Sue Sprinkle runs for Fairbanks City Council Seat E

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 4:16 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Sue Sprinkle is running for seat E on the Fairbanks City Council. This seat is currently held by Jerry Cleworth, who is not running for reelection.

Sprinkle said she is running because after doing community work, committee work and board work, it seemed like the natural progression.

She said she thinks the upcoming year will be tough. “I think the revenues we all plan on are going to be not what we’re going to see. We’re going to have some issues for money. But based on that, I don’t think we should give up the needs for the things we want. We want some snow plowing, I want police, I want fire, I want the things that a city government provides, and I want to do it better. I think we need and deserve better.”

Sprinkle said she wants vibrancy downtown. “I want people to come downtown on purpose, and I want them to look around and say ‘Hey, this place is great.’ I, as a person who lives downtown, I work downtown, I want more for downtown. And it doesn’t exclude the rest of the city, but I just know that [downtown] is an economic driver.”

According to Sprinkle, affordable housing is an issue downtown. “I’ve heard a lot of people saying, ‘Oh, gosh, I can’t afford to... I can’t find a place' -- or the places that are available aren’t big enough, or maybe they’re too big. I’d love to see some affordable apartments downtown so people can walk around. Young families, young professionals... make the streets active. I want them to come down for restaurants, and we need some more retail. We need reasons for people to come downtown.”

She said some of that might mean a tax enticement. “What is it that I can do for an empty lot that has been empty for years? How can I encourage someone to build there? How can I make, not an abandoned, but maybe an underused building become active again? In fact we have, at this point, I think six known burned structures that have not been removed, and they cause issues to the neighbors near them. So I’d like to see the city do more to eliminate those places.”

Sprinkle explained that she is a team player who works well with people. “I can do what I say I’m going to do, I get sleeves rolled up,” she said, adding, “I kind of believe that everybody should serve on something like this. We’re all in it together. This is a representative government. It’s our city, why wouldn’t we want to try?”

According to Sprinkle, she has worked with the Downtown Planning Committee with the borough. “We’re in the midst of doing a very intense plan that will work into the bigger borough plan so that twenty, thirty years out, developers, land owners [and] street engineers will know where to put things or what to avoid.”

Sprinkle is running against Lonny Marney in the municipal elections on October 6th.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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