Hutchings: Invested in borough through public service

  • By LINDA FARNSWORTH-HUTCHINGS
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 8:50pm
  • Opinion

I’ve met with people all over our Borough, listening to concerns, hopes, and hearing their stories—it’s fun! This experience of meeting our diverse residents solidified my desire to serve as Borough Mayor. My experiences of the past make me strong, capable, and able to manage the KPB, setting the path for business opportunity, robust schools, excellent health care, and borough services.

On September 20, 2017, an opponent for Borough Mayor posted a derogatory post on his Facebook campaign page stating, “Her contention that being the finance executive director for a failed GM dealership is good for the KPB, cannot be taken seriously.”

For the record, in 2009 when General Motors closed 2,600 dealers across the United States and Canada, our family business was on that list–their reason was we were only 60 miles from Anchorage (as the crow flies). We made heartwrenching difficult choices: laying off 60+ employees with no warning, selling the Glacier facility, leasing the Hutchings facility, and moving operations to the AutoSpa. Those were difficult years; I clearly understand how businesses struggle with changing economies, while continuing to meet financial obligations. We survived, and contribute to our communities on the Kenai Peninsula.

I’ve worked in the accounting field for forty years, ranging from computing payroll and union reports for 100 drivers on north slope oil rig moves, to hiring qualified people and managing multi-million dollar budgets. I understand budgets—government, non-profit, and private sector.

I bring so much more than our family business experience to the Borough Mayor office. I’ve served on boards and commissions most of my adult life. Mine was a homesteader home, with parents involved in leadership and service. Dolly and Jack Farnsworth worked for statehood, in borough government, on the school board, assembly, and hospital board. Not everything I do is in the public eye. I’ve served twenty years on a board that provides a home for wards of the state. I volunteered hundreds of hours at Central Peninsula Hospital before we had staff for the five bed hospital. We have an excellent hospital system, and I am proud of the growth we’ve made to provide excellent local healthcare. Three times I’ve served on a boroughwide healthcare task force. For 11 years I served on the State of Alaska Workman’s Comp board, working on regulations to reduce premiums for employers, and listening to employers and workers about issues with Workman’s Comp. I’ve served on the Soldotna Parks and Recreation advisory board for many years, and currently sit on the field house project for the regional sports center complex. A friend of Leeshore Center, domestic violence should not be acceptable in our communities. I support Boys and Girls Club, am a friend of the Soldotna library. I’m invested in our Borough working on projects—this is community service. Borough residents can count on me to listen and to research concerns. I will have an open door, and know that my experience and leadership has prepared me to serve as Borough Mayor.

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