas Island are served by Last Chance Basin water.
9. What steps can the CBJ take to strengthen local economic diversity and stabilize the local population?
I am encouraged that in the last couple of years, CBJ’s population has risen by more than a thousand. We need to continue to support commercial fishing, mining, and tourism. Attracting more research activities to supplement existing research will strengthen these sectors. Innovative solutions to our solid waste and other problems can create jobs. I want JEDC to look at which technological industries may find our resources attractive and court these industries. Above all, we must fight and reverse jobs lost to “capital creep.”
10. What do you think the CBJ should do, if anything, to address housing issues in the Juneau area?
Affordable housing is an acute need in Juneau, especially for rentals. Work to encourage more industry opportunities with good paying jobs is needed. We need to work closely with the local building industry to identify regulations that are limiting investment in housing projects. We need to seek input on how to address impediments to building housing in Juneau. Years ago CBJ used its own bonding capacity to lend at low rates. We should review this and other approaches to making development more attractive. For downtown we need to work to infill and remodel current buildings including apartments. We need to review downtown parking requirements. While changes have been made recently to change parking and density requirements, more is needed.