In their own words: Council Seat B Candidate Doug Johnson
NN: What are your qualifications to run for the Nome Common Council?
Doug Johnson: Nome is my home. I have been a resident for over 50 years. My wife Robin and I raised our children here, and my parents are both buried here. I served on the Nome Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years and currently serving my second term on the Nome Port Commission. I recently retired from Nome Joint Utilities after 28 years working in power generation for the City of Nome and prior to this career I worked for the Alaska Gold Company for close to a decade. I am concerned about the future of Nome and I would like to help to shape it. I am proud to be a resident of Nome and believe that community pride is essential to our future.
NN: Why are you running for office?
Doug Johnson: I think Nome is a wonderful place to live and want it to remain this way. Nome can be even better in the future if we as a community work together. I am running for office because I believe I can help shape positive change. I would like Nome to have a bright future and am willing to work towards this. I would like to encourage and support small business, and see Front Street become a thriving business district. I also would like to explore and support the redevelopment of vocational educational facilities in Nome’s school system. We should have plenty of local Nome-Beltz graduates that are carpenters, plumbers, welders, auto mechanics, pilots, heavy equipment operators and electricians. The facilities are there, I would like to see the City and Schools, to include North West Campus, explore ways to enhance local opportunities for our community members that are interested in these fields.
NN: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenge facing Nome today and how do you propose as council member to address them?
Doug Johnson : I would say that the biggest challenge facing Nome today is community unification. At the moment Nome seems pretty dysfunctional and not united, there seems to be more people out for themselves and less people out for the public good. I imagine all communities go through this cycle from time to time. I would like to help reunite our community in a manner that makes everyone interested in the success of each other and in doing so make Nome an even better place to live.
The development of small business would also improve Nome. With the advent of Amazon and online shopping we need to explore ways to support our small businesses and, develop new ones, so that they are able to thrive. I would like to see Front Street spiffed up. Pride in community is an important aspect of any successful community. Front Street in it’s current state does not display pride in my eyes. I would like to see us explore ways to make Front Street great again.
I believe the Port of Nome is a valuable asset that should be developed to it’s maximum potential. With the development of deep water capabilities many business opportunities should follow, for example fuel depot, repair facilities, logistical support, warehousing, tourism and arctic environmental protection. A US Coast Guard Station in Nome would open even more doors for community growth and development.
NN: How do you propose as council member to stimulate public interest in attending meetings and becoming involved in city issues?
Doug Johnson : I would like to begin by broadcasting meetings on radio and/or television again. An informed community will be more inclined to be an involved community. The more information we can get out to folks the better. It would also be nice to see an active Chamber of Commerce, an Association of Small Business owners and other civic organizations join our already active Lion’s Club and Rotary Club. Organizations such as these can work together to make positive change in Nome and would stimulate public interest in the City Council and other City entities.
NN: How can the council become motivated to provide leadership in vigorously seeking solutions to overuse of alcohol?
Doug Johnson : I believe this is an issue that must be dealt with socially. Our community must come together to provide a solution not just a complaint. This may be lead by the council but there must be buy in many factors of our community. This is a complex issue, one that cannot be resolved by the council alone. We as a community need to work together.
People need a reason to not drink. People need support as they transition from the over use of alcohol to a sober life. How do we, as a community, provide people with the ability to make positive life choices. Choices that allow them to be self-supporting productive members of our community.