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

City Council candidates share comments


Dale Butts

Candidates for Seward City Council were offered an opportunity to speak directly to voters. There are four candidates vying for three seats. The Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Meet the Candidates Night in the city council chamber on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 6-8 p.m.

Dale Butts

I came to Alaska in 1988, following my parent up here and fell in love with Seward. Since then I have felt proud to be a part of Alaska and Seward. I have served on the Seward Fire Department for almost 25 years and currently hold the rank of Captain. I have served with the Volunteer Ambulance Corps, I am currently the president of the AVTEC teachers union, A Commissioner for Planning and Zoning and I helped form and coach the Seward Seahawks football team when I can.

I love Seward and feel that we are on the brink of tremendous growth in Seward. With all the growth in our port for cargo , fuel, and SMIC we are looking at becoming the gateway to Alaska. Because of my experience in the maritime field and my service for the city so far I believe I am the best candidate for City Council. I rely on my record so far and would appreciate your vote on election day. Just as a final thought my Cell phone number is 491-1049

Ristine Casagranda

Seward is where my heart resides. I absolutely love this place!

I will support Seward by encouraging our infrastructure to be our number one priority. Seward has an enormous economic potential that can only proceed with infrastructure that is stable and has the capacity for growth. We are laying a foundation that will either be future generations burdens or assets. Creating a safe, clean and stable place to live, work and play now AND for generations to come is what I vote for!

I am here to listen. I am a compassionate person with a passion for our town. I appreciate your support. I am honored to have served the last four years on city council and I hope you will vote for me on October 7th.

Marianna Keil

My name is Marianna Keil and I have been the Seward Legislative Information Officer since 1993. I worked as the Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coordinator during the interim and served on the DVSA Advisory Committee for many years, appointed to the Seward Planning and Zoning Commission for seven years and I was the President of the Seward 2003 Centennial Committee. All of these positions have given me great appreciation for our community. When people ask me why I live in Seward, I tell them it is a safe place to raise a family, with wonderful people who look out for each other and our town has the most beautiful scenery in the world.

I have served on the Seward City Council since 2008. During my tenure, the city has weathered the economic downturn and has seen an improved financial position, received legislative appropriations for the Seward Marine Industrial Center, airport improvements and Seward sewer lagoon sludge removal, completion of the Seward Library Museum and Providence Seward Mountain Haven, Seward harbor dock improvements and grants for the Seward Community Health Center. I would like to remain on council to see the Electrical building completed and upgrades to the electrical system, the completion of the harbor dock renovations, start of the airport and Alaska Railroad Dock improvements, removal of the sludge in the sewer lagoon, the start of the SMIC breakwater, the home porting of the research vessel Sikuliaq, road and sidewalk improvements and continue the progress towards stable year round employment for Seward's citizens. Not only have many things been accomplished but there also are great things to come.

The current council is working well together and every member has the well-being of the community at heart. There will always be differences of opinions, which leads to healthy discussions, but when the meeting ends everyone leaves feeling that they have advocated their side of the issues. The public is very important to the process and there are positions open on the Seward Planning and Zoning Commission and the Historical Preservation Commission. I would hope that the volunteerism so prevalent in Seward will extend to these important city boards.

I believe that I possess a calm nature, common sense, experience in budgets and policy and the ability to work well with the public, my peers and staff.

I hope you will give me the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Seward on the csity council and I respectfully ask for your vote on October 7th.

John French

My ancestors instilled in me a strong sense of place and the importance of service above self. My mother, the daughter of a missionary, was raised in China between the great wars. After college but before graduate school I taught as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia. I have lived in Seward for the last 16 years, which is longer than I have lived anywhere else. So Seward is my place and serving on the City Council would meet my continuing commitment to serving my community.

I am a scientist and an educator. However, unlike many I do not focus solely on the area of my training. I seek the knowledge and information most applicable to the problems I am trying to solve. As a result, although my graduate training was in molecular and environmental toxicology I have gained nationally recognized expectise in public health, seafood technology, fisheries and marine sciences as well as toxicology. As one of my early academic advisors told me, if you get a strong basic education you can apply it where ever the need takes you. You can be sure I will do my homework on the City Council.

Over the 34 years I have lived in Alaska I have served in many governmental and quasi-governmental roles In Kodiak, I was elected to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and served as Co-Chair of the Near Island Development Authority. Near Island is the City of Kodiak's SMIC. Once the harbor was completed and the island was connected to the City by a bridge, the City of Kodiak needed a plan to develop the uplands. However the "Authority" was really just an advisory committee. I served on the first public advisory group for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, and continue to serve having served six two year terms since 1991.

Since moving to Seward, I served 13 years representing the City on Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association's Board of Directors, 10 years on the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council Board of Directors where I also served as the Chair of its Oil Spill Prevention and Response Committee and the Scientific Advisory Committee. I have also volunteered many hours in a variety of roles at the Alaska SeaLife Center, for the Seward Silver Salmon Derby, and other community and professional organizations.

I currently serve as the Vice-Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission. Although I do not consider myself a historian, rather I am a student of history. I feel it is very important to understand history on all levels from locally to globally, so we can build upon successes and avoid the pitfalls of failures.

Ristine Casagranda

We should embrace Seward's diversity and respect all our fellow residents. My goal is to represent all of Seward, not just those I feel the greatest affinity with. City government should be open and transparent. Both procurement and sale of assets should be on an open competitive basis. The appearance of a conflict of interest is often just as detrimental as an actual monetary conflict

Every community's responsibilities center on the health, safety and education of its residents. These include operating and maintaining infrastructure such as reliable & affordable clean water, electricity, and sewage. The quality of life issues are important for both individual happiness and business operations.

Please contact me if you have questions or concerns. I would appreciate your vote on October 7.


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