Residents discuss concerns over 'Muffins with the Mayor'

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The newly elected Borough Mayor, Bryce Ward, held his first 'Muffins with the Mayor' event Thursday morning to hear concerns from local residents. Mayor Ward says casual conversations like these are a great way to connect with people in the borough.

Mayor Bryce Ward started 'Muffins with the Mayor' in his previous role as Mayor of North Pole.

"It was really successful and just a great way to hear from the public, some of the issues that are out there and really in an environment that fosters that kind of discussion," Mayor Ward said.

Some community members drove in from North Pole just to show their support.

North Pole resident Jo Small said, "We always went to the muffins with the mayor, when Bryce was the mayor of North Pole, and this is his first one, so we wanted to let him know North Pole is still behind him all the way."

Borough resident William Sanderson said, "Just showing my support and keep up with what's going on around the borough."

Others did have questions for the mayor.

Willow Leaves, a 7th grade student, said, "I wanted to talk to the Borough Mayor about air quality and also a kid's environmental group that I started at my school."

Ward said handling the transition of air quality control from the borough to the state has been the biggest issue and what most of his time has been focused on in his first month.

"There was really a variety of things that folks wanted to talk about. Some folks just want to say hi, but all and all I think it was really just starting a conversation and letting folks know that here in the mayor's office. We're open," Mayor Ward said.

Ward is hoping to hold these 'Muffins with the Mayor' events once a month.

The next event is scheduled for December 7 at the Fairbanks Children's Museum from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.