The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

City Council Candidate Questionnaire - Christy Terry

 

Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

Christy Terry, incumbent City Council candidate at Meet the Candidates night, Wednesday.

Christy Terry

Seward has miles and miles of water, sewer, roads and electrical infrastructure, much of which needs repair or replacement. How would you rank the need for attention in those areas and, if elected, what would you propose to address any or all of these issues?

Many times existing infrastructure repairs or constructing new infrastructure are those items which staff is able to obtain grant funding. This is extremely helpful on the budget side, but leaves important infrastructure without repairs. Each enterprise fund has enormously critical infrastructure repairs that ALL rank as top priority. Streets - roads around town have been atrocious this year! We need to continue to pressure the state to release the identified road funds and then get these repairs moving forward. Sidewalk fixes are already proposed in the 2014-15 budgets. Electric - we need to complete the transformer projects at the Fort Raymond Substation ensuring that the AEA Grant funding is spent correctly for reimbursement. Also, we need to work on pole replacement and areas with failing lines that can be moved underground. Wastewater (Sewer) - obviously the sewer lagoon not only needs to have the actual problem identified, but we also need to move forward with initiating the necessary repairs and sludge removal. Water - in this community we still have A.C., cast iron and wood stave pipe that must be replaced with Ductile Iron Pipe. Harbor - not listed in the question, but just as critical to our City’s infrastructure are necessary float replacements in our harbor. At all times we need to remember that our harbor is an economic engine in our community that must be kept functional.

All our utility rates were raised two years ago to help address our aging infrastructure with providing funding for maintenance. Addressing these repairs is not easy, but administration’s proposal of having a Public Works Project Manager position with an engineering degree or even looking at the possibility of reinstating an engineering position at the City would help move these projects forward a great deal. This helps identify already critical issues, identify issues before they become critical, and then provides the expertise within the City to manage the repairs.

What should the city do to meet the needs of the citizens?

The council and administration need to learn to collaborate better with the private sector and create a new conversation with our citizens. It goes a step further by asking ourselves and the public three questions: What should we do? What can we do? What will we do? To assist with this, the City should not impose unnecessary regulation that hinders business retention or responsible pro-growth development. We need to examine how City services are provided to ensure they are being provided most efficiently. The City needs to sometimes drive publicly-led privately-supported projects, while also providing support for privately led projects. The City must remember that the stronger our private sector, then the more diversified our economy becomes, which then feeds back into helping to strengthen and develop a strong infrastructure. When Seward citizens are able to have employment with livable wages in a community with a high quality of life, then we know the needs of our citizens are being met. Citizens should be telling the council and administration what we can do to meet their needs- and we should be listing and actively responding!

City of Seward Council candidate Dave Squires questionnaire answers.

City of Seward Council candidate Vanta Shafer questionnaire answers.

City of Seward Council candidate Bob Valdatta questionnaire answers.

 

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