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Politics

Quist is Newly Elected to Assembly

Fairbanks, AK - Voters elected Christopher Quist to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Tuesday night.  Quist and opponent Larry Morris ran against each other for a seat vacated by Michael Dukes, whose term expires this month. Dukes has also relocated out of the Borough. Quist was intent on finding out how voters decided to cast their ballots for Proposition 2, which could shift the authority to regulate air quality to the borough Assembly, rather than the state. “If Prop 2 goes 'No,' I think that on the local level, we’re able to address our air quality issue in some good ways," says Quist. "If it ends up being yes, which it may be, it’s going to take a lot of options off the table for us.”

Quist now works as the Donor Services Coordinator at KUAC.  He also runs a small café and eatery as well as the Interior’s only organic coffee roasting company was born and raised in Fairbanks. He says there are issues other than air quality he plans to work on over the next three years. “In general, I’m interested in improving access to affordable and clean energy," he says.  "There are a lot of good projects in the works for bringing natural gas to the community.  I think that’s a long term solution that’s going to help. Aside from that, I’m interested in investing in schools and investing in the long term.”

Quist joins reelected members John Davies and Guys Sattley who both ran unopposed this year.  Sattley has close to two decades of experience on the Assembly.  This will be John Davies’ third term. "The big problems that we have are still the same ones," Davies says.  "We have an energy problems, which is a huge issue and we have an air quality problem, which is a huge issue.  There are other problems.  We have a recycling issue that we haven’t quite figured out. And finally, I’m interested in trying to reduce our health care costs, so I’m looking at ways to improve our wellness program here, because the borough is self-insured for our healthcare," says Davies.

Davies, who works at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, says he anticipates change on the Assembly with the addition of Christopher Quist. “Michael Dukes is a very conservative member of the community, whereas Christopher I think is a young guys, he has businesses here and he was raised in this community," he says.

But Lance Roberts is concerned about balance on the nine-member panel.  Roberts is known for his conservative approach on the Assembly. He says he might be outnumbered in the year to come. “Yeah, I’m sure I’ll be casting more votes in the minority this next year," he says. "But I’ll keep working my ordinances to clean up the code and protect people’s rights and help out the tax situation of which I’ve done quite a few of those," Roberts says.

Newly elected and reelected Assembly members will be sworn in when the election results are certified on October 23rd. The first meeting of the reorganized Assembly takes place in mid-November.