Schade: Money management key issue before borough

Posted: Friday, September 27, 2002

It's all new territory for the 36-year-old rancher from Kachemak Bay.

Faith Schade, candidate for Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 9, has never run for public office before and said she knows she has a lot of learning to do.

But she said she is willing and ready to take on the duties of representing her district.

"I am open, not closed-minded," she said. "I have no pet projects. I'm completely new at this. I started thinking about it because the school districts are getting cut. But that's not all of it. Money management is the issue."

Schade said she thinks borough assembly members are doing what they can -- that's apparent when one looks at the borough budget document, which she began reading as soon as she entered the race.

"It's quite a book. I can't answer a lot of questions about the budget, yet. There are a lot of things the assembly has done, and I admire anybody who sits up there and does the job," she said.

Schade said while she believes she would be a better ear for the public than her opponent, incumbent Milli Martin, her campaign isn't about running against anyone. She just wants to serve, she said.

It was raining, she said, the day she finally made up her mind to toss her hat in the ring. It gave her time to think about it.

"Anyone who has put up hay in Alaska knows that when it's prime hay time, you concentrate on that," she said.

Unable to hay in the downpour, she mulled over a run for the assembly, headed for town, had her signature notarized and sent in the paperwork.

Now, she's playing catch-up, she said.

"It meant I had a lot of learning to do," she said. "But I don't want to be one of those people who just complains all the time. I want to do something."

Asked what she thought the borough could do to encourage more business on the peninsula, Schade said it was a topic she frequently hears district residents discuss. She said she thinks the borough should look for environmentally friendly industry.

"The state has great aesthetic value, but we also need industry for balance. We need to use our natural resources, whether that's hay land or timber or whatever."

The borough has a lot to offer industry, including space and a safe environment. But there is a lot of uncertainty, she said, across the nation, and it may be hard to entice businesses to pack up and move to Alaska.

She said she would consider tax deferments as incentives for new business.

She said she would oppose a statewide sales tax because she doesn't think the state needs to do that, and because it would harm the municipalities which depend on sales taxes for revenue.

However, she said she'd have to give that a second thought if it became an issue of a sales tax or an income tax.

Schade said she was determined to make the campaign a fun learning experience, "win, lose or draw."

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