FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Fairbanks City Council will have three vacancies come October, with eight residents trying for one of the seats. Newcomer, Kathy Ottersten and incumbent, Jonathan Bagwill are both running for Seat D during this municipal election.
Ottersten started attending city council meetings a couple years ago and even joined the Diversity Council last year. This will be her first time running for office and if elected she would like to make a change.
Ottersten said, “One of the things I'm very firmly set on is that we have this property tax structure here and it is just at the base of our income for the city and I think that it's not a positive thing. I think we need to look at how to reduce the property tax burden so that we can continue to have people here that want to be the next generation of people keeping Fairbanks going, making the city better having their kids here, that can only happen if we have people buying homes."
She is facing seat incumbent Jonathan Bagwill, who has been on the council for a little over a year. He was appointed to the city council after former council member Jerry Norum filed his resignation from the council.
Bagwill said during his time on the council, he’s glad to have been able to learn a lot about the city that he loves, “I was born here, I was mostly raised here, my dad was in the military so I'm what is classified as an Army brat, but this is home."
Something that both Bagwill and Ottersten agreed on is keeping Fairbanks safe.
"Public safety is major for me. We have an ever growing problem with crime and I would love to see that come down,” Bagwill said while Ottersten showed concern for the local fire department, “When we have two ambulances out we have no fire protection in the city that is a terrible risk."
Helping to grow the Golden Heart City, both Bagwill and Ottersten said they will work to support the residents of Fairbanks.