Areawide Assembly seat: Incumbent wants to pass transit, recycling programs

Posted: Friday, October 03, 2008

If Bob Doll's opponent appears to believe that Juneau's glass is half empty, then Doll would respond that it's half full.

At a League of Women Voters forum last month, Areawide seat challenger Wade Bryson said he wants to make it "easier" to live in Juneau. Doll responded that Juneau is a great place to live, "despite the gloomy reports you might hear."

As an Assembly member it would be his job to keep it that way, Doll said.

Doll supports a pending recycling program in Juneau because surveys by the League of Women Voters show it's something people want.

But he is looking beyond the 50 years the landfill might last if people started to recycle their trash. He said a solution by the Regional Solid Waste Authority is needed to deal with trash in all of Southeast.

"The notion to ship trash out of Juneau will not be before us this election or the next one," he said. "During my term, I'll carry the ball on regional solid waste to retain a place for Juneau, so that when the public is ready we will be ready to act."

Nearer in the future, Doll supports mandatory curbside recycling through some increase in collection fees, supplemented with municipal revenue sharing through the state.

If he wins a second term, Doll wants to see significant improvements to the city's public transportation system. The Assembly just received a 500-page transportation plan that outlines new potential levels of service, and Doll said he would push those as far as possible.

He wants to see bus service to NOAA, the ferry terminal and Riverside Drive, plus express service between the Mendenhall Valley and downtown with additional circular routes in downtown, Douglas and the valley.

"I think the current tax structure in place will come very close to funding those things," he said. "With state revenue sharing, we ought to be able to do it."

On the subject of energy, Doll supports residential water metering so that people can begin to understand how water waste contributes to energy consumption. He also wants the community decrease its reliance on diesel by supporting more energy solutions such as the Lake Dorothy hydroelectric project.

The subject of the Juneau access road has consistently come up for all candidates in the campaign for Assembly seats. At a Rotary luncheon last month, Doll said he's not enthusiastic about it and supports improvements to the ferry system instead.

While his opponent has said the project is an answer for Juneau's economic challenges, Doll said the issue is out of the Assembly's hands.

"I'm not standing in the way of the road, Governor Palin is," he said.

"Capital creep" has also been a popular topic. Bryson has said he wants to "stop capital creep," which is the influx of jobs out of Juneau and into the state's population center, Anchorage.

Doll said Juneau and its leaders can give publicity to the loss of jobs and offer inducements such as housing opportunities for Legislators, but the Assembly can't stop the threat of a capital move alone.

"To assert that you can is disingenuous," he said.

Doll was elected to the Areawide Assembly seat in 2005. He retired from the U.S. Navy, a former director of the Alaska Marine Highway System and a former regional director for the state Department of Transportation.

His wife, Andrea Doll, represents Juneau in the state House of Representatives.

• Contact reporter Kim Marquis at 523-2279 or kim.marquis@juneauempire.com.



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