Meet the candidate: Bill Evans
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Bill Evans is running for mayor of Anchorage. Alaska’s News Source asked him to answer some questions about his campaign. Here’s what he said.
Can you give me a short description of yourself?
I have been married for going on 35 years and have three grown children. I am a management side labor lawyer and prior too that I served as a paratrooper and also as a police officer. I served on the Anchorage Assembly representing South Anchorage and [Turnagain] Arm from 2014-2017. Prior to that I served on the Municipal Employee Relations Board and the Municipal Transportation Commission. I also served on and chaired [the] State Mental Health Board. I am non-partisan and not running as a member of any political party.
How long have you lived in Alaska?
Why are you running for mayor?
To focus on growing Anchorage’s private sector economy. Anchorage needs to be able to compete with cities around the world for investment, jobs and development opportunities. In order to do so we have to make Anchorage a more livable and attractive location by solving our problem of visible homelessness , reducing our crime rate and ensuring the best possible educational outcomes. We need a mayor who will focus on solutions and not on politics.
What will be your focus while in office?
Placing Anchorage in a position where it can effectively compete for investment, jobs and development opportunities. Developing a reputation as a city with the competence and commitment to solve difficult problems. Reducing the divisiveness and partisanship that divides the city and prevents us from effectively tackling our problems.
What do you plan to do about the COVID-19 pandemic?
The pandemic is always a moving target. I would plan to have the appropriate safeguards in place to address the pandemic as it exists on July 1, 2021. In doing so, I would be mindful that any safeguards have to be narrowly tailored to protect the public health while allowing the maximum opportunity to protect jobs and our economy.
What is the largest issue outside of the pandemic facing the municipality and what do you intend to do about it?
The overall decline in our private sector economy. This was an evident problem well before the pandemic. We need to ensure Anchorage is a city that is business and development friendly and is capable of competing for jobs and investment. We cannot be successful as a community without a thriving engine of economic development.
There’s a lot of political division in our city. How can you bring people together?
By leading by example. By treating all people, including those with whom I disagree, civilly and respectfully. By focusing on solutions and not politics. By encouraging the community to jointly address our community-wide problems. By representing all the people of Anchorage not simply a base of supporters or one segment of the population. By pro-actively communicating with the community about what the government is doing and intends to do.
Do you think the state’s vaccine distribution has been fair for all?
Overall yes. We seem to be doing better than other states.
People have been leaving Anchorage over the past few years. How can you make Anchorage a desirable place to live and do business?
The big three items that must be worked on include: tackling the long-standing and growing problem of homelessnes, reducing the crime rate, and lowering construction costs thereby make affordable housing more available. In addition, we need to continue to imprvove our recreational amenities in order to make Anchorage a draw for persons and businesses seeking to move to a location with a great lifestyle.
Did you agree or disagree with the municipality’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic? If not, what would you have done differently?
I would have put more resources and effort into a more robust and effective contact tracing regimen. This woud not only have significantly reduced the rate of spread but also would have lessened the economic impact by reducing the need for more restrictive closures and partial closures. It also would have been effective practice for future pandemics. I would also have avoided using CARES funding for the purchase of the bulidings this past summer. That decision caused significant distrust in the community regarding the Administration’s stewardship of the relief funds.
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