Unexpected candidate Rosemary Vavrin commutes by bus and works as a volunteer at the Wasilla Senior Center. Vavrin, 70, originally from Texas, has spent over 30 years in Alaska, the past four in the Mat-Su. The former high school teacher and media freelancer now advocates for seniors. She recently spoke at a mayoral debate panel sponsored by AARP.
Vavrin is passionate about one issue… transportation.
“Most folks know me because I speak up on the need for expanded and increased transit in the entire area,” she says. “The number one need we have in the Mat Su Borough is transit.”
Vavrin says that many of the Mat Su Borough’s problems could be solved by simply improving how people get from one place to another.
“I would prioritize by putting transportation needs first. People need to get to jobs, they need to get to services, they need to get to medical care. And they need to get to fun events, like the fair. They need to get to the political events, like this forum. Trasit also helps to keep a lot of cars off the roads. Transit helps with pollution, or cuts down pollution.”
Vavrin says she adopted bus transportation as her campaign platform, because the Borough transportation committee meets during the day, and there is bus service at that time.
The candidate is candid about not being up on some Borough issues, such as a tax on gravel extraction.
“At such time as I have the title of Mayor Rosemary, that’s one of the things I would be wise to investigate. At this point, I don’t know enough about it.”
Vavrin supports less school crowding, based on her high school teaching career.
“The classes that were smaller in size had higher grade average, because I was able to give them more time. And yes, we need to find new ways to spread out the money, whether it is using technology. But yes, it is a problem, I’ve experienced it myself and I’ve experienced the benefits of smaller class sizes. ”
And she is vehemently opposed to marijuana use.
Borough elections are set for Tuesday, October 6, and voters will be asked to decide on three Assembly seats and two ballot propositions.