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Charles Foster III runs for Fairbanks City Council Seat F

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 4:10 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Charles Foster III is running for seat F on the Fairbanks City Council. This seat is currently held by David Pruhs, who is not seeking reelection.

Foster said he is running because he feels it’s his civic duty.

“Everyone can vote and should vote, but I feel it’s important that if you have the will and gumption, run for public office,” he said.

Foster said, “Given the pandemic, it’s [about] maintaining that city budget -- because the city has lost a lot of revenue from the lack of tourism, which it gains a significant portion of its revenue from through bed taxes, [and] through people coming through. And as a result, the city is seeing a deficit in those bed taxes, and that’s going to make it a bit challenging to work the numbers to make sure that the budget remains balanced.”

He added, “At the moment, we’re just trying to get through survival mode because these are unique circumstances.”

According to Foster, from a glance at the city’s budget, “There are positions within the city that haven’t been fulfilled. However, there is money in the budget allocated to those empty positions. So if those positions could be temporarily suspended or eliminated, but not permanently because you don’t want to increase the workload on the existing employment, that would free up that money to be designated towards more critical funds.”

He added, “It would have to be within reason because you don’t want to leave these certain departments short-staffed where you’re going to burn out the employees.”

Foster also discussed downtown Fairbanks. “The Polaris Building is certainly an issue I’m aware of, and would like to see, at least in the future, whenever it’s feasible to, to have it torn down and be made into, say, a convention center or a multiple-purpose property.”

Charles Foster III is running for seat F on the Fairbanks City Council.
Charles Foster III is running for seat F on the Fairbanks City Council.(Alex Bengel/KTVF)

Foster spoke about the value of having a convention center downtown. He said he attended Alaska Comic Con this year and placed third in the costume contest dressed as the Purple Butterfly Kitty. “When you’re doing a Comic Con convention, or any furry convention where you do a lot of costuming or fur-suiting, you want to have a place nearby, such as a hotel, or somewhere to change in and change out. And if you’re having visitors coming from out of town, that’s more important because they don’t have a friend nearby or they don’t live in the city to do that,” he said.

“I see a lot of potential for [the] downtown Fairbanks scene if that building could be torn down and repurposed towards that convention center or even multi-purpose housing,” Foster said.

Foster is running against Jim Clark, Robert Howard, Montean Jackson and David van den Berg in the municipal elections on October 6th.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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