Shoshana Kun and John Ringstad run for Fairbanks City Council Seat F

Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 12:02 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Shoshana Kun and John Ringstad are running for seat F on the Fairbanks City Council.

Kun said she is running because there needs to be more representation that’s lacking on the council. “I think that a social work approach is lacking, and that it needs to be taken into consideration heavily because of our problems with our substance use disorders and also our homelessness problems.”

She discussed some of the issues facing the City of Fairbanks. “I’m running because I want to continue working on public safety and ensure that public works is protected, and also I would like to do code revisions that are desperately needed to bring our city up to date.”

As an example of an outdated bit of code, Kun mentioned an old ordinance requiring bike riders to register their bicycles. “Most people don’t register their bikes, so it was an outdated policy that I went ahead and moved through council, and we actually, we left it as far as being able to register the bicycles, but it’s no longer something the police have to busy themself with.”

John Ringstad, meanwhile, is running as an incumbent to retain seat F on the council.

He wants Fairbanks to be a place where his kids and grandkids can safely and affordably live and grow. “I’ve got a lot of political background, forty plus years. I’ve got the same business experience that hopefully I’ve got stuff that I can bring to the table with that experience and familiarity with the community and the issues.”

He says downtown Fairbanks needs to be made safer. “I’ve had a number of people tell me they’re not comfortable walking around in the downtown area. I’ve also had a number of people saying that they’re having break-ins at their houses, and that’s just not acceptable, whether it’s people just showing up and going to sleep or showing up and stealing stuff. That’s not a community that I want,” he explained.

According to Ringstad, since his appointment to the seat last year, he’s had a chance to learn about the issues facing Fairbanks. “We have to work our staffing for our public safety, the police department, and our dispatch office. We’ve got a ways to go. I think we need to work on cleaning up and renovating downtown, rejuvenating that. We’ve got a lot of old structures around town that need to be renovated, taken down, or whatever, so we have usable, productive space in town.”

Kun and Ringstad will both appear on the ballot for City of Fairbanks residents in the Municipal Election on October 3.