Daly chooses small business development, economic diversification as focus

Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Randy Daly, 36, is one of four people seeking a two-year seat on the Kenai City Council. He and his wife, Mary, own HiSpeed Gear, a computer and office equipment outlet in Kenai.

"I'm running mostly in an attempt to be of more service to the city and help the community move in the right direction, to have a livable 12-month economy and to improve the quality of life," he said. "I really love living in the city of Kenai and look forward to being of service."

Daly has lived in Kenai for 3 1/2 years, moving here from Anchorage, where he was raised. He and his wife have two grade-school age daughters.

Daly is co-chair of the pro-private prison group Concerned Citizens for Responsible Economic Development, known as CCFRED.

In that capacity, he has been involved in lobbying in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 1 which would give the Kenai Peninsula Borough permission to continue to pursue a private prison to be built at the edge of the city of Kenai.

Daly cites over 200 new jobs as his number one reason for supporting the prison.

"We are historically an under-employed economic area. We run three times the national average in unemployment in the winter," he said.

He said schools will also benefit from increased enrollment and governments from more property and sales tax.

Given his strong pro-development stance, Daly is a promoter of many kinds of economic development -- as long as they are on firm financial footing.

He said he would like to focus on small business development and diversification of the city's economic base.

He favors a bluff erosion sea wall for the same reason, among others.

"The sea wall will do a couple things for the city. One, it will reassure people who live and hold property on the bluff that they'll have property in 10 years," he said.

"And two, it will increase Kenai's viability as a tourist center and increase the quality of life for residents."

Expanding and enclosing Kenai's ice rink, known as the Multipurpose Facility, also will come down to dollars and cents, Daly said.

"It would be a much more significant addition," he said. "Fiscally, I'm pretty tight with the purse strings."

He said Kenai is rich in development opportunities, and he favors developing land along the Kenai Spur Highway over Old Town, though with provisions.

"Would I support manufacturing across from the high school? Absolutely not," he said. "But if a business office -- and not an office building -- can be located there, that will be an asset that will improve neighboring property values and the business climate, I would sign off on that."

Daly said the current Kenai City Council is "pretty darn good."

"With Mr. Frazer moving on, it leaves a void there," he said of former council member Bill Frazer who resigned and moved to Arizona in July, and whose position he would like to fill.

Daly faces three others in the election, Barry Eldridge, Amy Jackman and John "Ozzie" Osborne.

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