Candidate Profile: Jerry Cleworth runs for Fairbanks City Council

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 4:48 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Jerry Cleworth is running for seat A on Fairbanks City Council.

He said he is running because he enjoys community service. “I’ve been on the council for many years, served as the mayor for some time, and it’s just fun being a part of the solutions. I like taking a problem that’s been hanging out there for a period of time, looking at it in depth, trying to come up with answers that are good for the longevity, that’ll be there for awhile, rather than something that is temporary in nature, putting, essentially, the problem to bed and then moving on to something else.”

Cleworth said Fairbanks is in good shape financially. “We have put into place, over the years, a lot of financial safeguards that we used to never have in the past, and that’s a real accomplishment. Very few cities, nationally, can be in the financial position that we are in with the safeguards that we have on that. My focus is on deferred maintenance, making sure that the capital funds are, have the resources to handle any kind of an emergency that crops up.”

He went on to say, “A couple years ago we had some snow blowers that failed, two of them, almost at the same time. We had the money to go out and replace them immediately, rather than sit and wait for a funding source. That’s been a real blessing to the city and also to make sure that we do not get behind on deferred maintenance, which is something that a lot of municipalities, unfortunately, do. We took steps many years ago to try and solve that problem, and I want to make sure that we continue to follow through in that process.”

Cleworth also discussed snow removal. “I think there’s some good ideas out there, and things that we hope to implement, logistically, in the city. It’s impossible with 100 lane miles to pick up snow immediately, but there are things that we can do, I think, to enhance that effort.”

He emphasized his longevity on the City Council, explaining, “There’s a saying that there’s nothing new under the sun, and I currently serve on the city’s finance committee, and a lot of the issues that come to us now are ones I’ve seen in the past, and maybe sometimes with a slightly different spin, but over the years, you find out what works, what does not work, and you try and give your insight into that before a potential mistake can be made in the future.”

Cleworth is running against incumbent Shoshana Kun in the municipal elections on October 5th.

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