Gabriel, Bookey retain council seats

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Pat Falkenberg, of Kenai, holds two campaign signs and said she wished she had room for one more Tuesday October 1, 2013 in Kenai, Alaska. Falkenberg said if she had room she would also encourage prospective voters to vote in favor of Proposition 1.

Incumbents Brian Gabriel Sr. and Terry Bookey were elected by Kenai voters Tuesday night to continue serving as city council members.


Gabriel received 662 votes, Bookey 617 and Mark Schrag 367, according to preliminary results.

Jodi Stuart said she voted for Gabriel and Bookey because both have served well on city council. Schrag is a good person, but he leans too far to one side. He has had issues with the council before, claiming the body ignored him, Stuart said.

Also, in the VIP Subdivision, where Stuart lives, Gabriel’s and Bookey’s representation is more prevalent than Schrag’s, she said.

“I just think (Gabriel) has a reasonable approach to government,” Pat Malone said.

Malone, who voted for both incumbents, said he likes Gabriel’s perspective, and has known Bookey since the candidate was born. Schrag, he said, is a “Johnny one note.”

Travis Every voted for Gabriel because he agrees with many of the candidates ideas. He agrees with the candidate’s support to remove fish waste from the personal-use dipnet fishery and his opposition to 24-hour camping on the beach.

Being re-elected is an honor, Gabriel and Bookey said.

“When you go into the election you have your reasons for being there, and obviously I want to serve the community,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel said the city’s top priority is improving its management of the persona-use dipnet fishery. Developing airport lands and building more parks, playgrounds, and biking and walking trails are other city goals, he said.

His plans are to maintain a low mill rate while retaining the city’s high level of service, he said. He also wants the city to take advantage of the Cook Inlet oil and gas development.

Bookey said the bluff erosion project is the city’s top priority. Other city goals are expanding the city’s existing infrastructure, refining management of the dipnet fishery and making the city more attractive to residents and businesses, he said.

He plans to continue creating more pedestrian trails and addressing the quality of life issues to retain city residents. He will also strive for more government transparency. He co-sponsored the legislation that allowed the council to vet planning and zoning commission members, he said.

Having won their re-election, neither candidate plans to party. Gabriel had work at 6 a.m. today. Bookey had a Central Emergency Service training class at 8:30 a.m. today.

“No rest for the weary,” he said.


Dan Schwartz can be reached at