Swan would draw on family, land management experience

Posted: Monday, September 27, 2004


  Mike Swan

Mike Swan

Residence: 40595 Huckabay Road, Soldotna

Mail address: P.O. Box 987, Soldotna, AK 99669

Phone: 262-7343, 262-1014

Age: 50

Years in Alaska: 23

Family: Married, three children

Occupation: Business owner

Education: High school, attended some college

Previous elected office: Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District (1989-present)

Organizations: N/A

1. Why do you want to be on the assembly?

I believe in the electoral system. Pete has run unopposed in the past. I wanted to try to bring another option to the table. There needs to be better representation from the working class, the small business owner and parent. I also want to make meetings more publicly oriented.

2. What do you see as the three most important issues facing the assembly, the borough?

Proper representation to make sure the public is heard is one. Finance is always important to everybody. I don't think the populace wants any more taxes. They want government to work as effectively as it can without putting a whole lot of burden on everyone.

3. What place should the borough's fund balance play in borough finances? Is it too large? Too small?

The fund balance is something that is important to keep on hand, as it is in any business. I don't know if it is too small or too large, but it needs to be functional and there when needed. Yes, it is important to have a fund balance.

4. What should the borough be doing to attract business and industry to the area and create jobs that it isn't already doing?

We need to look more at diversification. The borough has relied too heavily on the oil industry and Agrium. We need a more balanced approach. We can't just relay on oil and tourism. We don't have enough stable jobs for kids. The jobs here are more service oriented. I think I can think outside the box.

5. What should the borough be doing to protect the environment that it isn't already doing?

I don't know how much of a role the borough actually plays in environmental protection. Since 1988, I've been involved with the Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District. They assist landowners to keep their land in production without high erosion. We can promote ways to use land without destroying it. The district wrote the Kenai Landowners Guidebook.

6. What is your position on Proposition 1, which would increase the residential real property tax exemption?

I support that. Will it put that much money in anyone's pocket? Not a lot. But anything we can do to keep money in people's pockets will help the economy.

7. Why do you support or oppose Proposition 5 regarding expansion of the fire service area into the Funny River area?

I'm mostly neutral on it. I support going with the wishes of the people. I volunteered to help Funny River get its fire station. I guess the short answer is that I support the proposition.

8. What are three ways you differ from your opponent?

What you are electing is a personality; someone you have confidence in and hope will represent you. Between Pete and I, I have my own business, I'm married and I have three children. Having a family gives you a balance of compromise to deal with issues thrown at you. With a business, you watch finances closely. As a surveyor, I bring to the table a lot of land management experience.

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