Dillingham has three candidates for three seats on the city council.
Tuesday's ballot will include three candidates for Dillingham City Council. Incumbents Paul Liedberg and Curt Armstrong are running for re-election, and Andrew Anderson is seeking the seat that Tracy Hightower is vacating. KDLG News asked each about their plans.
Andy Anderson is retired, but worked previously in the airlines and building homes for the public and Indian housing authority. He’s currently on the city’s planning commission.
Why are you running?
Well, I say I’m retired and I have the time now and can make the commitment. “It’s an interesting time in public administration I think because of the rapidly decreasing availability of public funding at both our funding sources, the federal and the state levels. Trying times are ahead I think and I feel like I can contribute to assuring that the funds we do have available are used to maximum benefit in the community.
What do you want to accomplish?
I think, I don’t know that I’ve formed that in my mind yet. I think it’s going to take a while sitting on the council, hopefully I’m able to win a seat sitting on the council, to really flesh that out, determine what exactly it is that I and the rest of the council want to accomplish in the next few years.
What is the main issue facing the city in the next few years?
By far financing for both operations and capital projects.
Any creative ideas for addressing the budget in the next couple of years?
Not yet. Not yet. I’m not really aware what the city has available with resources at this point, and it’s going to take some time and learning before I’m in a position where I can really contribute to that.
Paul Liedberg has served on Dillingham’s city council for four years. He is a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee.
Why are you running?
Well, I think it’s just important, or I feel like it’s important, that people participate in local government and I think it’s important that people give back to their community and I guess both of those things are reasons that I think it’s important to serve, and just try to help the community anyway I can.
What do you want to accomplish? Any specific goals?
I’m not sure about specific goals but certainly the city, as every community across the state, si going to come under increased fiscal pressures or tightening our belts and we’re going to see reduced funding from the state for sure, and that makes up a fair portion of the refvenue that we hve for the city of Dilligham to operate a number of our facilities, so I think the fiscal climate and the challenging fiscal climate is going to be the most interesting and the most challenging to meet over the next several years. So that certainly is something that I want to work on. I’ve been the chair of the finance and budget committee now for the last year or so, and I’ll have a role in how we establish city budgets.
What do you think is the main issue facing the city in the next couple of years?
Well I guess there’s probably two of them. Certainly we’re going through the continued process for annexation, so that’s a big issue, and the second one of course, as I mentioned earlier, is the fiscal challenges that we’ll have with reduced state funding for our communities, and specifically for Dillingham.
Do you have any creative ideas for addressing the budget in the next couple of years?
I don’t know if I have creative ideas or not. I think part of it will come down to how constrained the budget ends up being and how reduced funding we end up seeing. … We’ve done a fair amount of belt tightening already in the city, and so it’s going to be a challenge, there’s no question about that. I think we’ll end up looking at every facility that we have and every function that we have and we’ll have to really step back and take a look at what the core functions of the community are and of the city are, and I think we’ll probably have to do some strategic thinking and some strategic planning on exactly what we want the community to look like and what we want the city services to look like over the next several years and into the future.
Curt Armstrong was appointed to the council in Decmber and is running for re-election; he could not be reached by press time.