Hi, my name is Rich Long and I am a Valdez Resident of 22 years. I am running for office because I am concerned about the direction our town is heading. In the time that I have lived here the population has declined from 4,700 to 3,700, and we've lost many businesses as a result. My qualifications are five years experience on the Valdez Ports and Harbor Commission and three years on Valdez City Council. I worked eight years for SERVS/APSC and since 1997 I have owned and operated Long's Marine. I believe that my experience in both the business environment and my civic duties have prepared me for the challenges facing this community.
- What are three main challenges for the City of Valdez in the next five years? As a potential council member, how do you plan to address them?
B. We must find a way to reduce our cost of living in Valdez most specifically by finding a viable way to reduce our cost of energy. I proposed that we partner with CVEA to get this done. If necessary we should do it ourselves.
C. Maintaining a balanced budget is going to become a great challenge as I believe that we are going to be facing some significant reductions in our revenue base soon. It is unrealistic to think that we will be able to continue to keep the TAPS assessment values up as we have so far. We will have to learn to live within our means with some tough choices to make to reduce our spending.
I believe it is adequate for the most part. I applaud all those who have put forth their time and effort into the process. I am pleased with the initiatives to engage the community, develop infrastructure, and improve our economy.
I would like to have seen more specific initiatives towards the following areas:
1) Creating new jobs
2) Lowering the cost of energy and the overall cost of living
3) Developing a clear vision of where our community will be in 20 years!
The plan goes a long ways toward these goals but we need to make sure that we follow through. If something isn’t working we must adapt and change direction if needed.