Health concerns keep mayor Kassel from re-election

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel will be stepping down once his successor is elected. Mayor Kassel says he chose not to run for a second term due to health concerns.

"My wife and I both need to slow down. And we made a pact that if she slows down, I will, and if I do, she will. We have similar issues going on," he said.

But Kassel said he and his wife aren't going anywhere.

"We're going to stay involved and engaged going forward, but at a slower pace then what it takes to be mayor here," he said.

We asked Mayor Kassel what he is most proud of.

"I think I have really focused on trying to get to the borough to be a little more lean and efficient at providing the services that we are. I think we have done a very good job of that. We've fixed small problems in different departments, and we have definitely gotten more efficient at providing service. I think we have a local government that the community can be proud of," he said.

Kassel said, although he wishes he could continue in office, there are other areas of his life where he needs to focus.

"I really like to canoe. My wife likes to canoe, and there's a lot rivers in Alaska we haven't seen yet, and so we've got a long bucket list. So, we're going to start working on that,"he said.

Kassel will continue in office until a new mayor is elected.