Current weather

  • Overcast
  • 59°
  • Comment

Brian Smith

Once more, with feeling

Sturman, Navarre tackle issues, explain styles

Posted: October 19, 2011 - 7:58am  |  Updated: October 19, 2011 - 8:07am
Back | Next
Fred Sturman  Brian Smith
Brian Smith
Fred Sturman

The two remaining candidates vying for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor’s seat pitched their platforms to an audience Tuesday.

Self-described borough watchdog and Soldotna resident Fred Sturman and former borough mayor and state legislator Mike Navarre talked through their views on the borough, its future and their management styles at a joint Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce luncheon at the Soldotna Sports Complex.

Sturman started the forum by explaining he is a “pretty plain-spoken man.”

“I think if you’ll sit down and talk to me, I think that you’ll find that I’m a pretty fair man and I like to listen … and that’s the way I plan on running the borough,” he said. “Just because we disagree, it don’t mean I won’t sit down and buy you a cup of coffee or lunch and talk about the stuff going on in the deal.”

Navarre said most people, including himself, don’t realize “what the job really is” when they are first elected to the mayor’s position.

“It is a full-time administrative responsibility,” he said. “Yes, you have to build a strong team and I built a strong team the last time I was mayor and that’s what I will do again. To my management style, I have very much an open door policy, I talk with the department directors and the people within the departments and try to build a strong team to resolve problems as they arise.”

Sturman said he doesn’t consider himself a micro-manager.

“I don’t think the mayor should be the person that should do a lot of the day-to-day management of the borough,” he said. “The first thing you’ve got to do is put a good team together and that team does the day-to-day management. The mayor should be the person that looks two, three years out and sets a tone of what borough is going to do.”

Navarre said he wasn’t sure if he was going to hire a chief of staff, but that most of the current administrative staff will likely remain in place. He said he would take the time to learn about what is going on in the borough and then “determine who is doing their job, who is not doing their job, where changes need to be made and address changes from that stand point.”

Sturman said he would have a chief of staff, but that he didn’t want to “upset the applecart” with his approach to managing the borough’s administration.

“As far as the people running the borough, I have no intentions of slashing and burning, which has been said several times,” he said.

Both were asked what their weaknesses are.

“I have, over the years, learned to work around all of my weaknesses that I have and whenever I become your borough mayor, I know how to handle my weaknesses … my strengths and I guarantee you that I wouldn’t be here today if I dwelled on my weaknesses,” Sturman said.

Navarre said his weakness was being “too focused” during his three-years as mayor starting in 1996.

“The last time I was mayor, I was focused on doing the job, not communicating what we were doing,” he said. “I think that is a weakness that I intend to correct … to be a much better communicator.”

When asked about a borough measure recently passed to protect the bank habitiat of anadromous streams across the borough, Sturman said he didn’t support it and doubted the borough had the “policing powers” to enforce it.

“It is another hindrance of the J-O-B, jobs on the Kenai Peninsula,” he said. “I am for clean water and all that kind of stuff, but we don’t need to start putting a lot more permits and stuff people have to get to access to develop their land so there is some jobs on the Kenai Peninsula.”

Navarre said he would support it because it was his duty to uphold borough regulations. He added he would work to make sure the ordinance wasn’t a “burden” on development.

“I quite honestly haven’t looked at the scope of that, but I know that it makes sense in the sense of protecting streams when there is development,” he said. “That makes sense to protect our fisheries and our fisheries habitat.”

Overall, Navarre said would maintain an open and responsible decision making process.

“That’s what I do every time regardless of campaign contributions or political support during a campaign,” he said. “Once you are elected in an office, your responsibility is to all the citizens and communities in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.”

Sturman said his lack of political experience wouldn’t hinder his performance if elected.

“I am not a politician, I am a problem solver,” he said. “… Yes, I have very little education if you want to call it that, I have got a high school education, but over 46 years, I have got a heck of an education in hard knocks.”


  • Comment

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
cheapersmokes 10/19/11 - 09:27 am
Candidates Forum

Folks, With this election fast approaching it is time for all of you to sit back and seriously consider just who you are going to vote for (you will vote!).

I ask you to consider the state of our whole nation....just look at what the career politicians have left us with. Our country was founded by ordinary, private citizens and what they put together has served us well for over 225 years and is envied by free people all over the world.

I am sure Mr. Navarre is a fine man and just might do a decent job as Mayor once again but I am supporting Fred since he has fought for the citizens of the borough on many important issues and he has kept much money in your pockets to spend as you see fit. This alone makes him deserve a chance to serve as Mayor for the borough as a whole! I would also trust Fred to not be beholden to any special interest group and would consider the total population on every issue!

I think it was Will Rogers who said long ago, "Politicians and diapers are much alike, they both should be changed often!"

Norseman 10/19/11 - 10:43 am
Both good men

By now everyone has made up their minds, now just go vote.

NSmith 10/19/11 - 12:08 pm
Any time a non-politician has

Any time a non-politician has the courage to stand up and serve his community, you can bet I'll be there to vote for him. If we could get a whole army of Freddy Sturmans to take back Washington from the looters, there might even be a future for our Republic.

bluffbunny 10/19/11 - 02:23 pm
We need Fred

I understand that at least one current Assembly member has called Fred "abrasive". HOORAH! The current bunch on the Assembly is the most arrogant, DEAF to the public, and self-serving I have seen in 35 years. About time someone confronted them.

