Her one-year experiment as a Kenai City Council member has turned out so good, Pat Porter wants another term, this one three years in length.
Porter was elected a year ago with more votes than any of the other candidates on the ballot to fill the seat vacated by Raymond Measles earlier that year. At the time, she said she wanted to "try out" the council and chose to run for one of the two one-year seats available, rather than face two incumbents running for re-election to a three-year term. The experience of the last year has not soured her on serving.
"If the citizens want me, I'll serve another three-year term," she said.
Porter has a lot of experience with the city of Kenai that has helped her be an effective council member, she said. Porter retired last year after 22 years as the director of the Kenai Senior Citizens' Center.
"Dealing with management, the budget, planning and supervising personnel has given me a good cross section of skills in dealing with city issues," she said. "I'm the first to admit I don't know much about streets and sewers, but I'm a very people-skilled person and hopefully that balances out with others on the council."
Name: Patricia Porter
Office sought: Kenai City Council
Family: Spouse Larry; children Kelly Gifford and Capt. Larry Porter (U.S. Army)
Residency in Alaska: Since 1957
Education: West Anchorage High School
Political and government experience: Kenai City Council October 1999 to present
Business and professional positions: Director, Kenai Senior Center, 22 years
Service organization memberships: Kenai Chamber of Commerce, United Way
Though retired from the city, Porter still occasionally substitute teaches.
Porter wound up coming to Kenai in 1969 from Anchorage, where she lived since 1957, when her husband, now recently retired himself, was transferred here with Phillips Petroleum.
"I thought, of course, it was the end of the world, but it's become so much a part of my life," she said. "We've raised our kids here and now our grandkids, and our friends are here as well."
She said she and her husband choose to live in the city limits for the same reasons many do: amenities and convenience.
"I like living in a town that has water and sewer. I like zoning and being close to everything," she said. "I like the town concept and living in a town."
She calls her first year on the council a learning experience.
"I'm now working on getting something done about junk vehicles in town, and I'm working toward some kind of plan like in Palmer where they had a weekend of getting rid of junk cars," she said.
She also initiated an ordinance -- which has since been tabled by the council -- to stop vehicles from driving on the vegetated areas of the south shore of the Kenai River at its mouth.
"These are the type of issues that interest me," she said. "I love Kenai and I want to help make it all it can be.
"I want Kenai to be a city we're proud to live in and offers the services (residents) need to give them a high quality of life."
Porter faces incumbent Bill Frazer and challenger John "Ozzie" Osborne in the municipal election. The highest two vote-getters among the three will fill the two open seats.
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