Performer, lawyer and former director of the Fairbanks Arts Association, June Rogers, is running for re-election for the B seat on city council.
Rogers, whose Inupiaq name is Aapulk, is of Native Alaskan ancestry and lived in the state for most of his 77-year life. Right after school, she started a construction business and attended college classes in her spare time, including law classes, where she was the only woman.
“I never graduated from college,” she said. “However, I continued to train in different ways and continued to be self-employed.”
Music is another central part of Rogers’ life. She has performed with the Fairbanks Light Opera Theater, dancing, singing, working backstage and breaking box office records. She has also created her own group, performing several genres, from country to pop to disco.
Rogers said music has always given him energy and allowed him to dive into a week full of meetings, paperwork and administrative tasks. It also brought her closer to her second husband, Bill Rogers, who she has been married to for 39 years.
Seeking to introduce theater programs to schools, Rogers began volunteering for the Fairbanks Arts Association. She ended up being their executive director for 20 years. Later, she started working with social service groups in the community, advocating for the homeless population, people with drug addiction and those returning to the community after being incarcerated.
“I’m just a person from Fairbanks getting involved,” she said.
She said that during her experience on the board, she learned that “promoting listening and community dialogue is one thing that will build trust and encourage people to participate in the process by attending meetings. and expressing their point of view ”.
“We could talk about snow, and we could talk about equipment and we could talk about administrative positions, or all kinds of things – those things are always topics,” she said. “But unless you have a really good listening system, you don’t deal with these topics effectively. “
A non-partisan candidate, Rogers was appointed to city council in 2016, elected in 2018 and is seeking re-election for her second term.
“I think the greatest achievement is being able to keep calm in times of difficult discussions, to help everyone seek and find the solution that will be the best overall,” she said. . “Anyone who has the best interests of our general population at heart should be someone the voters choose, whether it’s me or someone else. “
Questions and answers from candidates
1. The Town of Fairbanks has experienced staff shortages in various agencies including fire, police and dispatch. What are your ideas for strengthening the city’s recruiting efforts?
City staff from all departments have been diligent in their efforts to find solutions to the difficult circumstances you refer to. As a member of the city council, I support their efforts and seek to provide the necessary funding that strengthens their chances of success.
2. City Council discussed several options regarding the demolition of the Polaris Building. What is the most viable and fastest option to reduce it? What should go into space once it’s gone?
The Polaris Building has brought together more diverse opinions and solutions than any other problem in recent years. On one thing, we all agree: the building must go. Demolition is not a “quick” option and must follow the careful recommendations that City staff have outlined for the safe removal of the building.
What will fill the space – is also open to many thoughts, with several countertops on the table.
3. The City provides essential services to residents while respecting a balanced budget and protecting the permanent funds of the City. What are your ideas for generating additional income for the city or changing expenses?
Recognizing voters’ views on tax initiatives and supporting essential services does not easily change spending. However, subsidies and accurate cost assessments must be continually pursued, as must the search for efficiency in all city operations.
4. One of the ways a city grows is by attracting new businesses. How would you encourage new businesses to come to Fairbanks?
By encouraging others to join any business, be it friendship groups or trade circles, people who are already in a particular field need to demonstrate cohesion and support for current businesses. The Buy Local program highlights the economic success made possible by supporting local businesses. Others who are studying an area to develop are more likely to want to join this circle of success.
5. Is there anything you would like to see implemented – orders, programs, initiatives, etc. – if you are elected?
Public safety issues are a major concern for our community. Neighborhood watch programs, police service volunteers, foot patrols and other similar initiatives that inspire confidence in public safety officers at all stations – firefighters – police – health care – are very effective and need to be re-energized. .
6. What makes you qualified for this position?
In addition to several years on Fairbanks City Council, I have been recognized statewide as an advocate actively involved in public policy issues since the late 1970s.
Serving on the board has been tough, but rather than dissuading me from running for re-election, I’m motivated to run for another term. As a non-partisan, I bring a perspective of acceptance to everyone who comes before the board with their concerns.