Fairbanks mayoral candidates take questions from Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 9:15 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Fairbanks City Councilmember Valerie Therrien and former Councilmember David Pruhs took the stage at the Wedgewood Resort on Tuesday, August 30 for the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce’s Candidate Forum.

Both are running to serve as Mayor of the City of Fairbanks in the Municipal Election on October 4.

At the forum, the candidates took questions from the Fairbanks Chamber and the audience about the issues facing Fairbanks now and in the coming years.

Topics ranged from the housing situation in Fairbanks to the fate of the land currently occupied by the abandoned Polaris Building. “Many things can go there, but it is ground zero for redevelopment for downtown Fairbanks, so we want to be careful. What we do there will last 75 to 100 years,” Pruhs said.

“We need to have downtown reinvigorated with a new plan for that space. Unfortunately, I don’t think we can put a convention center down there because it’s just not big enough,” explained Therrien.

The two candidates also talked about public safety and diversity in the borough.

The candidates had the opportunity to ask each other questions and discuss their working relationship, with Therrien saying, “I do feel that the city council works really well together. We respect each other’s opinions. We might not agree all the time, but in the end we don’t fight.”

Pruhs agreed, and said, “It doesn’t matter what your politics are. Everyone’s a good person, and working with them and understanding that, and me and Valerie had some very special moments at very special times, so it’s an honor for me to be up here with her on this podium.”

The Mayor of Fairbanks serves a three-year term and may serve only two consecutive terms. Current Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly is presently running for the state legislature.

The Municipal Elections will be held on October 4.