Carey: City council tenure has taught him much

Posted: Monday, September 25, 2000

David Carey, a one-year incumbent member of the Soldotna City Council, is seeking a full three-year term after filling out the remainder of a vacated seat. He, like fellow incumbent Jim Stogsdill, is running unopposed for re-election.

"I have to be truthful and say it's nice," Carey said. "But on the other side, I think it's unhealthy. We need people running so those running for re-election can state what they believe.

"If a candidate is running unopposed, like I am, I don't have to do anything," he added.

He said there were no candidate forums for the Soldotna City Council race this year for he and Stogsdill to interact with potential voters.

Name: David Carey

Office sought: Soldotna City Council -- Seat C

Age: 48

Occupation: Social studies teacher and wrestling coach

Residency in Alaska: Since 1961

Education: B.S. Political Science, 1974; and M. Ed., 1977 Gonzaga University

Political and government experience: Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member, 1982-1989; Kenai Peninsula College Council, 1984-1989; Ridgeway/Sterling Fire Service Area Board, 1990; CPMSA Board, 1991-1992; CES Consolidated Board, 1992-1993; Soldotna City Council, 1999-2000.

Business and professional positions: HEA Board of Directors, 1988-2002; ARECA Educational Foundation, 2000-2002

Service organization memberships: BPOE; Soldotna Catholic Church, parish council president, 1994 and 1995; After the Bell Board, 1999-2000

Best way for voters to reach me: 260-6413, home; 262-7675, work

Carey, a government teacher and wrestling coach at Skyview High School, grew up in Soldotna and graduated from Kenai Central High School. He has taught at Skyview since it opened 10 years ago. Before that, he was a teacher at Soldotna High School for five years as well as five years at what was then Soldotna Junior High. He coached wrestling at SoHi for 10 years.

Carey, who lost on election day last year by one vote, won by 25 once absentee ballots were counted. A year ago he told the council that he was throwing his name into the hat because so few people had signed up to run. In the past year, he said, he's learned a lot.

"I've gotten much more knowledgeable about exactly what the city is doing," he said.

He said he'd like to see Soldotna make its World Wide Web page more interactive.

"We can give information, but they can't give any information back to us," he said. "I believe, in many ways, that people want to share information, but can't make a certain meeting on a certain day."

Carey has lived in many areas around the Soldotna area but has settled in near the heart of town.

"I live 30 seconds from where my mother is in the senior citizen housing next to the Borough Building. I couldn't have any quicker access to her," he said. "Going to school, I have paved roads the whole way, and economically, the places where I buy my products are right here."

Carey said his experience dealing and communicating with his students and their parents has given him the opportunity to receive feedback from about 200 people who have widespread connections to the community.

He said he's enjoyed serving on the council the past year, especially since the city is in good fiscal shape.

"It's not a place where we're cutting people and budgets," he said. "We're able to provide services to people and plan for our future needs."

He said that contrasts with his three terms on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in the 1980s, when money was tight.

"Things are good with the city and nobody is complaining," he said. "We try to sit down with people and try to make what they want happen rather than explain why they can't do what they want."

Being a teacher for about 20 years, Carey said he likes to get youth more involved with the city and vice versa.

"I got the council to put students on our commissions and we're going to form a youth advisory group for the police department."

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