Four jump into Assembly race

Rafferty, Cahill, Kussart and Green submit names on final day for filing

Posted: Friday, August 26, 2005

Four more people joined the Juneau Assembly race on the last day of filing.

Candidates who filed Thursday are Joe Rafferty, Joan Cahill, Kierke A. Kussart and Andrew Green.

Rafferty, a retired north Douglas engineer, will run for the at-large seat currently held by Deputy Mayor Marc Wheeler.

Rafferty will compete with four other people - Mara Early, chairwoman of the Juneau Coalition for Youth; David Summers, outgoing president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce; Julie Morris, a member of the Juneau School Board; and Bob Doll, former state ferry system director.

Rafferty said he is worried that the taxes and the cost of living have kept increasing in Juneau. He wants to make sure the city spends money wisely for the building of the second high school.

"The city should look for ways to reduce the cost to get in and out of Juneau," Rafferty said.

Early said she will work with businesses and the community to create job opportunities for young people.

Summers said to retain the capital in Juneau will be one of his top priorities. Like Rafferty, Summers doesn't like to see the constant increase of property taxes.

"We should improve the process through which our budget decision is made," Summers said.

Doll, who ran for a state House post unsuccessfully last year, said he has the experience and leadership skills to help Juneau tackle not only problems of the present but also those of the future.

"The city is about roads, building and infrastructure. It is also a place to live and educate your children," Doll said. "The city needs someone who can see the full dimension."

Morris said she supports responsible economic development and more job opportunities to keep young people.

She supports building a second bridge across Gastineau Channel.

"It will give people in north Douglas more access to the airport and hospital. People in the valley will have more access to Eaglecrest" Ski Area, Morris said.

Two people filed Thursday to challenge incumbent Merrill Sanford.

Cahill, who works for the Alaska Permanent Fund Division, said she wants to make Juneau the best possible place for people to work and live.

"Juneau is the capital city of Alaska. It is a world-class tourist destination. It is surrounded by wildness," said Cahill, chairwoman of Juneau Clean Air Coalition. "The challenge is to strike a balance among all the aspects."

Kussart is another District 1 candidate. Efforts to reach her Thursday were unsuccessful.

Sanford, a retired firefighter, said he wants to complete things that he hasn't achieved during his first term. One major goal is to update the city's land-use code.

"I hope we can get the work done within a year," Sanford said.

Two people are running for the District 2 Mendenhall Valley seat currently held by Stan Ridgeway.

Jonathan Anderson, director of the University of Alaska Southeast's public administration master's program, said he runs for public office because he believes in good democratic government.

"I don't want to get into pros and cons of certain issues," Anderson said. "What people want on the Assembly is a person with high integrity, intelligence and a person who doesn't have an ax to grind and tries to act in the best interest of the city."

Green, port manager of Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska, said he is running for the Assembly because he wants to serve the city where he has lived for 16 years.

"I want to see the quality of life continue to improve," Green said. "I am interested in creating opportunities for work, recreation and education so Juneau remains a good place for our children to live and work."

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