Smooth sailing for unopposed Soldotna council candidates

While four seats on the Soldotna City Council are up to be filled in the Oct. 4 regular municipal election, the candidates who filed for them will have a pretty easy race.

Current council members Tim Cashman and Regina Daniels, former council member Lisa Parker and newcomer Tyson Cox are all running unopposed. Cashman and Daniels are essentially switching seats, with Daniels running for his one-year seat F and Cashman running for her current seat D, a three-year term.

Cox is the only candidate completely new to the council. A Soldotna High School graduate and an investor and manager of rental properties in the area, Cox said he has always liked being involved in the community and had been considering joining the council for a number of years. Giving back and being part of the public process is something Cox said he feels most people should do.

“I think it’s everyone’s duty to do this at some point,” he said.

Cox said both the home-rule charter facing voters in the October election and the possibility of annexation will be tough for residents to look at. There are plenty of pros and cons on both sides of both issues, he said.

The most important part of tackling contested topics like home rule or annexation as a council member is listening to the residents, Cox said. While there are many people inside and outside of the areas identified for annexation, for example, Cox said it’s important to listen closely to those whom it would directly affect.

A seat with a one-year term was attractive to Cox because it will give him the chance to get familiarized with the process and re-evaluate his place on the council sooner rather than later.

“I want to make sure that I can do what I say that I’m going to do,” he said.

Parker will return to the council for a three-year term after some time away; she previously served from 2002–2007. A drive to contribute to the city’s workings was a motivator for Parker as well, she said.

“I strongly believe in giving back to my community and participating in the process,” she said.

Parker too is looking forward to tackling annexation and home rule. She previously served on a charter commission in Anchorage, and the process is “exciting to see,” she said.

Parker’s views on annexation, which has come up for conversation periodically over the years, have not changed since she first served on the council, she said. Parker said she would not support annexing an area into the city if the majority of people living there were not in favor of it.

“As people will tell you, I am a person who likes to collaborate and figure out ways to work out issues,” she said.

Daniels had originally planned not to run again this year, so when she decided to make another go of it, she chose the shorter term.

Continuity on the council is important to Daniels, who has served since 2010. Having a lot of turnover on the council could mean spending more time catching people up on current important issues, she said.

“Right now I think it’s good to have people that are aware of what’s going on and are up to speed,” she said.

Besides the home-rule charter and the city’s look into annexation, Daniels said it will be important to keep an eye on what is happening with the marijuana industry as well as the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, which she said is rife for updates as the lack of indoor turf on the Kenai Peninsula is felt from Nikiski to Homer.

“The moratorium on marijuana was just a two-year moratorium, and it’s something that’s going to have to be revisited,” she said, explaining that it will be important to consider what the Marijuana Control Board had put in place along with where the city wants to go with it in a town of only about seven square miles.

Cashman too looks forward to lengthening his time on the council, moving forward to a three-year term.

“We have a lot of pretty big issues I think coming up in the city of Soldotna,” he said.

Cashman, who also serves on the city’s charter commission, said he’s looking forward to seeing the issue of home rule through.

Making residents aware of what home rule means, how the city can use it to move forward and the upcoming vote itself are all things he said he are important to him.

Helping the city through future budgeting processes that focus on community priorities is something else Cashman looks forward to as well, he said.

Cashman and Daniels touched on the importance of the city’s mill rate. While Soldotna may not be feeling the effects of the state’s financial situation quite yet, reevaluating the mill rate annually compared to where the city’s finances are will be a way to deal with falling state funding, Daniels said.

Reach Megan Pacer at

More in News

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Offshore oil plan envisions a single Cook Inlet sale

The proposed 2023-2028 plan is similar to the just-ended Obama administration five-year plan

People line the streets in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022 for the annual Independence Day parade. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Red, white and blue all day

Kenai turns out for parade, activities to celebrate Independence Day

A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
StoryWalk is back after vandalism

The installation was discontinued last September after someone damaged the poles and podium plexiglass

Shawn Dick of Talkneetna carries a fresh catch out of the water while dipnetting on the Kenai Beach on July 10, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai River dipnetting opens this month

The Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens July 10

The sun is seen shining above the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on July 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clario file)
When the temperature hits 70, Alaskans feel the heat — and start suffering health ills

Acclimatization, the angle of the sun at high latitudes and other factors make summer heat more intense in Alaska

A map shows active fires around the state of Alaska on Friday, July 1, 2022. (Screenshot from Alaska Wildland Fire Information Map)
Fire danger prompts restrictions on burning, fireworks

There were 160 fires in Alaska as of Thursday, and of those 17 were staffed with fire personnel

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara are photographed in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices Thursday in Kenai. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Gara, Cook campaign on the Kenai Peninsula

The pair cited education funding, reproductive rights and election security as priorities

A map shows the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project area. The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 — from about Primrose Campground to near Teddy’s Inn The Woods — will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18, 2022. (Screenshot)
Roadwork in Moose Pass to shut parts of Seward Highway

The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18

Most Read