Sean MacDonald and Lonny Marney run for Fairbanks City Council

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 9:30 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Sean MacDonald and Lonny Marney are running for seat E on the Fairbanks City Council.

MacDonald said he wants to see Fairbanks become a more pedestrian-friendly city. “There’s a lot more that the city could do in that area to make it safer to travel across town, and I think that there’s a lot of potential in Fairbanks, and that the city council need to lead and make sure that we live up to our full potential.”

He hopes to make City Council more accountable to residents’ wishes and increase the construction of sidewalks. According to MacDonald, “That not only keeps pedestrians safer. That keeps traffic safer. When there is a clear distinction between where people can walk and where people can drive, traffic flows more freely. They’re not as worried about being close to a pedestrian or a cyclist as they are if they are on a sidewalk. It helps everybody, not just the people that are walking.”

He explained he is a candidate for those who wish to see a more prosperous Fairbanks, saying, “I know that a lot of construction projects have really disrupted businesses in town and that’s a political decision. The City Council could do more to make sure that when large construction projects happen, there are still access to businesses and properties, and that businesses are fairly compensated, and that they don’t have to get destroyed by construction projects that completely disrupt their normal business day.”

Meanwhile, Incumbent Marney is running for a second term on City Council.

Marney said he’s trying to give back to the city that has been so kind to him. “The council that we have currently, we all get along. In fact, I think we’ve set a record for 6-0 votes, where the mayor has only had to break a tie, I believe, only twice. I think with the council that we have right now, we check our politics at the door.”

Because he’s retired, Marney considers City Council his new job. “I try to visit City Hall and the different departments as much as two or three times a week. I’ll sit down with the CFO, the City Clerk, the City Attorney, the Chief of Staff, discuss things. I’ve done three ride alongs these last three years with the police department,” he explained.

If re-elected, Marney said he’d continue to work on recruitment and retention of city employees, especially police officers. “We also have a problem with our dispatch center where that is way understaffed. We’re having to have remote employees. We’re having to bring people in from outside to work a two-week shift, and that’s my next goal. We’ve had an opening in the Building Department for almost three years. That needs to be filled. Just keep our employees happy.”

MacDonald and Marney will appear on the ballot for City of Fairbanks residents in the Municipal Election on October 3.