Former Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey will compete against former Soldotna City Council Member Nels Anderson for the mayoral seat left vacant by Peter Micciche after he was elected to the Alaska State Senate.
The winner will serve the remainder of Micciche’s term ending October 2014. The election will be April 2. Polls at Soldotna City Hall are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. Absentee ballots will be available at city hall starting today.
There will be a mayoral debate hosted by the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at noon on Tuesday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
The following are profiles of the two candidates.
Longtime Soldotna resident Dave Carey said he wants to continue the development and progress Soldotna has seen in the last 20 years, making it an even better place for families, businesses and recreation.
However, Carey also wants people to remember the vision and work of those who built the town he has called home since 1961.
Carey, who graduated from Kenai Central High School, taught government at Soldotna Junior High, Soldotna High School and Skyview until his retirement in 2005. Carey has also served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and the Soldotna City Council along with being mayor for three terms. He has also served as Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor.
“I know how local government works and how to promote the concerns and needs of the people of Soldotna,” Carey said. “I’ve worked with community leaders and state leaders to promote Soldotna projects and community groups.”
Carey said he wants to promote the needs of local residents and businesses and encourage all residents to be involved in the community. Carey said his 30 years as a teacher, wrestling coach and public servant is something unique that will help him if elected mayor.
“I have the time available and needed to be mayor as demonstrated by meeting the busloads of tourists at the Visitor’s Center during the summer,” Carey said.
One of Carey’s goals is to eliminate the property tax in Soldotna. Carey said the city is financially stable and has a large surplus with property tax revenues making up just 4.3 percent of the budget.
“The large surplus can continue to grow without (the property tax),” Carey said. “Government should not take more from the people’s pockets than what is currently needed.”
As mayor, Carey said he would work to see the hospital is locally owned and promote the continued growth of the local colleges and continue support for the local public schools.
Carey said he would be available to assist the local Chamber of Commerce as it serves those who visit the community.
“With the opening of our newly expanded Joyce K. Carver Library, I wish to step into the future, hand in hand, with our local community as we continue to provide a great environment for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Carey said.