Four of six people running for the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly are quite familiar with the role — two are incumbents and two are former assembly members. All four, Judy Fulp, Dave Kaplan, Mel Stephens and Tuck Bonney, point to their experience on the assembly as an asset that they will bring to the new assembly if elected.
The other two people running for borough assembly are Gail Brandt and Dennis Symmons, newcomers to borough politics. They were profiled on Wednesday.
Incumbent Judy Fulp grew up in Kodiak. She says she’s learned a lot about working with other assembly members to accomplish goals-and cites the huge amount of money Kodiak got in state capital improvement grants as one example.
Fulp says she has the same two running points as last time she ran for office:
— (Boro 1 :20 "I would say…and beautification.")
Former biologist and now videographer Dave Kaplan is the other incumbent. He, too, cites as an accomplishment the numerous capital projects the borough got funded by the state this year.
Kaplan says it’s important for the community to continue to move forward and to remain viable:
— (Boro 2 :51 "I am very…what we have to be.")
Former Assemblyman Mel Stephans is a long-time Kodiak attorney who frequently testifies at assembly meetings and work sessions on issues that concern him. He said his friends asked him to run for office again-and he wanted to give voters more options in terms of candidates:
— (Boro 3 :57 "I’ve lived in Kodiak…wider selection of candidates.")
The other former assembly member is Tuck Bonney, who works in management at a local processor. Like Fulp, Bonney grew up in Kodiak. He has nine years experience on the assembly and three years on the planning and zoning commission.
KMXT caught up with Bonney at a time when-for technical reasons-he couldn’t be recorded. But he said his background in fisheries will be a big help to the borough assembly and that his record on the assembly speaks for itself.
The biggest reason Bonney says he’s running for assembly is that he thinks Kodiak has some really tough years ahead because of overspending. And he says the community needs to start paying off its debts and to back off on capital projects until the borough can get its financial house in order.