Meet the candidates: Cordova City Council seats

Cordova City Council candidates

Three Cordova City Council seats are up for election March 1. Ken Jones and Molly Mulvaney are running for Seat G. Kristin Carpenter is running unopposed for Seat F. Candidate Tom Bailer running unopposed for Seat A did not participate in this questionnaire as of press time.


Kristin Carpenter

City Council Seat F

Kristin Carpenter

How long have you lived in Cordova?

Longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, 28 years this coming July.

What would be your top priorities on the City Council? 

  • Ensuring the harbor restoration is completed.
  • Diversifying municipal income sources.
  • Middle income housing.
  • Beautification of First Street business area.
  • Exploring additional water sources.
  • Implement a marketing program for hosting professional association/business tourism events at the Cordova Center.

What leadership skills would you bring to the Council?

My work in nonprofit management has taught me a lot about partnership building, and the need to be as inclusive as possible in exploring solutions.  I have good familiarity with City operations, and have also served on City Council in the past (1997-2003, 2010-2013), Planning & Zoning Commission and the City’s Hospital Authority Board.

What is your background in business/government?

In my current work capacity, I work to support economic development in PWS. By definition, this is the intersection of business and government, working to support and coordinate business growth by pooling public resources that can make this growth possible.  Examples include exploring a PWS ferry authority, creating a PWS Marine Trail, applying for EDA funding to support investments in developing mariculture, and convening community partners to look at solutions for childcare and early child education.

How would you help encourage new business development?

Of course we always want to support our fisheries, and I support increasing opportunities for value-added processing of seafood. I would really like to see concerted emphasis on building up our tourism business sector.  The Cordova Chamber of Commerce has done a lot of good work to develop a Destination Tourism Strategy, and now we need partners to work together to implement it. Cordova has world-class tourism opportunities but we need the businesses to make them accessible – a kayaking guide/outfitter, more lodging, a small-scale tour operator, a taxi service, and a couple more eateries are some of the ideas. It’s a bit of a circular problem we have now where we need our visitor levels to grow a bit to support people’s ability to invest in these businesses, but they need customer revenue to make the investments. 


Kenneth B. Jones

City Council Seat G

Kenneth B. Jones

How long have you lived in Cordova?

Nearly 31 years; I have lived in Cordova since birth, aside from two brief stays in Anchorage pursuing schooling and my pilot’s license. During both of these times, I maintained my residence here and had a home here, frequently traveling back and forth. As a third-generation Cordovan, I always knew Cordova was where I was meant to be, and wanted to one day raise my family here. Now I am, with my wife Shannon and our two sons, Evan and Hunter. 

What would be your top priorities on the city council?

My top priority would be to ensure the harbor replacement project decisions are made in the best interests of the fishing fleet, with that we get the most durable construction materials available so we don’t ever have to worry about redoing this harbor again during my lifetime. My second priority will be to make positive and meaningful changes in the way the city treats housing development and rehabilitation. We must tackle the housing issue in this community. Third I will push for the city to move on from the effects of the pandemic and put the response in the rearview mirror; we must get back to normalcy and start tackling the important 2019 comprehensive plan priorities. We must bring back gathering events, youth programs, dances, and sports, and work to bring the community together, not further the divide with more mandates. It is time to prioritize mental health as much as we have physical health. 

What leadership skills would you bring to the council?

I served a term on city council from 2017-2020, the harbor commission since 2012, and held board seats at both PWSAC and CDFU. I was a member of the 2019 comprehensive plan committee and feel passionately about that plan and returning the focus to working on its priorities.

What is your background in business/government?

I own multiple businesses. My main income is derived from my commercial fishing business, Samani Fisheries LLC. With this company my three vessels Serenity, Second Wind, and Sentinel fish multiple gear types for halibut, black cod, herring, and all 5 salmon species. My secondary businesses include running an adventure tourism service, Serenity Adventures (dba Samani Fisheries), and a property rehabilitation/management/rental company, Jones Properties LLC. Through all of my companies, I prioritize a very pro-Cordova and Cordova-First mentality with an emphasis on local hiring of contractors and purchasing all supplies locally where possible. 

As for government, I have served on multiple boards and commissions and have previously served a term on the city council. 

How would you help encourage new business development?

I would be a champion to push for strategic property tax incentives, Main Street revitalization, and work hard to streamline the cities processes for RFP. I am already putting my effort into this important comprehensive plan priority privately with my company Jones Properties LLC. A seat back on city council will give me the ability to use my knowledge to push for meaningful change in city policy which can spur more private investment in our businesses. I would also champion chamber funding and support their efforts to support the business community. 


Molly Mulvaney

Council Seat G

Molly Mulvaney

How long have you lived in Cordova?

1997-2001; 2005-present.

What would be your top priorities on the city council?

Housing – continue pursuing strategies outlined in Cordova’s Comprehensive Plan i.e. exploring public-private partnerships with agencies and organizations like NVE and Alaska Housing Finance.

South Harbor Project – steel price has increased 40% since funding was put in place. It’s imperative Council stay informed and supportive as City seeks additional funding. Council must ensure any changes made meet the budget and needs of the commercial fleet and all users; North Harbor – develop plans that look out 5-10 years; the more planning, the easier it is to jump on funding opportunities as they arise.

Economic Development – diversify Cordova’s economy, support the growth of existing and new local businesses; Sustain Cordova schools so youth continue to be engaged and empowered to trust themselves to succeed, recognizing that success means different things to different people; Ferry – engage with AMHS and the new AMHOB so Cordova’s priorities are included.

Communication – City staff works diligently; it’s my priority to communicate those efforts with residents. I applaud the return of the City’s e-newsletter; Continue implementing Cordova’s Comprehensive Plan – it provides a community-developed vision, guides decision making and identifies long-term goals and strategies.

What leadership skills would you bring to the council?

Leadership skills and attributes gained through my experiences as an attorney, mediator, parent, fisherman, project management team member, and small business owner include: relationship, building, collaboration, integrity, flexibility, realistic critical thinking, conveying information effectively, understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, self reflection, thorough, curious, honesty, dedication, sense of humor, skilled listener, humility – it’s not all about me.

What is your background in business/government?

Led City’s ambassador team providing local information to visitors about current state of the pandemic; worked for City of Cordova administering FEMA grant for buyout and relocation of homes in the avalanche zone, worked with City Planning Department on high school renovation; worked for ADOT project management teams. Projects included construction of Cordova ferry terminal building and repaving airport runway; Hanford Advisory Board – part of mediation team that worked with US Department of Energy’s Hanford Advisory Board to provide consensus advice on cleaning up this decommissioned nuclear production superfund site; small business owner since 2005 – mediation and law office. I draft contracts, provide representation in buying and selling local businesses, advise on employee issues and assist LLC formation and operating agreements; the Sparkle Sisters, a local business I run with local teens; founder of A Little Alaska LLC which hosts visiting teens on Cordova adventures.

How would you help encourage new business development?

Continue mentoring youth in business; recruit for and encourage needed; i businesses/occupations that address current gaps; identify tax incentives for small businesses and start-ups, e.g. sales tax exemption for permitted building construction; encourage residents to shop locally; continue business counseling, development, and training through Cordova Chamber of Commerce; support telecommunication upgrades; create financial incentives for redevelopment of deteriorated buildings.


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