Meet the candidate: Christine Hill
Christine Hill is a candidate for Assembly District 4 - Seat F - Midtown Anchorage in the 2019 Municipal Elections. If elected, she will serve a three-year term for the Assembly for the Municipality of Anchorage.
KTVA asked Hill, as well as those running against her, to answer a few questions about her stance on key issues in the community as part of our election coverage this year. Each candidate was given an equal amount of time to respond to these questions and informed of the set publishing date.
Here are Hill’s answers to those questions.
Question 1 – An alcohol sales tax will appear on the April ballot to combat substance abuse, homelessness and to increase public safety. Do you agree with the tax? Why or why not?
No, I do not agree with the alcohol tax for many reasons:
• Alaskans already pay the 2 nd highest alcohol taxes in the nation. The Assembly says that Anchorage doesn’t get any of this tax money so we need a local tax. But the new
Governor is returning alcohol tax dollars to the municipalities – so we don’t need a new
local tax on top of the large state alcohol tax we already pay.
• The Assembly says that they want this new tax to “fix” homelessness. We all want to fix
the homeless problem – but no one believes that government can just impose a tax on
alcohol and fix such a complex problem. This is just another money grab by politicians.
• The Assembly says that they will account for how all tax money is spent but the city’s
SAP software has been a complete failure and the city can’t even accurately handle
payroll for city employees. We need to concentrate on getting our fiscal house in order
before we start telling taxpayers we want even more of their money.
• Homelessness and substance abuse are community issues – this is a selective, unfair tax
that will hurt mom and pop companies and those residents least able to afford it.
Question 2 – Anchorage has experienced a growing problem with homelessness. What will be your approach to addressing these issues, and at what cost?
Well, number one, an alcohol tax is not the solution to homelessness. Seattle has taxed and
taxed and taxed and all they have done is to create a homeless industrial complex. Seattle
politicians implemented exactly what the current Anchorage Assembly is proposing and it has been a complete failure. Homelessness and attendant drug abuse have increased – not
decreased. We should learn from others’ mistakes.
The homeless issue negatively impacts Anchorage on many levels and is very serious. First, we need to enforce the laws we currently have. Many homeless camps are illegal and dangerous and need to be dismantled for the safety of Anchorage neighborhoods. By allowing these camps to remain, we are enabling a dangerous lifestyle.
Responsible Seattle residents have created a community/professional approach – United
Seattle – and Anchorage needs to do the same. Government solving a problem like
homelessness is like saying “I’m from the government – I’m here to help you”.
Question 3 – Gov. Dunleavy announced $1.6B in budget cuts in February. As the budget process continues in Juneau, how will you respond to the state’s budget challenges?
When Alaska first received oil revenues we had a state budget of $160 million and some of the very highest educational scores in the country. We have a management problem – not a money problem. Alaska is one of the richest states in the country. We have done more with less in the past and with good management we can – and must - do more with less today.
Question 4 – The governor’s budget will cut about $2.5M from the municipality’s budget and an estimated $146M from the Anchorage School District. How will you respond to these cuts locally?
Anchorage has great teachers. Parents say so – students say so. The problem - as leaders
across the political spectrum acknowledge, is that we have top-heavy administration and the money we have is maintaining that bureaucracy – not going into the classrooms. We put more money into education than all other states and get terrible results. More money is not the answer to that problem – responsible leadership is.
Question 5 – Eagle River, Chugiak and Peter’s Creek residents sustained damage during the Nov. 30 earthquake. Do you support annexing residents to be part of the building safety service area? Why or why not?
I am surprised that these areas have not been included in the building safety service area all these years. It is an oversight and the consequences are evident because of this. It is
important that the building safety inspectors work with the contractors to expedite the
process and in such circumstances use common sense in securing and efficiently for the good of the whole.
Question 6 – There is a need for affordable housing in the municipality. How will you foster this?
I have gone to many community council meetings about this, and affordable housing is clearly needed. Certainly individual community desires need to be considered. Private enterprise reaches in to fill community needs when demand and economics come together. Affordable housing is a win – win for Anchorage’s future.
Meet the other candidates running for a spot on the Anchorage Assembly, in the order they're presented on the municipality website.