Candidate Profile: Bryce Ward runs for reelection to Borough Mayor

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 4:45 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Bryce Ward is running for reelection as Mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

He said he is running to continue with projects that he started. “There was a lot of really great things that we started in my first term as borough mayor. The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is kind of one of those hallmark things that I think we accomplished. We’re actually in the second year, or the second revision of the CIP.”

Ward added, “It’s just been a great process. We’ve been able to get lots of really good ideas from staff, lots of really good ideas from the community, and then build a ten-year, fiscally restrained program that identifies the projects, the priorities in which we’re going to do them, and then actually lays out a path for paying for all of those projects, so that’s something I’m really proud of and I want to continue with my time here at the Fairbanks North Star Borough.”

“Prior to my time with the Fairbanks North Star Borough, there were Capital Improvement Programs, per se, but they were more like a list of projects, and so it said, ‘These are the list of projects that we think we need to do in the next ten years, or the next few years.’ It was not a fiscally constrained list at all. There wasn’t any priority to that list, and it really hadn’t gone through any public vetting,” Ward said, adding that with the new CIP “there’s a very robust public involvement process that actually takes about ten months to rewrite the program, which we do every two years, and that goes through a rigorous process for identifying the types of the projects, the scope of the projects, and then the schedule in which those projects will be completed, and then, ultimately, how we pay for them.”

According to Ward, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the borough is in a growing phase. “How do we continue that work? How do we look at sustainable growth for the future, looking at our housing as an aspect of the economy, looking at our businesses as another component of that, both industries and then the commercial, retail aspect? How do we take all of those things and roll them into a sustainable plan for growth in the future? I’m really interested in having those conversations, working with our community to do that.”

He said he’d like to continue working with the military in the community. “One of the things that I’m really proud about our community is we’re a really strong military community, and as my time, previously as North Pole city mayor, now as the Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor, really been able to work with the military to build those relationships. We’ve had a great working relationship with the installation commanders, with their team here, both at Fort Wainwright and Eielson, and so I really want to continue that work, looking at how we can meet the needs of the community’s housing issues, how we can better meet the needs of our soldiers and their families here in the community.”

Ward was born and raised in Fairbanks, “graduated from Lathrop (High School), absolutely love this community. We’re so full of potential, so full of energy. It’s an honor and a privilege to have served the last three years as the borough mayor, and I would be extremely privileged to do that for the next three years.”

Ward is running against Robert Shields and Chris Ludtke in the municipal elections on October 5th.

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