Three candidates vie for Fairbanks City Council seat C

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 4:45 PM AKDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 9:00 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Richard Croteau, Sean MacDonald and Sue Sprinkle are running for seat C on the Fairbanks City Council.

Croteau said he is running because he has a deep appreciation for Fairbanks. “I have served the state of Alaska and the Alaska Air National Guard, and I have also worked helping to manage our store in the center of downtown and am familiar with the issues that us small businesses face.”

Croteau said he wants the city council to ensure Fairbanks has enough funds for timely plowing during years of heavy snow. “I have a long history of proven success, dedication, committment, and helping people work together and ensuring that they have the resources that they need,” he explained.

Croteau also wants city council to support the Fairbanks Police Department with efforts to laterally hire fully-trained police officers. “We could probably use some creative thinking of maybe taking advantage of some of the military police we have at Fort Wainwright and bringing them in on weekends if there were some that were willing to do it. They’re fully trained, and who knows, maybe they, later on, decide that they don’t want to continue their military. At the end of their military committment, they may decide to join our force.”

Meanwhile, MacDonald said he is running because he’d like to see Fairbanks continue in the direction it’s going. “I hope to help Fairbanks become a more pleasant environment to work in, and just make sure that Fairbanks becomes a year-round powerhouse of Alaska.”

MacDonald said he’d like to make Fairbanks a more walkable city. “I think that Fairbanks has made good progress in becoming a more pedestrian-friendly city by widening sidewalks, adding ramps, handicap-accessible facilities; but I think to be more pedestrian-friendly, you need to go a little bit further. You need to make sure that grocery stores are not miles and miles away, that they’re sort of easy to get to. You have to make sure that you can walk the same path all year round. If you have a wide sidewalk that doesn’t get plowed in the winter, it doesn’t do you much good for that season,” he explained.

Macdonald said he’s considered running before. “I’ve always been interested in local politics and I’ve always been interested in the history of Fairbanks, so it’s something that I’ve thought about for awhile.”

“I love this city. If you were to sum up my political beliefs, I’m pro-Fairbanks,” he said.

Sprinkle said she is running because city council was the natural next step after volunteering for years on various committees around town. “I’ve been involved with the Downtown Association for many years, and that has allowed me to meet with the city at quarterly events to get a little more information about how the police service is going. What are we doing for snow removal? How are we doing for removal of the Polaris Building?”

Sprinkle said she wants to see the police and fire departments fully staffed. “We’re losing population, and I don’t want to see that happen. I love my city, and I want to see it sparkle. I want to see it shine, and I want to make sure that people who come to visit love to see our city,” she said.

Sprinkle also said he would like to see more affordable housing downtown. “We have housing that’s 100 years old. I live in a cabin that’s nearly that old. We need to rebuild or rehab. I’d like to see the city rethink their tax initiative that would’ve mirrored the borough’s tax deferment to entice builders to come downtown, build multi-family, single-family, because we have the infrastructure. We have the sewer, and we have the heating, and we have the electrical.”

Croteau, MacDonald and Sprinkle will appear on the ballot in the municipal elections on October 4.