Six people have put their names in to run for Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and two are new to borough politics.
While Dennis Symmons has experience on a local service district, this is his first run for area-wide office. And this is the first time Gail Brandt has ever sought any kind of local office.
When asked why he’s stepping up his political activities a notch to the assembly level, Symmons says he thinks the community’s gotten spoiled and he’d like to help direct the changes needed to cut back local spending:
Symmons is a business owner and local excavator, who says his seven or eight years on the Service District One board has given him a real spine – he’s had to have the courage to make tough decisions-and has learned to really listen to people.
The other newcomer, Gail Brandt, is a local realtor who moved to town 8 years ago from New Mexico after visiting family here in Kodiak.
She says she’s concerned that the borough’s population has fallen, yet the spending continues to increase:
Before moving to Kodiak Brandt operated her own business for 25 years as a third-party administrator. She handled human relations and insurance accounts for businesses and colleges nationwide.
Symmons and Brandt will be joined on the ballot by incumbents Judy Fulp and Dave Kaplan and former assembly members Tuck Bonney and Mel Stephens. The six candidates will compete for three assembly seats.
Incumbent Sue Jeffrey is not running for reelection, though she will continue to serve Kodiak in another capacity-she recently was appointed to the state board of fish.