Like fellow candidate David Carey, Kristin Lambert grew up in Soldotna, and graduated from Kenai Central High School -- the only secondary school in the central peninsula in 1964.
She wound up in Soldotna as a youngster in 1954, brought here by her parents, Loren and Terry Heath, from Boise, Idaho.
"My father always dreamed of coming to Alaska," she said.
Lambert still lives on a portion of the land her family homesteaded.
"I'm a Soldotna person. I wouldn't think of living somewhere else," she said. "Those of us who homesteaded are very loyal to Soldotna."
Though she left for college in Oregon and Fairbanks, Lambert said she always thought of Soldotna as a good place to raise children, so returned home to raise her three, who all graduated from Soldotna High School.
Occupation: Executive director, Central Area Rural Transit System Inc.
Family: Three grown children (Grey, Dara, Peter), four grandchildren
(Michael, Sabra, Lorin and Miriam)
Education: Kenai High School graduate; Oregon State University for bachelors degree; University of Alaska Fairbanks for several years of graduate school
Organizations and special interests: Kenai Peninsula Outdoor Club,
books and publishing, rural governance in Alaska, public transportation
Previously held elected office and experience: Soldotna City Council, three terms during the 80s; Alaska Municipal League Board of Directors, two terms; Sports Center Construction Committee, 3 years; Sports Center Advisory Committee, 2 years; Soldotna Airport Commission, chair, 2 years; Soldotna Schools Advisory Committee, 2 years; Econo-mic Development District Board, 2 years; Soldotna Development Commission, chair, 1 year; nonprofit boards, frequently chair, many years; Central Kenai Peninsula Public Transportation facilitator, 2 years
Expected cost of your campaign: under $2,000
What is the best way for voters to reach you? Home phone and fax, 262-1543; e-mail, email@example.com
Lambert currently is the executive director of CARTS, the Central Area Rural Transit System, and was one of its founders while working as a vocational counselor for Central Peninsula Counseling Service, helping the mentally ill and disabled get jobs.
"But I realized they couldn't work if they couldn't get transportation," she said. "So I got $1.5 million in funding to develop the public transit system."
Having spent 25 years as a single working mother, Lambert said raising her children is the personal accomplishment of which she is most proud.
"Most of what I've done is try to make Soldotna a better place to live and raise kids," she said.
Lambert was on the Soldotna City Council during the time when many of the city's capital improvement projects were developed.
"But the two great achievements for me was to get a portion of the sales tax increase dedicated to capital projects so we would always have a regular funding stream for public projects," she added. "The other is my fighting for a strong city manager form of government in 1985."
But by making the city manager strong, the mayor was made relatively weak. The mayor does not vote except for a tie, but does have veto power.
"To be effective, I think the mayor of Soldotna has to have a vision and the ability to lead the city in a positive direction," she said. "It is a cheerleading position, but if the mayor is not effective, then it is only a figurehead position."
Lambert's vision for Soldotna is to have a city center, where people could walk between the senior center, post office, library and government offices.
About the decade-long break between being a city council member and running for mayor, Lambert said she wasn't ready for the position before.
"I was young, and you should do other things when you're young and come back to politics when you're older," she said. "Maturity helps in Alaska. It's hard enough to be a female politician in Alaska without being young, too."
She said it's her experience that sets her apart from the field in the mayoral race.
"I know how to get things done, and I have a tremendous amount of local support," she said. "I try to do the right things for the right reasons."
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