They plotted behind closed doors for months, to gut the term limits approved by the voters. FOUR TIMES the voters have approved term limits and now this Assembly used 're-defining the meaning of TERM' to keep from doing what the voters wanted. Fred took them on. What is Mike Navarre's stand on that issue? He has not commented.

The voters said they wanted to be able to vote on any capital expenditures of more than 1 million, and then the Assembly gutted that initiative. Fred worked to get that issue on the ballot so the PEOPLE could be heard, and expenditures limited.

They recently made the biggest 'land grab' ever, by over-riding the wishes of the people, and declaring every river and stream in the Borough would be under their control, without NOTIFYING the owners along those waterways of what they were doing. Yes, FRED stood up and said this was wrong.

The Assembly didn't even want the people to vote on Prop 2, increasing taxes to fund special interest groups, and Fred spoke out against it. BTW, the Assembly stated on record that whether the voters approved Prop 2 or not, THEY would continue to fund those groups. So much for being ABRASIVE!

On every issue Fred opposed the Assembly on, he took the side of the people. If that is being 'abrasive' I wish we had more like him!

Fred wants to give every Borough resident a 3 day TAX HOLIDAY, which would help the families here. Mr Nararre doesn't think that is a good idea. I'm SURE the Assembly will hear Fred speak out for the 'little guys' once again.

Rather than rewarding career politicians who have strong ties to many important people who live outside the Borough, let's give a new guy a chance to make new ideas possible.

Vote for Fred Sturman, for Borough Mayor.

corinnep 10/19/11 - 02:38 pm
Don't Hire Your Friends and Relatives Please!

I hope after the winner of this race gets sworn in, he will not hire his campaign staff/volunteers/donors, friends or relatives for Borough jobs. This is a big mistake that the last several Borough mayors have made. No more nepotism or cronyism!

Especially Mike Navarre - we do not need his polarizing, rantaholic brother to be chief of staff again. That guy already has his nose in too many local government agencies.

trombjr 10/19/11 - 06:48 pm
Makes me go HHHMMMM

A few mornings ago I sat having breakfast and couldn't help but hear the conversation at the next table. While the gentlemen sitting there were not being overly loud, they made no effort to keep their conversation to themselves. During the course of the political discussion being held I was surprised to hear one participant state... "I didn't even know they had a Senior facility in Cooper Landing until yesterday".

Being that we were in Cooper Landing at the time it rather surprised me to hear such a comment, especially when I realized that the one who just said that was none other than Mr. Sturman.

That makes me wonder what other things he doesn't know about the borough and it's residents especially when the Cooper Landing Seniors have been in the news many, many times over the last few years.

I'm just saying........

talkofthekenai16 10/20/11 - 11:36 am

i know both mike and fred, both are fine people and will do their best job as mayor. but if you want change from business as it has been done in the past, there is one person who is running that deserves your attention, i have seen fred at council meetings and borough meetings always there fighting on behalf on you the taxpayers of the borough, and yes the he is quite the thorn in the assemblys agenda. he is a working person just like you, he understand the problems that face us in the borough, i have had my disagreements with fred at times, but we have always remained friends and he accepts other peoples ideas. and if he is wrong he admits it. fred has put his own money into this campaign, and is not beholden to special intrests. his main concern is you, your family and the increasing cost of government to all of us, Fred has put his own money where his mouth is, he deserves a chance to put his hard work for us as borough mayor and makes the changes necessary for us to live within our means. so get out and VOTE FRED STURMAN BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET OUT AND VOTE.

Norseman 10/21/11 - 08:16 am
Navarre wins Mayoral Seat

My prediction on what the headlines on the Clarion will be on Oct 26th.

TiredOfPoliticians 10/21/11 - 09:15 am
Setting the record straight

"I'm just saying...." to quote TrombJr....that you should do your own homework instead of trying to put down ANYONE who is trying to make a change. Yes, there is a Senior Citizens's actually called Cooper Landing Senior Citizens Corporation, Inc. If you are as intelligent as you think you are, you would know that this means the Cooper Landing Senior Citizens Corporation, Inc. is a PRIVATE organization, NOT a SERVICE AREA of the Kenai Peninsula Borough; therefore, it does not receive funding from the Kenai Peninsula Borough. So, Mr. Sturman may not have realized that there was a Senior Center in Cooper Landing (not many people would know that unless you lived there and even better, you were a Senior who would look for and use a Senior Center), but I guarantee that he knows there are Seniors in Cooper Landing and yes they are mentioned a few times a year in the Peninsula Clarion. I say, "So what?" There are several other Senior Centers in the Kenai Peninsula Borough that are also mentioned many, many times in the Peninsula Clarion. If you think not knowing about a CORPORATE owned organization is worth losing a vote, then I say that you are a sad, uninformed individual who must be perfect and knows EVERYTHING about EVERY part of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Maybe YOU should have run for Mayor, TrombJr.......'I'm just saying....."

Back to Top


Please Note: You may have disabled JavaScript and/or CSS. Although this news content will be accessible, certain functionality is unavailable.

Skip to News

« back

next »

  • title
  • title
  • title
My Gallery


  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback