Thomas McGhee steps for the mayor’s seat.
After serving on the North Pole City Council for 19 years, McGhee is running for mayor, touting his years on the council and his long residence in the city as qualifications that make him the right candidate for the job. He faces Mayor Mike Welch, who is seeking re-election.
Having lived in the North Pole for 26 years, the candidate says he has witnessed changes in his city and said in an email to the News-Miner that he “believes and embodies the principle that ‘the community comes first’. “. He also holds the values and dreams of the original Davis Farm, the 160 acre farm of Bon and Bernice Davis that eventually became the North Pole, Alaska.
“If protecting the growth of your neighborhood is an absolute then be heard and represented by someone whose morals align,” McGhee said.
He advocates for greater involvement of the resident community in city council meetings and says he wants to see more people participate in the governance of the city.
“The voices of residents must be heard,” he said on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/mcgheeformayor.
McGhee describes himself as a pro-small business, citing his 20 years as the owner and operator of Cherokee Rider’s Inc., a rider and motorcycle training center.
The mandate he seeks is a seat of three years.
Candidate’s questions and answers
1. What are your main priorities during your tenure?
• To restore the overall strategic plan, the city has invested many hours and thousands of dollars to meet the needs of residents and businesses of the North Pole.
• Restore respect and trust within the city of the North Pole, both with department heads and employees as well as with its citizens.
• I will be available during business hours to make sure the city’s needs are met.
2. Like Fairbanks, accommodation at the North Pole is an issue when it comes to the arrival of airmen and F-35s at Eielson Air Force Base. What is the impact on the North Pole and what could the city do to encourage affordable but well-built housing within city limits? Will the new military facility zone loan program have an impact within the city of the North Pole itself?
I support the Military Installation Zone Loan Program. Landlords need to be informed and have a forum to express their views on how to resolve this issue with minimal impact on current subdivisions. The scope of this project is bigger than the city and the biggest benefit is in the partnership with the FNSB, not just focusing on the property within the city limits and creating the city as the authority of the city. lodging.
3. Does the North Pole need a solid waste management plan? Why or why not?
No. The FNSB and the current solid waste management program provide this service through the transfer sites and have served the Town of North Pole well. It is funded by our district taxes and does not need to change.
4. Should the city consider new approaches to air quality issues at the North Pole?
Yes. The borough’s current program, the replacement of wood stoves alone, is not a solution. Natural gas is now available within city limits; however, the conversion is expensive. The city and the borough must actively join forces to implement an incentive program to help citizens bear the cost of this conversion. Natural gas will have a positive and immediate impact on the quality of our air.
5. What are the most important challenges that the North Pole city will face in the next five years?
• Population growth will impact our road networks requiring evaluation with the participation of residents to find solutions to traffic congestion in the city’s main artery.
• Families living outside of city limits frequently pay municipal sales taxes. We can expand municipal services to get more immediate responses in an emergency.
• Work with small businesses to give them a voice and an edge to be stewards of our sales tax collection.
6. What makes you qualified for this position?
I have lived in the city for 26 years. I served on council for 19 years with six administrations, appointed acting mayor for a number of those years. I participated in 19 budget sessions and I am familiar with the city code and the city charter. I invest my time to make sure I am prepared for the needs of the city. I believe residents come first.