FAIRBANKS, Alaska - North Pole City residents have two choices on the ballot to be their next Mayor. Thomas R. McGhee and Mike Welch both think their time on the city council helped prepare them to be Mayor.
McGhee said, "Well, I have been a North Pole resident for 25 years, and in that 25 years I have served on the North Pole city council for 15 of those years, so I have served with four other administrations. I enjoy the politics of North Pole and debating of the issues, but I think most importantly I enjoy being there to represent the constituents when we're on city council."
Welch said, "I have served the community since 2005 in various capacities. As well as being elected to the city council, I've done two terms. In each of those terms, I spent two years each as the deputy mayor of the city. Very, very qualified, I know the issues of the city, I know the finances of the city. I was their first audit and finance chairman in 2007.
The candidates speak on proposition C to put into the charter permanently that marijuana businesses are prohibited within the city limits of North Pole.
McGhee said, "It's not federally mandated as legal yet, and until that happens then we have to make sure that we stay within the laws, all the laws. I support recreational use of people's right, but within the city limits of North Pole, there's enough facilities to access that recreational marijuana, if that's what they want, and we don't have to have it within our city limits."
Welch said, "This is what our citizens voted for way back in the beginning because when we legalized marijuana in the state, every community was given the right to opt out of it. We're a home ruled charter city. We have our own laws, and so we exercise that right. That's what our citizens voted for. They don't want it in the city limits."
They are running to replace Bryce Ward, who is now running for Borough Mayor.