Anchorage Mayor’s Race: Paul Bauer
KTVA News invited every registered candidate running in the upcoming Anchorage mayoral race to an on-camera interview at our studios. We also asked each candidate to submit a 300-word biography, along with a 500-word written commentary on the following topics:
- Combating crime in Anchorage
- Plans for public safety
- Budget challenges
- Addressing homelessness in Anchorage
Paul Bauer’s responses are below:
At fourteen, I delivered bottled milk to residents, delivered newspapers, and worked in produce at a small grocery chain.
My work is a combination of 40 years managing people in the military and in private business within large organizations that began in 1973.
As a volunteer in the United States Army and until my retirement in 1995, my work consisted of being responsible for up to 220 workers and their subordinate leaders throughout my 22 years of military service. My positions and scope of responsibilities included: Infantryman, paratrooper, instructor, military intelligence staff and section leader, Siena College ROTC instructor, and a front-line leader in various elements. I lived, worked and played in many places during the Vietnam and Cold War Era with four years occupation and intelligence duties in West Berlin located in the East German Soviet-Occupied Zone.
After retirement, I was a team leader and commander of the Alaska National Guard Military Youth Program in-charge of the cadets and cadre daily operations working with Anchorage’s at-risk-youth.
After September 11, 2001, President Clinton rejected my request to be re-instated for military service for the war on terror; I began my career in the private sector. For the last 14 years, I have managed and operated a private business at the airport servicing passenger and cargo airlines working closely with Lufthansa Service Group/Sky Chefs catering company.
My public service includes representing the people in my district on the Anchorage Assembly from 2005-2008 during the Mark Begich Administration in which, I:
- Voted against Begich’s and the ASD 2006 budgets
- Opposed the $3-5 million ML&P building project that included a health gym
- Removed Anchorage as a “sanctuary city” for Illegal aliens
Assembly chairperson for Public Safety, Education (ASD) and Municipal Audit; Co-Chair Budget & Finance, Ethics and Elections.
Combatting crime in Anchorage will take the efforts of everyone in the city: residents, community leaders, police, neighbors, medical personnel, our native community leaders and the judicial system. This combination of force will have to address juvenile crime, recidivism, adult crime the causes and solutions. Our city is not the ONLY place in the United States with a huge crime factor.
In order to decrease our crime rate we have to empower our neighborhood residents. Neighborhood crime watch which is already in place, needs to be strengthened. Also youth court is also a part of crime prevention and can be utilized more effectively. Crime will never disappear, being more pro-active than reactive may too aid in reducing crime.
More importantly, we cannot falter with the enforcement of any crime. Emphasis on petty crimes may reduce and change future behaviors and crimes becoming more serious. Whether it is street-crime, vice, traffic, drug related crimes, or domestic violence our consistency on enforcing consequences for any violation must be fair and just.
Living in Anchorage for 25 years I have seen and witnessed our crime rates increase -yet as a resident I have not heard of any sentencing of criminal behavior. The news media does not publish criminal statistics in a comprehensive manner. We hear so much about the big crimes and little about the petty criminal behavior is it medical, intentional, drug related, and what was the sentencing?
For most of my professional career, I have had special bond with employees in uniformed services, know and understand their dedication and needs. My previous work and life experiences in the military, working with at-risk-youth and living in Anchorage for 25 years give me the experience and qualifications to assist as your mayor to address combating crime in our city.
Politicians’ speaking about public safety plans is different from being able to take action. To make a plan work the mayor must be free of conflicts and use a common business practice to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Only then can the mayor can do the real work of implementing plans for public safety, not for political purposes.
My plan to increase public safety is to have a “Safe Neighborhood Policy” that would:
1- Increase relations with law enforcement and the communities by educating the communities about the “Neighborhood Watch Plan” already in place. Organize community and citizen education program to handle crises and help their neighborhoods work together
2- Develop a program that enables neighbors to report minor infractions to the proper authorities.
3- Establish specialized units within the police to handle street-crime; drugs, petty offenses
4- Enforce traffic and non-motorized violations on our streets by establishing a Traffic Enforcement Unit
5- Expand the Community Services Officer program to handle minor non-enforcement duties
6- Work with Corrections and other agencies to help offenders re-enter the community, working on sanitizing criminal records on non-violent adults (to better their chances of employment), .The States’ Court View System needs to be revamped.
7- Establish aggressive task forces to combat violent crime, not only when there is a crisis, but on a periodic basis.
8- Establish a plan to care for our growing senior population through volunteer work
9- Increase the availability of our paramedic services established within our fire department.
10- Enhance our Emergency Service Management plans and operations for possible evacuation scenarios and terrorist threat occurrences.
While on the Anchorage Assembly I was the primary sponsor banning lobbyist with felony convictions under ten years to preform lobbying work with the city. This evolved out of the Bill Bobrick-Tom Anderson corruption case. Mr. Bobrick was Mayor Begich’s close friend, best man and one of the city’s prominent lobbyist during the Mayors administration.
In another case I took action on denying the re-appointment of a UAA Ethics Professor for the MOA Ethics Board, whom was a financial supporter of the Mayor, which was a violation of the Ethics Code.
As Chairman of the Public Safety Committee on the Anchorage Assembly, I pressed the administration to increase efforts to make local GANGS in Anchorage a top priority for our police.
I drafted an ordinance requiring a $1000 fine for those caught driving without insurance.
I co-sponsored the ordinance to add a Chapter for creating authority and procedures for Domestic Violence Fatality Review; and, was the primary sponsor, drafting an ordinance to limit drug ingredients in the making of METHAMPHETAMINE.
