Time to weigh choices for CBJ Assembly

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2001

The candidates you choose next Tuesday to serve on the Assembly will guide Juneau through a watershed period. The challenges facing the next Assembly are extraordinarily great, as Juneau comes to grips with the issues of balance between quality of life and measured growth, access, saving the capital, and crafting master plans for our future.

Therefore, voters should keep in mind the importance of electing representatives who will provide balance and diversity to the Assembly and who possess the leadership qualities essential to building consensus and making the right choices. We will offer endorsements for each of the three Assembly races beginning today.

Wanamaker for Assembly, District 2

We applaud the three candidates who have given so much of their time, energy and resources in pursuit of the District 2 seat. All of the candidates have run strong campaigns and present uniquely different perspectives. It has been refreshing to watch young Clancy DeSmet test the campaign waters for the first time. He has made a good account of himself and will no doubt rise to future calls for public service. However, due to the gravity and complexity of the issues lying ahead for the Juneau Assembly, more maturity and experience will be required of the job.

Dixie Hood possesses maturity and strong convictions. She has championed a number of environmental and social causes. She proudly defends her liberalism, but her inward-looking vision for Juneau tends to fuel the statewide perception of isolationism that inhibits our chances of keeping the capital. There is a clear distinction between activism and leadership. We must elect leaders capable of effectively leading us into to the future and who clearly understand Juneau's relationship with the rest of the state.

Out of the three choices, Randy Wanamaker will best represent Juneau's diverse interests. If one word could characterize Randy's qualifications it would be diversity. Randy is the only candidate who can supply the ethnic and cultural diversity that is sorely needed in the makeup of our Assembly.

As a registered environmental assessor, his deep understanding of environmental issues, process and permitting will prove to be invaluable in moving environmentally sensitive projects along. He has served on a number of boards and committees supporting education, natural resources, law enforcement and Native interests.

As chairman of Goldbelt, Inc. he oversees a robust corporation made up of many diversified holdings that together provide hundreds of jobs that are so important to Juneau's economy. Randy's 25 years of proven leadership experience will help offset the loss of the many years of leadership experience leaving the Assembly with John MacKinnon and Cathy Mu-oz.

Randy pledges to bridge the divide in our community and his many contacts throughout the region will help foster better relations with our Southeast neighbors.

Randy will contribute significantly in providing the necessary balance on the Assembly. Be sure to vote next Tuesday and consider Randy Wanamaker as the best choice for District 2.

Don Smith

dssmith@juneauempire.com

586-1428



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