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Bert Bell runs for Interior Alaska Natural Gas Utility Board Seat D

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 4:14 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Bert Bell is running for seat D on the Interior Alaska Natural Gas Utility Board (IGU). This seat is currently held by Patrice Lee, who is not seeking reelection.

Bell said he is running because he wants to create a Fairbanks where future generations will want to live, work, play, and reside in their retirement: "I see natural gas as the way to get there, and I feel that I have the qualifications to sit on this public corporation board and work to build consensus, to continue to build up the infrastructure, and I see my skills can work there.”

He added, “My family supports my doing this, which makes it much easier to do. My wife Becky, of 48 years now, agreed that I should do this for the future, and my kids are behind it also.”

According to Bell, his grandfather was mayor of Fairbanks a hundred years ago, and both his and his wife’s family were born and raised in Fairbanks. “Fairbanks is our love, and we know that it’s important to participate in order to create an infrastructure for the future.” He said, adding, “Most of what we have now, the bridges, the electrical distribution lines, sewer water, that’s all done in previous generations, and it’s our turn to create for the future.”

Bell explained, “The IGU has a mission, and that is to get natural gas, affordable natural gas, to as many people in as short a time as possible. The past boards and the existing board have done a great deal of work to create the infrastructure to allow that to happen. I hope to enhance that board and work in conjunction with them, mesh my skills with them to further that mission.”

Bell said he has had a career that has prepped him for this sort of a seat. “I have forty years of construction corporate management. I’ve sat on that board, I’ve sat on multiple association boards, and gone through their chairs, like the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers in Fairbanks, for the Associated General Contractors of Alaska.”

He added, "I’ve been on many boards, and the skills I’ve learned from that are how important it is to work with those that you are sitting with, the other board members. All of us have a goal, and that is to make this successful. Sometimes we have different ideas how to get there. I know that it takes consensus, and I’m a consensus builder. When I look at problems, the first thing I do is look for the solutions. I don’t belabor time on the problem. I seek to come up with solutions that work.

Bell went on to say, “When you’re presented multiple opportunities or multiple decision points, then often people have different ideas which way to go. For those I stand back. I try to assess for myself. I listen very carefully to what the ideas of others are because I think the group is a lot smarter than a person, and that’s the kind of board member I am.”

Bell is running unopposed in the municipal elections on October 6th.

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