Appointed Assemblyman answers News questions

On Oct. 10 Jim Sager was appointed to the seat formerly held by newly elected Mayor Mark Schaefer. After the appointment, Sager was asked to answer the same questions that we posed to the candidates in the Oct. 1 election so residents will know where he stands on some of the issues facing the community. His responses appear below.

Questions for Borough Assembly Candidates

1. What special qualities would you bring to the assembly table?

2. Many of the borough candidates are either employed by White Pass or have some connection to the tidelands lease. To date, most of the discussions about future leases with White Pass and/or AIDEA have occurred in executive session. Do you agree with this approach? Please explain to the public why they can trust you in these negotiations to make the right decisions for the community, ahead of the interests of your employer.

3. What can municipal government do to keep young families in town year-round?

4. Which capital projects on the borough horizon do you think are the most important?

5.  Please briefly state your top 3 priorities for the borough, or any other issues that need attention.

Sager out fishing with his son.

AGE: 42
OCCUPATION:  Hotel General Manager
EDUCATION: BS Accounting
YEARS IN SKAGWAY: 18 year-round, 22 seasons.
INTERESTS, HOBBIES: Family, Fishing, Golf.

1. I do not proclaim to have any special qualities. Therefore, I will leave that answer for my mother. What I believe I bring to the Assembly table is an objective opinion, a vested interest in seeing our community continue to thrive, and the desire to give back a little to the community I am lucky enough to reside within.

2. I firmly believe that the voters of Skagway have the confidence in their elected/appointed officials to occupy the various seats they hold objectively and in the best interest of the Municipality. The Assembly/Council has a long list of recusals when a potential conflict of interest exists. Moreover, the nature of and Executive Session prohibits a sitting Assembly from acting without input from the community. That being said, I agree with the approach of Executive Session as it pertains to the law and protecting the confidentiality of qualifying information.

3. We need to focus more on our appeal. 1. I believe we should continue to improve upon and develop our community school and I firmly believe we now have leadership in place to help us facilitate this. 2. I would work toward improving and developing projects that would continue to enhance the appeal of the overall community. I am convinced that a focus on the aforementioned will lead to an increased appeal to families and in turn also have the effect of indirectly helping to improve upon our year round economy.

4. 1. Renovation of Small Boat Harbor. 2. Port Gateway Project. 3. Public Safety Building. Moreover, a regular review of the Skagway Comprehensive Plan should serve as a guide to the Assembly of the direction the community would like us to take.

5. 1. Port Development – we need to continue to position ourselves as an attractive Cruise Ship port while preparing to diversify our port capabilities in an effort to position ourselves as an option for opportunities that other industries present for us. #2&#3. We know who this community appeals to and why. We have our own experience and the results of the Skagway Comprehensive Plan to back this up. Moving forward, we need a plan to attract a broader spectrum of appeal from other areas and demographics. We need to establish measurable goals that lead us towards improving and establishing our identity through enhancements within our school, our infrastructure and our Parks and Recreation. The results of this will one, help to better the quality of life in Skagway, and two, help to improve our year-round economy.