Public Safety can combat criminal behaviors. Consistent enforcement and regulations will be the main focus of my administration.
The mayor of the largest city in Alaska has an enormous responsibility to keep the city fiscally sound, but also must work toward progressing the city. I will advocate to the State the use of our states saving accounts for set limited time to maintain revenue sharing to Anchorage. The state reevaluates the use of the account on a continued basis as global oil prices adjust.
One budget challenge is to convince Assembly members to work together toward protecting property taxpayers from unnecessary increases in the city and school budgets. While on the Anchorage Assembly, I voted against Mayor Begich’s city budget and Superintendent Carol Comeau’s school budget in 2006. No other mayoral candidate with service on the Anchorage Assembly in the past or present voted against budgets submitted by the mayor and school district.
The biggest budget challenge will be to re-negotiate labor contracts with the public sector unions. The working employees of the city currently have generous wages and benefits. In a fiscal crisis, the unions would be expected to share in maintaining the fiscal health of the city.
My emphasis as mayor will be to help enhance the industry we can control and market; tourism and internal landscaping development. The benefits of increasing our visitors to Anchorage will provide a sustainable income to our economy and create new small businesses.
I will advocate for neighborhood cultural centers throughout the districts. Eagle River has its Celtic-Scottish festival; other communities should be encouraged to capitalize on their own cultural zones, such as a Little Italy, Chinatown, a Polynesian Village Festival, etc. These centers provide unique work and income opportunities within their neighborhoods.
I will always look for efficiencies in the way Anchorage government operates. For example, during my term on the Assembly I stood out front, challenging Mayor Begich’s wasteful spending for developing the $34 million “E Street” renovation project. A project with 3-phases of development that he placed hidden in the Road Bond package with Phase II first. The first funding of the project passed by the voters without them knowing the details. Phase II was adjacent to the Mayor’s wife family business, the Kobuk Coffee and Gifts. Heated sidewalks, brick road and other amenities. Phase I and III still have not been implemented.
At this time, I would only support a sales tax that focuses on support of a specific program or project approved by the vote of people. My administration will propose new creative revenue sources to the public for discussion before implementation.
It all applied to Needs vs Wants: applying this concept to Budget Challenges has worked repeatedly and I know it can work as well for our city.
Addressing the Homeless
Many studies and plans have been written about Homelessness. The National Alliance to End Homelessness released a plan in 2000 to end homelessness in ten years. Since the 1980’s homelessness has become widespread with more than 700,000 people across the U.S. experiencing homelessness.
Some of the ideas in this plan may be applied to our city problem. Identifying the groups of people whom are homelessness, getting those statistics and making the necessary resources available. Tough love and making those people who currently receive resources more responsible for aiding and assisting those whom qualify. Getting the job done right the first time to prevent people from homelessness includes having an adequate supply of affordable housing and jobs. Relying upon landlords to adjust rental fees depending upon property tax requirements. Re-evaluating the current Court View system with the State, which has prevented many potential candidates from being hired.
Chronic inebriates should not be an expense for Anchorage taxpayers for those that their community banished. I will address those banished from their communities and repeated their offenses in our town. Any community that banished those with chronic behaviors from their home community repeats their offense in Anchorage will pay for the services the Anchorage taxpayers had to provide. Anchorage should not be the one-stop take all care of those expelled from their home community.
My position as mayor is to advocate to the State legislature and all non-profit corporations in the city to develop and fund mental health service facilities in rural regional areas for the chronically ill.
I would appoint a competent and experienced Displaced Persons Coordinator working with all agencies to maintain continuity and progress in reaching objectives.
Enforce current law of giving money to street panhandlers.
Anchorage has become the hub for displaced persons to seek out free services. Non-residents entering our judicial system become homeless and qualify for mental health services are paid for by the State of Alaska. In one case for a drug-addicted homeless person from out-of-state costs the State $5,000 a day for ten days. That kind of free service affects our revenue sharing to Anchorage.
Open Topic: Anchorage First
The city is stagnate, hobbling along with the same old “stuff.” Politicians not fulfilling their obligation, distracted by seeking the next higher office.
The city should honor District Plans developed by the neighborhoods. However, the plans must show a visible effort to gather the most participation from its residents.
Districts, neighborhoods and block residents need to participate in making Anchorage a stronger better place to Live, Work and Play.
I am a conservative that embraces a strong bond between our local government and community. I do not work for big business, make back-room deals, but work with businesses as long as they agree that the end goal is to enhance an Alaskan quality of life of neighborhood diversity and opportunity.
To meet the concept of Anchorage First in a nonpartisan election, a comprehensive examination of mayoral candidates work resumes, life experiences, character, political motivations is paramount. This includes early reviews and presentations to the public. Following celebrity and old-boy politics does not help our city’s future.
Every notion, thought and decision from our current and future mayoral candidates must be Anchorage First.
Anchorage First is a concept that means we strive for the best in world recognition amongst other northern cities around the globe.
First means we strive for the All-American city status for the fifth time.
First means that all communities in the Municipality whether it be Eagle River, Girdwood or Eklutna are one and share in the burdens of our total community.
First means Community Councils must show efforts to gather maximum participation of their residents to participate and support the council’s goals and help the city’s public safety efforts.
Anchorage First means that our city matters first, on how we live, work and play to be a happier and healthy city.
The election to determine Anchorage’s next mayor is April 7, 2015. If no candidate receives at least 45 percent of the vote, a runoff election will take place at a later date.