District 1 Assembly candidates appear at forum

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Juneau League of Women Voters hosted a forum that filled the Assembly Chambers on Thursday night.

    The forum got into the nuts and bolts of government.

    Questions ranged from expanding powers from the human rights commission, to national issues like gender equality and
    sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants.

    Sanctuary cities is a name given to cities in the United States that follows certain procedures that shelter illegal immigrants.

    District 1 candidate Chuck Collins said he supports economic development but is concerned about the rise in crime.

    "I'm upset with what is going on downtown.  I'm tired of seeing my friends robbed or a tragic accident due to drugs.  I'm tired of people sleeping in doorways downtown.  We can't have that in our town.  I hate to see people in that situation and I think we need to do something about it."

    Incumbent Jesse Kiehl said he feels he has accomplished a lot during his six years on the Assembly.

    "I've eased up zoning for housing, pushed the North Douglas highway extension to identify an industrial area, and pushed the cities equal rights ordinance.  In the long run, a welcoming city has more jobs and more entrepreneurship."

    Challenger Loretto Jones said the opioid problem is bad and has to be solved.

    "If we don't get a handle on it now, it is going to get worse.  Five percent of our people are actually baby sat by police at the hospital, that costs the taxpayers a lot of money, plus it is not freeing up our police, he's tied there because of an ordinance."

    The candidates were also asked about budget, spending priorities, support for the Juneau Access Road, the future of mining, fair taxation for the cruise industry, and a proposal from some on the Assembly to purchase Alaska Electric Power and Light.

    The municipal elections are held Tuesday, October 3.

     

     

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