FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Two candidates, Mindy O’Neall and Jeff Rentzel, are running for Borough Assembly Seat C in the upcoming municipal election on October 1st.
Two candidates, Mindy O’Neall (right) and Jeff Rentzel (left), are running for Borough Assembly Seat C in the upcoming municipal election on October 1st. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)
“The reason I’m running again for the assembly seat is at the urging of friends and family, they’re a little discouraged on the way the borough is headed and they want to see some changes and I whole heartedly agree with them. So I decided that it’s time to run and see if we can make those changes,” said Rentzel.
“I have been working as an engaged community partner in a lot of different aspects since I’ve been here. I’ve been the chair of the planning commission for the last two years, sat on that board for three years, I’ve worked with the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, also the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee, and I really felt like I had a good understanding of the issues of this borough and was ready to take my experience to the dais,” said O’Neall.
Mindy O’Neall is the incumbent, currently in seat C and was appointed in July.
“I’ve really learned that the people on the Assembly and the administration are very dedicated to being on the assembly and they’re not shy of saying its hard work, the interaction with the public can be draining, you’ll hear a lot of different opinions and versions of fact. I think that that’s one thing that I’ve taken away so far is that this is a very serious position, I take it very seriously, it really truly is a representation of our community and being on that voice is really an honor,” said O’Neall.
O’Neall and Rentzel are running for a three year term.
“I actually hope to be a voice for the people, I don’t think that’s happening right now, people are feeling alienated from the assembly, they don’t think their voices are being heard. That’s my goal is to be a voice for the people of this borough and to let them know that I will represent them on the borough,” said Rentzel.
“Mostly I hope to give, I really hope to be a public servant, that’s truly where my heart is. As far as what I can gain from that is a better deeper perception and perspective of who lives in our community. I think I know based on the experience that I have on the planning commission and different organizations around town, but I certainly am looking forward to understanding more about the history and the people who live here what their visions are for the future of the interior. I think that that’s the biggest thing I could take away, but really I’m here to give.”
Both Rentzel and O’Neall think the budget will be a main issue the borough will have to deal with.
“When you have a community that has sort of depended on the state for community block grants, help in infrastructure, community planning, and those things go away, it becomes a big value statement of where we’re going to prioritize where we put our limited sources of income and how the community is most going to benefit from that,” said O’Neall.
“Right now it’s the rights of others are being eroded, and the taxpayers of the borough are really starting to begin to feel the pinch from constant raising of the property taxes and borough spending…,” said Rentzel.
When asked why residents should vote for them:
“People should vote for me if they’re dissatisfied with the way things are going, if they’re dissatisfied with the amount of property taxes they have to pay each year and dissatisfied with the overall services that are provided by the borough. We need to get people in there who are willing to do the work and work with and for the people of the borough,” said Rentzel.
“I’m a fresh face for the community, I’ve been engaged, and I know the issues of the community because of my experience, I’m ready to serve the people of the Interior. I’m someone who is grounded, level headed, I want to make the right decision for our community and I’m here to stay. In my heart of hearts, I’m a public servant. I believe that the government should work for the people, and I hope to be a voice that represents that viewpoint,” said O’Neall.
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