Legislator out one job, in with another

Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2000

KENAI (AP) -- Rep. Gary Davis will be out of a job this winter. But the Soldotna Republican just got another as roads director for the Kenai Pensinsula Borough.

Davis, a former mayor of Soldotna, began his $60,000-a-year position on Monday.

''I was looking for a job that could keep me in Soldotna,'' said Davis, who opted not to run for re-election. In his new role, he'll lead a staff of four and work with the Road Service Area board to oversee maintenance and improvements to more than 600 miles of borough-maintained roads.

Road Service Area voters will decide this fall whether the service area should have the power to build roads as well as maintain them. A ''yes'' vote could make it easier for the borough to use $5.3 million in federal grants to extend the Kenai Spur Highway to subdivisions at Gray Cliff and Moose Point.

Davis said he has not yet discussed long-term strategy with Mayor Dale Bagley.

''You could have ideas, but the outcome of the elections could make you backtrack or jump ahead from what you had been planning,'' Davis told the Peninsula Clarion. ''We're in more of a wait-and-see mode.''

Davis said that his goals are ''to address the public's desires for where the road maintenance money should be spent and to improve the quality of the roads, because if you improve the quality, you reduce maintenance needs.''

In years past, he said, the Road Service Area accepted maintenance responsibility for many roads not built to present borough standards. It no longer accepts substandard roads, he said, but some already in the system are difficult to maintain.

Davis said most of his family works in construction, so he has worked in the industry since high school. He ran his own excavation business from 1981 to 1995, installing water and sewer service, utilities and roads. He also has worked for Davis Block and Concrete, owned by his cousins Scott and Russell Davis.

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