Popp: Borough facing education funding issues

Posted: Sunday, September 24, 2000

"Focus on detail, works hard to get to the root of an issue, tries to balance all sides of an issue and is really motivated," is how Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly candidate Bill Popp describes himself. His qualifications are "a strong business background, a keen interest in education, lots of community experience and the recognition of issues facing our community."

Popp is running for re-election because he "deeply enjoys" working for the community in that capacity. He is unopposed for the District 1 seat.

"I believe there are a lot of tough issues that will be facing the borough in the next three years, and that I contribute in a positive way," Popp said, welcoming an opportunity to work on the issue of education funding with the state Legislature.

He also wants to continue promoting Nikiski as the terminus of a natural gas pipeline and sees lots of work to be done on roads and local-option zoning.

Challenges before the borough include reapportionment and gaining consensus in terms of local-option zoning and education funding.

Name: William R. Popp

Office sought: Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly -- District 1

Age: 41

Occupation: Fleet sales manager, Kenai Chrysler Center

Family: Spouse, Nicole, married 22 years; children, Rachael and Daniel

Residency in Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula: 1967-70 Anchorage; 1972-present, Anchorage and Kenai

Education: Graduate of East Anchorage High School 1977

Political and government experience: Assembly member, Kenai Peninsula Borough, District 1,1997-present

Business and professional positions: Safeway Inc., 1975-1990; owner of Toonz Music & Books 1990-1996; project coordinator, Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, 1997-2000; fleet sales manager, Kenai Chrysler Center 2000-present

Service organization memberships: Past president and current board member, KP Youth Court; past board member, Camp Fire Alaska; past board member, KPB Economic Development District

Best way for voters to reach me: e-mail, billpopp@ptialaska.net; phone, 283-4083 (evenings)

"These are not easy tasks to take on," Popp said.

Born in Williston, N.D., Popp said he was a "military brat" until 1972, when he moved to Anchorage. In 1983, he moved to the Kenai area and has lived here ever since.

His biggest concern for the assembly is that it keep sight of where the peninsula can be in 10, 15 and 20 years, adding that's "it's real easy for the assembly to deal with issues on a "now" basis, as opposed to long-term."

Popp listed "fiscal responsibility, budget control, dropping the tax and mill rate while maintaining a solid fund balance at the current level to protect the borough from unforeseen circumstances and needs, continuing to map out a course of long-term land-use planning and solving education funding problems" as assembly priorities.

He wants to be remembered for "making the borough a better place for our kids to live both economically and from an education point of view, building a job base on the peninsula so they aren't forced to leave, and making sure they have the best education possible."

Jim Carter, executive director of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, has known Popp for five years.

"Bill is very conscientious," Carter said. "He has the community at heart in his decision making. He works well with others and has shown the ability to be a leader in working on the assembly."

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