With Anchorage’s local election just around the corner, KSKA and Alaska Public media are bringing you a look at those running for mayor. As KSKA’s Zachariah Hughes reports, Timothy Huit is hoping to bring his background in small business and social work to the office.
Huit hasn’t held elected office before, but as the owner of a roofing business for the last 17 years in Anchorage, he says he understands the difficulties in issues like building new housing units.
“I’d like to have affordable housing zones for private contractors with tax breaks to try to get them motivated,” Huit said. “And I don’t think there’s going to be any easy solutions. I see this as a major problem, you know we’re all struggling to make it.”
Huit has lived in Anchorage since the early ’90s. When it comes to fiscal policies, he thinks the local outlook is much healthier than it is for the state. He doesn’t favor new taxes, and thinks finding efficiencies is a better way to balance the budget for now. Plus, Huit sees some bright spots.
“We also had a record tourism year, we had 1 million visitors to Alaska and Anchorage, and collected $30 million in bed and vehicle tax, and we expect a better year next year,” he said. “So we may not be in as much trouble as we think. We also have the marijuana issue coming on board, and that’s gonna bring us some new revenue.”
Huit has not received much in the way of donations or endorsements. But he’s critical of groups that have left candidates like him out of debates and forums for that reason. He sees his campaign as serious, and raising issues that ought to be part of the election, even if he doesn’t have a sizable war chest.
When it comes to public safety, Huit believes his experience doing street outreach with the Brother Francis shelter is valuable. He thinks the city not only needs more police, but a better strategy for deploying them.
“Geographic policing is one way we’re gonna do that. We’re gonna have officers that may be in an area of town for several years,” Huit said. “I think a critical thing we need to do now is intercede in the academies, and make sure that the ongoing academies focus on that kind of training.”