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David van den Berg runs for Fairbanks City Council seat F

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 4:08 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - David van den Berg is running for seat F on the Fairbanks City Council. This seat is currently held by David Pruhs, who is not seeking reelection.

Van den Berg said he is running because for the last decade he’s been very involved with the city council and has an interest in local government.

“I really have a respect for the city council members who are there doing the people’s business on Monday nights, and then at the finance committee meetings and other meetings in-between, and I think I’ve got that kind of commitment to work that hard on behalf of the people of Fairbanks.”

He said, “I appreciate the tension between wanting to deliver the services the city does deliver -- this would be like police, fire department, snow removal, the building department, even garbage removal -- it costs money to field those services. And the city is competently run. The people in the administration are good at what they do, and the city council has been conservative with the people’s money. And I would expect to be exactly the same way. The point is to have something to show the taxpayers for their taxes that they have to pay.”

Van den Berg explained that he worked with the city to help fund, and at times operate, the Community Service Patrol for the last decade. “That’s the program that interacts with chronically inebriated people. And it really helps. I think it helps the police a lot in that they don’t have to respond to as many calls that are non-criminal, and the ambulance doesn’t have to respond to as many calls that aren’t emergency.”

He said he is concerned by vacancies at the police department. “I don’t think there’s any easy answers. I’ve seen the city council be real creative in trying to come up with ways to get that staffing, but we’re still down. There’s a lot of vacancies in the city at the police department, and so I’d like to be there for that.”

“I think there’s a lot of neighborhoods that don’t get the amount of snow removal they require. Sometimes the snow is pushed out of the way, and it’s bermed and left there in people’s neighborhoods, maybe where they park. It just makes getting around the neighborhoods a little tough,” Van den Berg said.

He went on to say that he is on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “I have a real pro-business outlook. I think with all the talk about work, live and play... in Fairbanks you need to be able to make a living in this town in order to live here. So I think that it’s important that the city council watch out for businesses and try to work with businesses, or with businesses' needs in the sense of the services the city provides.”

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

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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