Jacob Versteeg

Age: 49

Family: Daughter (10)

Occupation: Compliance Examiner/CFP/Six Sigma Black Belt

Previous government experience or community involvement: No

Highest level of education: B.S. Montana State Bozeman, MT

What is the latest book you’ve read? Or, what book do you recommend and why?: Derivatives and Alternative Investments, CFA Program Curriculum

COVID closures, cancelled civic and culture events and the decline of summer tourists have turned Anchorage’s downtown into “a ghost town.” How will you revitalize downtown Anchorage?

Temporary exemption on Bed Tax and/or reimbursements to qualifying businesses. Incentives for businesses who market reduced rates/vacation packages to stimulate revenue.

Do you support a minimum wage of $15 for municipal workers? Why or why not?

No. This is not a capitalistic endeavor.

What ideas do you have to ensure that the make-up of the municipal workforce reflects the diversity of the Anchorage community?

I support education and experience as criteria for hiring and promoting. I do not support ANY form of nepotism or racial/gender profiling.

With steep declines in revenue sharing from the state of Alaska, how will you support essential city services? Will this level of support be enough to attract future investment?

Being dependent on the state of Alaska was never the right approach. I do not support the state of Alaska and the way they have handled spending over the last four decades. Independence from the state of Alaska is in the best interest of Anchorage. Reducing unnecessary spending and building incentives for industries is where we must focus moving forward. Anchorage needs to prioritize essential functions and use available land/funds to manage what we can afford. I would work with the Mat-Su Borough, JBEAR and the Port of Anchorage to contract subsidies with corporations and government entities to establish business over the Knik Arm to open up available land for future investments. It is no longer a function of depending on the state of Alaska, oil, fish and tourism. Anchorage needs to draw revenue from other means and that involves attracting corporations that are leaving high tax states for less tax and higher profit margins. Connecting the MOA with MSB over the Knik Arm is the bridge to expanding and attracting revenue for the 21st century.

Do you have a commitment to incorporate and utilize renewable energy sources?

I support Anchorage regaining sovereignty through any means necessary and that includes renewable energy sources.

Anchorage has a shortage of housing at multiple income levels. What can you do to mitigate the problem and how will you influence housing development toward what the city needs?

Adapt and implement new zoning where appropriate.

The homeless crisis in Anchorage is persistent, disturbing and humanly tragic. How do you plan to help the municipality solve this crisis?

Work with surrounding native villages throughout Alaska and coordinate with those communities to provide effective and manageable facilities for individuals that gravitate to Anchorage throughout the year. I would also create a comprehensive website, similar to social media sites, where registered voters of Anchorage could generate ideas around homeless solutions have civil debate, prioritize and oppose or vote in favor to implement the peoples views on all topics relating to the progress of the city of Anchorage.

Anchorage is a university town with two institutions, one public and one private. What opportunities does this represent to the municipality?

UAA is one of the best investments Anchorage has. The growth of the campus over the last 30 years is incredible. Attracting students through the WUE and WICHE programs should be a top priority. The infrastructure exists, to represent the MOA, these two universities should offer the best education at the lowest price with new 21st century programs.

Can the mayor influence the tone of community dialogue? How?

Creating a website similar to Facebook and/or Twitter where the MOA community can offer ideas, petition those ideas to gain support, prioritize ideas that could potentially be enacted by allowing Anchorage voters to debate, create dialogue and ultimately vote all on one central web page. It is the integration of modern technology and politics which gives the people of Anchorage the power back to make critical decisions and generate the best ideas, decided by the majority. I believe it could eventually be the new standard for how the people rule and not the political officials. Anchorage needs to enact effective dialogue using 21st century venues.

Local builders continually complain about delays in the municipal permitting process, and that Title 21 requirements make homes expensive. The complaints are old. Will you make changes?

Sure, if the majority of Anchorage voters are in favor and it’s a proven priority.