Candidate for Cordova City Council Seat B
Incumbent, running against Cathy Sherman
Job: Self-employed with Samani Fisheries LLC, Cordovan Show Removal LLC, Serenity Marine Research Charters LLC, Serenity Adventure Charters and Samani Fisheries LLC.
Public service: Cordova City Council member, Cordova Harbor Commission member, Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation Board member, PWSAC Executive Committee alternate.
Highest education: Some college through PWSAC and University of Alaska Anchorage, private pilot certification through Land and Sea Aviation Alaska, U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Near Coastal Master license through Alaska Nautical School.
Other than ferry service, what is the first issue you would work to address following the election?
I would continue to push for harbor renovation and expansion. Another project I would like to see the city work on would be implementing a tax abatement plan for incentivizing investment in strategic areas, specifically in revitalizing Main Street or in affordable housing projects. All of which were listed as top community priorities in the comprehensive plan process.
What do you see as the most effective way to address the city’s budget difficulties?
Spending taxpayer money more wisely, to remember that it’s not city money, it’s taxpayer money collected by the city, and I think many choose to forget that. Spending less than we collect shouldn’t be as hard as it currently seems to be. More taxes are not a solution to our budget woes, nor are they an effective way to stimulate economic growth. Taxes are regressive and, if elected, I will continue to be a voice of lower taxes and lower city budgets.
How well do you think the city council is currently serving the needs of citizens?
In some ways I believe the current council is doing a very good job of serving the needs of its citizens well, but in other ways I believe there is a disconnect between some on council and the majority citizens. We saw that with the referendum process that took place in 2018. Council needs to listen to those who participate, and be willing to vote in the citizens’ interest, and not just the city’s interests.
What policy positions set you apart from your opponent?
If we are talking strictly city policy, I think the main difference would be our approach on government’s roles and responsibilities and how we want to fund city services. I also would say I am much more pro-commercial fishing industry and industry support infrastructure, whereas my opponent may not be as pro-comfish as I have been and will continue to be. I think we are both very pro-Cordova and want to see Cordova flourish, we just have some different ideas on what Cordova needs and how to get there.
What do you do to relax?
I don’t relax well — those who know me well know I can’t sit still for long. That’s probably why I feel drawn to public service. When I do try to relax, it normally involves a recliner, a warm fireplace, and watching “PJ Masks,” “Cars,” “Frozen” or some other Disney feature with my wife and son.
The Cordova General Election will be held Tuesday, March 3, selecting new members of Cordova City Council, the Cordova School Board and the Cordova Community Health Center Authority Board. Voting will take place from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Cordova Center.
The Cordova Times asked all candidates questions with uniform word limits and deadlines for response.