Resident of Alaska and Juneau for approximately 20 years total. Born in Oregon on January 17, 1977.
Education: High School Diploma; Finished with core classes for a bachelor’s degree, now working on electives; Starting my master’s degree concurrently (both degrees in business administration); Certificates for CCNA (computer networking) and blueprint drafting (both by hand and AutoCad).
Occupation(s): Office manager at Petro Marine in West Juneau.
Family: My wife, Danilyn (Clark) Nowlin; her parents Dean and Teri Clark; grandmother Hazel Nowlin; Uncle Donnie Nowlin; Peggy and Walt Boman (aunt & uncle) and their sons, Andy & Jeff. Both sides of my family were here before statehood.
Community Service: March of Dimes “Jail and Bail” event.
Love Inc. in their program to help people learn how to gain employment and keep it.
Other Experience: General manager of West Coast Events involving budgeting, operations, logistics; and overseeing 14 managers, and 75-100 employees; Carpentry and Construction experience; Business owner.
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 want to see more efficiency in spending; for example, project estimates should include the maintenance costs for the expected life of the building. Accruing debt to pay for it at a later date costs the taxpayers more for the structure, compared to, if revenue was collected before projects were implemented; of course, there are scenarios that debt is a necessity; however, maintenance is foreseeable and certain.
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?
I am afraid I am unfamiliar with what services are disappearing from the downtown area or this issue in general; I am going to seek out that information; however, for now I do not want to avoid the question completely. The population of Downtown Juneau is approximately 6 percent of the total population. Stores that provide goods and services that rely on heavy patron traffic may find the Valley better for business, where the population is around 50 percent. The nature of economics is balance, so the services that are frequented often enough will be encouraged to stay put; the best way to keep stores in the downtown area is to increase the traffic to them. Please email me the specific basic needs that are being neglected: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
Homelessness is often the result of other issues, and I believe it to be more of an end result, rather than an issue that can be directly addressed.
Drug and alcohol abuse are potential issues that can result in homelessness, and can be addressed. I believe that voluntary and mandatory alcohol and drug abuse courses, and facilities, are the answers to combat this issue. We must fight the addiction, and that will reduce the amount of drugs inundating our streets.
Another common cause of homelessness, and perhaps slightly sadder due to the involuntary nature of it is: mental health; we cannot neglect the homeless that have disorders described in the DSM-V.
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 the voters in October?
I think maintenance should not be paid for with debt, it makes repairs cost more than they were originally budgeted for, and thusly, we are then over budget and by the nature of bonds, in debt. Yet we take on new projects. Why not pay our debt? and then when we have the money for a new project, spend said money? Can we not wait for a new library (in an ever-increasing digital world)? Why an indoor learning center at Eaglecrest? The snow resides outside, so why plummet farther into the red with this facility?
The city must take in money to operate, so I am not completely opposed to extending the 1 percent; however, I would like to see it spent on bills before we go out and buy every new structure on the proposal. My vote is “no” for now, rewrite a few things and propose it again before the extension is ended, and then vote “yes”.
5. What is your position on reopening the AJ mine? Please briefly explain why you do or do not support this project.
I am for opening it, if (1) we do not open it at the expense of us and our rainforest; Juneau’s people and environment should not suffer health-wise; (2) a percentage is set as a minimum amount of employees that must be a resident of Southeast for no less than 1 full year prior to hire; (3) the sound from the activities does not disturb the livelihood of the downtown residents and business owners; and (4) the city gets a good amount of revenue from the endeavor; which would allow us to reduce the need of sales tax extensions and property tax increases. Plus, it would help address question two, by increasing the need of basic services in the downtown area.
6. What steps can the Assembly take to ensure that the capital remains in Juneau?
The potential for a capital move is a good reason for every individual in Juneau, and the whole of Southeast, to at least go out and register to vote; so that we are prepared if the vote comes to the public. The Assembly can push for the road, which is often a complaint of the people of Anchorage; I’ve heard: “the capital does not have a road in, so it should be moved”. The Assembly can stay in touch with the Governor, and work with him on issues that might make moving the capital seem appealing to those it does not affect (outside S.E.). I briefly met Governor Parnell at his picnic and he does not seem the type that would cold-heartedly move the capital at our expense. As citizens we need to vote in governors that are for Juneau; as the Assembly, we must stay alert.
7. What can the Assembly and CBJ do to increase voter registration, voter turnout, and participation in issues of government?
Unfortunately many people have become too complacent, and do not pay enough attention to what is going on in our government at the various levels. I think that we as individuals have the most power to get people to vote. I believe more of my friends would go out and vote if I asked them to do so, compared to, a candidate, or an Assembly member asking “strangers”. Tell your neighbor, and I will tell mine. I did not check, but I would hope that each voting location is near the bus route; other than that, CBJ is doing what they can to ensure everyone has the opportunity available to them. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.
8. What measures should the CBJ take to increase the municipal’s water supply sources?
Good question, because I am concerned about our limited options for a water supply. We do not have a water problem now, but why wait until we do? The CBJ should explore any viable options that are presented; and if anyone in the community has an idea let me know, I would love to hear (30,000 heads are better than one). We could increase revenue inflow if we also created a reservoir downtown to enable us to sell more water to cruise ships, especially if we end up routing in water from another source to downtown. Perhaps a water source out-the-road a reasonable distance could be routed back this way at the same time plan for future growth (which will have to spread that direction at some point).
9. What steps can the CBJ take to strengthen local economic diversity and stabilize the local population, given the recent Census population figures?
We definitely need to keep the population growing; and I am not talking about a boom, but we will all suffer from a large enough population decrease. We can do so by: creating jobs (example: by opening the AJ Mine); keeping the capital here so we do not lose any good jobs we have here already; keeping spending and taxes low to keep money in the pockets of my fellow people of Juneau; and keeping property tax low, because it is passed on to the renters; and they are the ones who suffer the most. Not that home owners do not also suffer, but when we are at that point in our lives where we are renting, we usually have a tougher time affording any added bills, i.e. rent increases. I know I do.
10. What do you think the CBJ should do, if anything, to address housing issues in the Juneau area?
I have not confirmed, nor denied it, but several people have complained to me that their homes and properties are assessed well-above market value. If that is true it needs to be adjusted in a manner that will not disrupt the running of the city, yet should eventually return the assessments to fair market value. We also need to limit spending so that we may decrease property tax percentages as well. We spend beyond our population size, and we as citizens need to be responsible and not push for extravagant services, structures, and other items that we could do without. If we do not do something, we will remain the (I believe I read) most expensive city in the most expensive state when comparing housing costs. I want your family and mine to be able to live out a fruitful life in Juneau; I have a long life ahead of me here, and I know you and yours do as well.