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Candidate profile: Bill Evans urges reopening economy, making Anchorage more business friendly

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 6:20 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Sleep has come at a premium these days for Bill Evans.

“There’s a lot events, a lot of forums, a lot of people are interested in talking to the candidates,” Evans said during a recent event at his campaign headquarters. “We try to make an effort to talk to every group that wants to talk to us.”

Evans spent one term on the Anchorage Assembly from 2014 to 2017. He now has his sights on a higher office — mayor of Anchorage.

“Feeling good. The race is really starting to heat up,” Evans said. “We’ve got a lot of enthusiasm, we’ve had a lot of events.”

What these events do is allow Evans to share his vision for the city’s future.

“I want to take Anchorage in a different direction than it’s currently going,” Evans said.

Growing the private sector in a pandemic tops his list of priorities.

“You have to open up the economy. You have to make Anchorage a business-friendly location. We have too much bureaucratic inertia in getting things developed. You have to change that culture,” Evans said. “Right now we kind of let the private sector float along and it’s dying off. You’ve seen that in the business closures in Anchorage. More businesses closing than growing, or opening.”

How to handle homelessness in the city has been a controversial topic over the last year.

Evans wants to focus more on temporary shelters, which he says is cheaper than efforts that first focus on housing the homeless, enforce existing restrictions surrounding panhandling and create a storage facility to hold property collected from homeless camps so that they can be dismantled quicker.

Evans believes his familiarity with the assembly works in his favor to accomplish his agenda.

“I think we can take out the partisan politics of it and just focus on things we can actually impact and make better for Anchorage,” Evans said. “I think most of them, maybe not all of them, will go along with it.”

Evans hopes more people agree with him that he should be Anchorage’s next mayor. He has picked up more than over two dozen endorsements, including former Mayor Dan Sullivan.

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