After 20 years of service in the Navy, Jeffery Murray said he wants to continue to perform his civic duty to the local community.
“As an assembly person, my focus is going to be what the community is concerned with, where they want to take their community. I think so many people are so busy making a living and taking care of the day-to-day business in their family that they don’t get the opportunity to get involved as much as they could be. It’s hard,” he said.
Originally from Texas, Murray said he started his own business at age 16.
“I had a rod and reel repair shop. Of all the places you could put it, right smack in the middle of the panhandle of Texas … where there’s no water,” he joked.
He also spent three years as a rodeo cowboy and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.
In his years since retiring from the Navy, Murray has enjoyed writing, woodworking, competitive shooting and fishing. He has been a Kodiak resident for nine years as a contractor at U.S. Coast Guard Base Kodiak.
According to Murray, his schedule has now slowed down enough to devote more time to civic duties.
If elected, Murray plans to be a voice for the people of Kodiak.
“I’m really a heavy believer in self-governance and people taking control of their community and their future and how it develops, and being able to group those different ideas together to make a workable goal and get that into play and take some action on it. I think I’ve got some skills that can help that,” he said.
His time in the Navy has taught him to consider problems from a number of viewpoints, he said.
“I’ve traveled quite a bit. I’ve dealt with a lot of different cultures,” he said. “I’m familiar with different approaches and different ways of thinking about addressing problems and how communities operate.”
He would like to open the lines of communication between residents and the assembly with virtual town halls with village communities, village visits, and phone calls, emails and texts, he said.
“At the heart of it, you’ve got to know what the community expects of itself to make any really good decisions that are designed for the community. Otherwise, you’re just doing partisan or personal agenda,” he said.
Murray acknowledged that many times, opinions in the community will not agree. The key in those times will be the ability to compromise, he said.
“Some folks in the community aren’t going to get what they want. Some people aren’t going to be able to get everything they want, but the overall improvement of the community becomes the main concern,” he said.