Farmer takes fifth stab at winning mayor's seat

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2000

Mark Farmer wants to be mayor of Juneau again.

Farmer filed a letter of his intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission this morning -- a necessary step for fund raising. Candidates for city office must file with the city clerk between Aug. 14 and 24.

Farmer's four previous shots at the mayor's job have missed, as have two tries for an assembly seat.

Mayor Dennis Egan's term runs out this fall. Egan could not be reached for comment about a possible re-election bid.

Referring to what he said were the city's two principal concerns -- community development and tourism -- Farmer said this morning, ``Juneau is going to hell in a handbasket. There is a lack of political will on the assembly and the planning commission. And for some, the assembly has become a steppingstone for positions elsewhere.''

Neglect, incompetence and, possibly, corruption are rife, he said. ``The tourism industry needs to be our partner, not our boss.''

Farmer is a writer, photojournalist and retired Coast Guardsman. He has lived in Juneau 16 years.

``I've been voicing my concerns about community growth and tourism for the past dozen years,'' he said. ``And little has been done about those issues.''

Farmer listed as a priority ``the preservation and maintenance of recreational assets -- as a city endeavor -- such as Eaglecrest,'' the city-owned ski area.

He recommended the city continue its support for the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool, city softball fields and trails as well.

``For many, existence here can be difficult,'' he said. ``The recreational assets that we have make the difference.''

Farmer ran against District 1 assembly incumbent Rosemary Hagevig in last fall's race, but withdrew his candidacy early to throw his support to eventual winner Frankie Pillifant.

Asked about the pejorative aspect of being dubbed the perennial candidate, Farmer said, ``Look at past political successes: Nixon lost repeatedly; Lincoln lost several times. Tenacity and persistence count more than people's perceptions about `perennial candidates.'''

Farmer has filed a request for an exemption from reporting campaign income and expenditures to the APOC.

Candidates can do that if they plan to spend less than $2,500 on their campaigns.

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