Michael Calhoon is running for a seat on the Seward City Council in Seward, Alaska. (courtesy photo)

Michael Calhoon is running for a seat on the Seward City Council in Seward, Alaska. (courtesy photo)

Michael Calhoon: ‘I would like to see Seward developed to its potential’

Election 2021: Seward City Council

Michael Calhoon is running for one of two vacancies on the Seward City Council. Calhoon is a U.S. Army veteran and has previously served on the Seward Planning and Zoning Commission and the Seward Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and served on the Seward City Council from 1997 to 2002. He’s a former bed and breakfast owner and currently serves on the American Legion Post 5 Board of Directors.

Calhoon, who spoke with the Clarion via phone on Sept. 2, said his family moved to Seward in 1962, and frequently visited Seward and Moose Pass after his family relocated to Anchorage. He and his wife Clare moved to Seward in 1995, after they both ended their careers in the military.

“We are just kind of living life and enjoying Seward,” Calhoon said. “A lot of good things are on the horizon here and I would just like to be part of helping that continue.”

That desire to be a part of Seward’s positive progress, Calhoon said, is why he’s running for city council. While he said he isn’t pursuing a specific policy agenda, he’d like to see city housing become more affordable for families and for there to be more year-round employment opportunities.

“I would like to see Seward developed to its potential,” Calhoon said.

Among the things currently working well at the city, Calhoon said, is the participation and role of the community development organization, the way the city’s harbor department is run and how responsive the city is to community questions, including his own.

“I think that Seward is running pretty well, and I just want to help make sure it continues in that positive vein,” Calhoon said.

Calhoon said he thinks he would be able to bring a historical perspective to the council, as well as that of someone who has owned a business in Seward and who is involved with city nonprofits. He said that Seward is becoming younger demographically and that the council benefits from someone bringing historical knowledge.

“One of the individuals that’s leaving the council has a lot of historical perspective and I’m just looking to maybe fill the spot of somebody that’s been around for a long time,” Calhoon said.

If elected to the council, Calhoon would be a part of the city’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In reflecting on how Seward has responded over the last year, Calhoon said he thinks following state directives has “worked out OK,” but that he doesn’t think the city needs to get any more restrictive in the future.

“Obviously, [the city wants] people to be healthy and be safe and they want the community to remain open,” Calhoon said, adding that he thinks Seward is heading in a “fairly good direction” regarding COVID.

Ultimately, Calhoon said he would join the council with a positive outlook and strive to make Seward friendly to families in terms of housing, employment and opportunity.

“I just want people to know that my agenda, if you call it that, is just to try and help Seward continue to grow in a positive direction,” Calhoon said.

The municipal election is on Oct. 5.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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