Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly candidate Ronald Long says he is a good listener, is without a particular issue that caused him to run for office and has the ability to listen to all sides of an issue.
His qualifications include experience on the Seward Port and Commerce Advisory Board, where he built consensus when faced with contentious issues, successfully establishing a platform from which the board could "move ahead and make progress."
Long said he was asked to run for for the District 6 seat by several people he admires and respects.
"With their commitment and support, it augmented my own interest and made me decide to run," he said.
If elected to represent Seward, Long is committed to developing and maintaining a higher level of awareness on the western side of the Kenai Peninsula of contributions and needs of people throughout the peninsula.
Name: Ronald "Ron" E. Long
Office sought: Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly -- District 6
Occupation: Marine surveyor, project manager
Family: Spouse, Lauren Tye Long
Residency in Alaska: 11 years
Number of years on the Kenai Peninsula: 10
Education: High school and junior college general studies
Political and government experience: Seward Port and Commerce Advisory Board, 1994-present; chairman, 1995-present.
Business and professional positions: Prop. R. Long Marine Survey, survey and marine consulting; project manager for Qutekcak Shellfish Hatchery; previously commercial fisherman, charter operator, general contractor field manager and explosives technician
Service organization memberships: Seward Chamber of Commerce, 1991- present and treasurer 2000; Economic Development Committee,1997 - present; Seward Harbor Business Association, treasurer, 2000
Best way for voters to reach me: e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; phone, 362-1107; fax, 224-5707
He said he would like to see the formation of a foreign trade zone, which he said is one of the biggest challenges before the assembly.
"I think we're moving ahead and we've really got a dynamic team of people from around the borough that are participating, and that's encouraging," he said, adding that money, education and organization are challenges to achieving this goal.
Born and raised in Marietta, Ga., Long was living in California when the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred. He moved to Seward in the aftermath and has lived there ever since.
Long said his biggest accomplishment has yet to come.
If elected, he said, he is concerned "that people will set unrealistically high expectations and be disappointed. My hope is that people will not expect immediate or dramatic turnarounds of any perceived situation overnight, but will accept a step-by-step approach."
His priorities are education, establishing an alternative budget should the tax cap initiative pass and working to maintain the current level of service. He wants to be remembered as fair, equitable and reasonable.
Marianna Keil, owner of Backlash Charters in Seward, worked with Long on community issues and projects, including United Way.
"He's tireless, thorough, does his homework and is a great consensus builder," Keil said. "I just know how well he does and how much effort he puts into whatever he does."
Lou Bencardino, former chief of police, city council member and mayor of Seward, echoed Keil's endorsement of Long.
"He's had quite a bit of experience in this area, being on the port board, being involved in the chamber and a Native corporation," Bencardino said. "He's getting a real broad knowledge of things that you need to know."
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