Terry Haines left city politics after eight years on the Kodiak City Council, but said he is now ready to use that expertise as a borough assembly member.
“It seems to be something I have something of an aptitude for – at least it doesn’t drive me completely crazy the way it drives a lot of people,” he said.
Haines has spent over 30 years as a fisherman in Kodiak and initially became involved in politics over fisheries issues, he said.
“What I found out was that if you don’t show up and represent yourself, you don’t get representation,” he said. Similarly, the island’s elected representatives should represent the community in matters of state and federal fisheries management to ensure their decisions are fair to Kodiak communities, he said.
“For our rural communities, access to the resources that are right outside their back door in the ocean will probably be essential to their survival,” he said.
If elected, Haines would like to again serve on the Kodiak Fisheries Workgroup. He previously served as a city council representative to the group.
“I think it’s a vital way for our community to address these access issues, and we’ve been told from federal managers that the way our community has stepped forward to essentially give them information and to engage in the process has been at the forefront in the nation. They really appreciate what we’ve done. We need to continue to engage in that way,” he said.
Haines said he would like to see the assembly become more functional so that issues can be addressed more quickly.
“I think that the average citizen who pays taxes has a reasonable expectation that his business is done in a reasonable and timely manner, and that hasn’t always been the case,” he said.
“It’s my belief that for municipal governments, the best way to do it is for everyone to come to the table, put what they have on the table,” he said. “I don’t think municipal government is anywhere to play politics. These are our friends and neighbors and people you see everyday.”
In addressing the budget, Haines said it is important for assembly members to leverage the assets they already have.
“In the end, you have to work with staff. You can’t be constantly second-guessing staff,” he said. “The worst thing someone on a position on the assembly can do is micromanage. You never want to micromanage. You let your staff work, and that hasn’t always been the case on the assembly.”
He believes the government should meet zoning issues head-on and ensure that building codes are followed to help minimize damage in the event of a natural disaster.
“It’s about having a community that’s well-planned and functional and won’t completely go haywire when something like this happens,” he said.
Haines said his strength is being able to connect with the community.
“I think maybe the thing that qualifies me the most is I like people,” he said. “I like talking to people and listening to them and trying to understand their perspectives. I think that’s essential.”