In 2006, Mike Musick was elected with the backing of the Green Party to the Fairbanks Borough Council. He has since pushed for multiple sustainability measures like bike paths, energy efficiency, and recycling. On October 6th he will be up for reelection for the first time. It is a non-partisan seat, but he is listed on the Green Party’s national website as a Green candidate.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner had this description of Musick and his challenger:
Musick, 66, is a retired general contractor who joined the assembly three years ago. He has served as president of the Interior Alaska Building Association. A resident of Ester, Musick has also been a volunteer fireman and public road service commissioner.
During his tenure on the assembly, Musick worked as a project manager at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center. He has focused much of his attention on energy-efficiency and community sustainability. He thought it was a good fit when Mayor Jim Whitaker appointed him two years ago to a recycling task force.
“Recycling is a part of any sustainable community,” he said.
The task force last winter forwarded a list of recommendations to the borough administration. Most recently, Musick and Whitaker have co-written a comprehensive recycling ordinance up for a public hearing, and possible assembly vote, tonight.
The proposal would build a framework for aiding recycling projects. Private firms and nonprofits would be eligible for financial help under approved projects that keep recyclable materials such as paper, glass and plastics out of the landfill. Money saved on hauling and landfill space would cover the cost, and a public recycling commission would have a role in evaluating proposed recycling projects.
Newton, 32, is an electrician and information-technology consultant who has worked as a Census Bureau canvasser and part-time for the Air National Guard. He was among those who recommended against asking voters on Oct. 6 to vote on whether Fairbanks should self-administer a new air quality program. He said some Borough Assembly incumbents have incorrectly laid claim to strong leadership skills, statements that don’t match the decision last month to forward an advisory air-quality ballot measure to voters when action stalled at the assembly level.
“I can assure the voters I will not pass off my responsibilities,” Newton said at an election forum Wednesday.
Newton calls himself a politico, but one usually more tuned to national issues. He said his interest in local politics grew following the debate about air quality and when the assembly narrowly passed a per-bag tax on disposable plastic bags. Newton said he objected to the assembly’s decision to vote without first having ordered a cost-benefit analysis of the new tax, set to take effect in January.
Newton said he was involved last year when Gov. Sean Parnell challenged incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Young, helping Parnell during functions in Fairbanks.
“I’m kind of a guy that’s been in the political background until now,” he said.