Fairbanks Voters Elect New Mayor

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The city of Fairbanks is getting a new Mayor.  Longtime city council member Jerry Cleworth defeated incumbent Mayor Terry Strle in yesterday’s municipal election.  Cleworth says he’s relieved the campaign is over and looks forward to getting to work on immediate challenges of the new job.

North Pole voters retained Mayor Doug Isaacson, defeating a citizen recall petition put on the ballot by opponents, who allege improprieties involving city property sales and credit card use.  Isaacson maintains he hadn’t done anything wrong, but the former mortgage broker says he’s learned from the recall experience.

Isaacson says he hopes city government can come together and turn the focus from divisive politics to issues.

A citizen proposition that strips pollution fines and the ability to ban wood heating appliances, from a Fairbanks borough air quality ordinance passed yesterday.

Borough voters decision to restrict local government’s punitive power on pollution control, effectively puts enforcement in the hands of the state, which is ultimately responsible for air quality.  Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins says it’s unclear how development and administration of the air quality plan will be handled now, but that it could be similar to how the D.E.C. managed a similar fine particulate problem in Juneau.

Hopkins says meetings with D.E.C. officials are planned for later this week to discuss the issue. He says the main focus of the borough air quality ordinance- a wood stove change out program that provides subsidies for residents to replace older polluting units with new clean burning models will continue.

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